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The 15th Annual Pet Photo contest is underway. Entries can now be submitted and voting began on July 5th. The entry fee is $25 per animal entered and votes are $1.00 each. Entries can be submitted until July 24th at 4:00pm and online voting will close on Thursday July 25th at 5:00pm.

We have a new feature for the contest this year! We have added, “Reserve a Calendar Day.” Entrants can choose to reserve a specific date on the calendar for their pet, for an additional $15. The pet’s photo will be featured on that particular date. This is a great way to honor a pet’s birthday or another special day for the pet owner.

We look forward to seeing all of the fabulous pet photos!

When you enter, don’t forget to share your entry with your family and friends and encourage them to vote for your pet.

The GHHS Thrift Store has a great new look!  The store was closed from June 17th through June 20th for a facelift.  The Grand Re-Opening, Friday June 21st, was an exciting day.  Customers loved the newly laid out floor plan, fresh paint colors, and innovative additions.

Lisa Mendes, Thrift Store Manager, worked diligently as the closing date approached to choose paint colors, draw out new floor plans, design new racks and shelving, and create new signage.  Lisa has been a part of the GHHS Thrift Store for 15 years and knew exactly what to do when it came time for a change.

We are grateful to Lewter’s Hardware for providing the paint for this project and to ALL of the volunteers who came out and made it happen.  We appreciate every minute of time and effort that was put in to the update.  It would not have been possible without all of those helping hands.

If you have not had the chance to see the new GHHS Thrift Store, come on by and shop a while. We look forward to seeing you!


My time as CEO of GHHS has been a blip in its fifty year history.  But, it will forever be part of my heart.  Thank you to all of the board membersstaffvolunteers, and supporters who have made my four years as CEO so memorable.  It has been a privilege to serve this organization. I have learned so much about animals, animal rescue, and overpopulation.  We have seen a huge increase in the number of adoptions that we are able to arrange.  I know we will accomplish more than 750 adoptions this year.  Just think how many animals now have been rehomed over the years and come to know the love of a new family all because GHHS has been here for 50 years!  

One of my proudest achievements was the partnership with Damson Automotive Group for the donation of a transport van.  Our transport program is doing well and providing needed dogs for adoption in other parts of the country where they do not have an overpopulation of animals like we do in the South.  These dogs are being adopted much faster than if they had stayed in our shelter.

I have seen the tremendous volunteer effort that goes into the care of our animals, special events, King’s Kitchen, the Wellness Clinic, the Thrift Store and the Dog Ball.  Thank you to all of the volunteers for their commitment to GHHS and its animals.  You are making a difference in their lives.  

My memories are filled with special people but so many special dogs and puppies, cats and kittens, and all the other unique animals that came through GHHS on their way to second chances.

Many things have changed in four years but the goal is the same to provide second chances for the animals that come into our shelter.  Now it is my turn to head in a new direction and spend more time being “Jiji” to two adorable granddaughters.  I’ll leave you with one quote…

"Pets are humanizing. They remind us we have an obligation and responsibility to preserve, nurture and care for all life."

Thank you to all the animals for teaching me compassion and giving me love!

Happy Tails!



Terry Bradford, Chair
Ben Gamble, Vice Chair
Karen Reed, Secretary
Sandy Edwards, Treasurer
Tim Hufford, Asst. Treasurer
Tracy Barrett
Eileen Beardsley
Leigh Christian
Rebecca Davis
Renee Holt
Grant Martin
Lana Ritch
Dan Shanahan
Bethany H. Sneed
Diane Strickland
Margie Wiesman

Anne Caldwell, CEO
Lisa Mendes, Thrift Store Manager
Patrick Burleson, Dir. of Operations
Ryan Hillenberg
Casey McCrary
Marilyn Poffenberger
Jay Ratts
Susan Ried
Niki Sakatis
Marilyn Sharp
Shannon Siegel
Beth Tumlin
Adam Whisnant
Vickie Young


Anne Caldwell - Chief Executive Officer, GHHS Staff


My name is Anne Caldwell and I am so honored to have recently been selected to serve as the new Chief Executive Officer for the Greater Huntsville Humane Society. I am the proud owner of four rescue dogs (Randy, Evie, Momma, and Penny) and am a lifelong lover of animals. It is my passion for animals that ultimately led me to this position. 

Admittedly, it is difficult to find the right words that adequately express just how excited I am to be involved with such an incredible organization. The gravity of this position, and the responsibility that comes with it, is certainly not lost on me. Walt Disney once said: “Of all the things I’ve done, the most vital is coordinating those who work with me and aiming their efforts at a certain goal.” As the leader of the Greater Huntsville Humane Society, I look forward to growing our organization and pushing our community to new heights of accomplishment. I am excited to get to know each of our employees, board members, and members of our community who work with us to save the many unwanted animals who need our help. It is only with the coordinated efforts of many that we will grow and innovate. 

Since 1969, the Greater Huntsville Humane Society has been a pillar in our community and has worked tirelessly to create a humane environment for all animals. GHHS has created many programs that ensure the humane treatment of animals no matter their circumstance. From King’s Kitchen, which provides food to low-income pet owners, to the Pet Wellness Clinic, which provides low cost veterinary care, GHHS has always been a champion for animal welfare. I have been incredibly inspired by this work and look forward to continuing these programs while establishing new ones that will offer more needed services in our community. 

Anne Caldwell - Chief Executive Officer, GHHS Staff

I can’t wait to get started, get to know each of you, and make a difference! I hope you will all join me on this exciting endeavor and look forward to seeing just how much we can accomplish.

