Today I’d like to introduce you to a new feature I’m going to be rolling out on Fridays – my Animal Rescue Spotlight. Each week we’ll feature an adoptable animal who’s looking for a forever home – maybe even with you! To kick off the new weekly blog posts, I’m interviewing an amazing animal rescuer, Whitney Hall, of Bigbee Humane Society.
Y’all may know that I’m originally from Demopolis, Alabama, in Marengo County. I still have deep ties to the area, and one of those ties is to the local humane society and all the good work they do. I’m so impressed with anyone who dedicates their lives to rescuing animals, whether it’s their day job, a volunteer effort, or simply a dedication to help out when they come across an animal in need. Animals enhance–and sometimes even save–our lives. I’m grateful to the people who do the hard work of saving animals’ lives in return. If there’s anyone that you’d like to spotlight for the work they do to help animals, please let me know. Together, we can save the world, one happy ending at a time.
I’m so excited to introduce y’all to Animal Rescuer Whitney Hall of Bigbee Humane Society! I’m so proud of her, because even though the work she does is hard and often thankless, she’s still committed to saving the world, one happy ending at a time. Here’s what she has to say about her rescue organization and how she got started:
Bigbee Humane Society started in 2010. Their main focus at the time was spay and neuter. However, shortly after starting, they realized how many dogs were being euthanized at local pounds because there was nowhere for them to go. That is when BHS started to build a physical location. From 2010 to 2016 Bigbee was located behind City of Demopolis animal control. It was not ideal for several reasons. In the summer of 2016, we were given an amazing offering to move our dogs to an acre of shady property in the country. We began the relocation around April, and it took us until summer’s end to complete our move. More than 5 years later, we are still a work in progress.
Bigbee Humane Society is a small group of about nine dedicated volunteers. Most of us work full time jobs, and rescue/foster on our “off time.” We also have three ladies who dedicate their time to run our thrift store. We honestly could not survive without their help. We all play a significant part in successfully operating Bigbee Humane Society.
Since 2014, with the help of some amazing rescue partners, our local animal controls and pounds have not had to euthanize any dogs due to overcrowding because we’re able to provide them with assistance. We are pretty proud of that. Our primary focus is assisting unwanted, dumped, and stray animals in Marengo County, along with offering spay and neuter assistance. We do assist other counties as well. We just do not have the space or volunteers to do more.
How it all began: In November of 2013, I saw a social media post from Bigbee Humane Society concerning dogs in Demopolis animal control that were set to be euthanized the following Monday. Bigbee was completely out of space in their kennels, and Animal Control had run out of room. Neither were to blame, but dogs were going to die if someone didn’t step in and help. So, the next afternoon I adopted a big, black, cropped-ear pit bull. I knew nothing of his temperament or any back story, but I knew from reading statistics that dogs like him were the last to be adopted, so I picked him. I named him Apollo. (He is about 10 yrs old now.)
I couldn’t quit thinking about all the other dogs in need of home at the shelter the day I adopted Apollo. So, 3 months later, I started volunteering at Bigbee. They had posted a plea for help putting out hay in preparation for the upcoming cold weather, and I responded. I ended up being a regular volunteer with Bigbee. The volunteers at the time had very little help and were struggling. I never imagined the day I started how hard it was going to be. Rescue work is incredibly draining both physically and mentally. However, we’re managed to save on average about 550-600 dogs a year. There are probably that many or more in need every year that we are unable to help though. Unfortunately, Marengo County does not have a county animal facility, but we do the best we can. Knowing you’re making a little difference keeps us all going.
When I started volunteering at Bigbee, there were quite a few “long timers” at the shelter. It was heartbreaking knowing they had waited so long for homes. I vowed to myself the day I started volunteering that I would do everything in my power to find every single one of them a home. It took me until February of 2020, but it happened. We had a little celebration at the shelter. It was truly an amazing day!
Bigbee Humane Society operates solely on donations from our supporters and the revenue generated by our thrift store. I’m honored to be part of such an amazing rescue group and thrilled by how incredibly blessed we are. If you’re interested in making a donation to Bigbee Humane Society, our mailing address is PO Box 474 Demopolis, AL 36732, PayPal is email@example.com or Venmo is @bigbeehumanesociety. We are a 501c, so all donations are tax deductible. You can also choose Bigbee Humane Society to receive donations from Amazon (based on a percentage of your Amazon purchases) through Smile.Amazon.com. Please be sure to visit and like our Facebook page too!