All my best,

Anne Caldwell

The Pet Wellness Clinic is held every 2nd Saturday of the month. The program was started in April of 2018. Volunteers Gayle Henley and Rochelle Sexton have headed up this program that has served more and more animals each month. Rocket City Mobile Vet, (Dr. Rene Holt) provides the discounted services for the animals. We are very excited about the progress of this program and the number of animals that it serves.

Ryan Hillenberg

Ryan grew up in Guntersville.  She has a BS in Animal Science and has worked with animals for 12 years as a vet tech and has worked in various shelters.  Ryan is also a Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator and has been involved with wildlife rehab for a number of years.  Ryan has two precious children

Vickie Young

Vickie is our new Volunteer Coordinator.  She grew up in Huntsville.  She attended Baylor University and graduated with a BA/BS in Education and Biology. She then attended Chattanooga State to study Veterinary Technology.  She worked for the State of Tennessee as a Wildlife Biologist.  Vickie is a Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator.  Vickie’s spare time is spent with her two little boys.

Niki Sakatis, Animal Care Technician

Niki, a former GHHS volunteer, has joined our Animal Care Staff. She is originally from Michigan and is currently studying Chemical Engineering at UAH. Niki loves animals and in her free time, enjoys drawing.

Adam Whisnant, Animal Care Technician

Adam has joined our Animal Care Staff as an Animal Care Technician. He is a senior at UAH studying Computer Science. He loves being at GHHS with all of the animals. In his spare time he enjoys programming and video games.

Chyna Barksdale, Summer Intern

Chyna is a student at Ross Medical Education Center pursuing her degree as a Veterinary Assistant. She will graduate in July and will be AVA certified. Chyna has a Great Pyrenees service dog named Atlas. In her free time, Chyna enjoys gaming.
The Huntsville Hounds on Transport made two trips to Hagerstown, Maryland to deliver dogs to the Humane Society of Washington County (HSWC) in the spring. On March 30th , one staff member along with a volunteer transported 19 dogs. On May 18th, a staff member and a volunteer transported 18 dogs. All of the dogs were adopted quickly. The average stay for our dogs that we transport to HSWC, is 4 days. GHHS is thankful to Jerry Damson Automotive Group for providing the van for our transports. The program is enabling GHHS to save more lives each year.


“I want a Puppy! I’ll feed him and walk him. Sissie will clean up poop. I’ll take good care of him. Mommy you won’t have to do anything except buy his food and take him to the veterinarian.”

That is how it starts. A wonderful pup is found at a shelter and joins the family. But the pup begins to bite the kids and won’t come when called. He eats his toys; runs through the house with Dad’s socks. There are often ‘accidents.’ Something must be done. Who, you ask, is this task going to be given to? Why Mom of course. She is the caretaker and this little fellow needs some caretaking.

Puppies are wonderful creatures. Every day is a new adventure for them. There’s nothing like puppy breath. But, (there’s that word again) they are a lot of work. Positive puppy training is the answer. There is no secret to having a well-mannered pup. You just have to help them understand what it is you want them to do and be consistent with training. Everyone in the household must participate. Everyone needs a job from the youngest child to teenagers and Dad. Each person can work on a specific behavior and when the pup ‘has it’ that person can teach other family members to use the chosen cue word, like ‘sit’, when to ‘mark’ the behavior by saying yes or ‘click’ and give a treat. Daily walks and playtime can be divided among family members.

I’m sometimes asked “Why do I have to give my dog a treat? He should do things because he loves me.” So, I ask “do you get a paycheck when you go to work? Would you continue to go to work everyday without getting a paycheck?” Treats are rewards for you pup having done the behavior you asked for. Over time the treats may stop.  But there’s always a reward whether it be a toy or pets. 

Our pup? He and Mom are going to puppy classes. He’s learning how to ‘sit’ and ‘down’ and beginning to learn about ‘come when called’. More importantly he’s learning what the acceptable behaviors are in his home. He’s learning how to play with other puppies. In class they are playing ‘Pass the Pup’ so he learns that human hands are for petting not chewing, and that he can give up his toy or anything else in his mouth when asked. On a walk whomever is walking him has time to let him sniff and check out his surroundings. He has a well fitted harness so he’s not choking on his collar when he races ahead. Life is easier and more fun for Pup and his family. There will be some hiccups. There will that moment when he’s cued to ‘sit’ and he just looks at Mom. But, in time, with training Pup will become a great family dog.


GHHS and the Huntsville Madison County Public Library have partnered to bring a new exhibition titled To the Moon: Snoopy Soars with NASA to the Downtown Huntsville Library.  The exhibit opened on June 3rd and will remain open through July 27th.

Just before the first man landed on the moon, Charlie Brown and Snoopy soared through space with NASA’s Apollo 10.   The Peanuts characters’ role in that flight and in the NASA Manned Flight Awareness safety program had begun.  

The flight of the Apollo 10 in May 1969 was the “dress rehearsal” for the lunar landing that was scheduled for July 1969.  Astronauts Thomas Stafford and Eugene Cernan piloted the lunar module “Snoopy” within 50,000 feet of the lunar surface as they scouted the landing area for Apollo 11 while John Young orbited the moon in the command module, “Charlie Brown.”  

NASA approached Charles Schulz in 1968 with a request to use Snoopy as their safety mascot.  The Silver Snoopy Award program was instituted to improve the safety record of NASA employees.  The pin is a highly regarded award.  Snoopy, the first Beagle in space, has been on the job for 50+ years and continues today in his role as NASA’s safety mascot.

Visitors to the exhibit will see Snoopy’s trip to the moon in the March 1969 Peanuts strip series and learn about NASA’s Silver Snoopy Award.

The exhibit is sponsored by RUAG Space USA Inc., Colonial Printing and The Huntsville Library Foundation.

(updated thru July)

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