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Otmj Thursday, March 12, 2015

over the mountain journal ❖

Pet Friendly Humane Society CEO Works to Give Unwanted Animals a Chance at Life By Liz Ellaby Allison Cornelius was having a hard time

calming an exuberant German shepherd brought into her office to demonstrate a point. The 85-pound female purebred was a recent stray who wandered onto someone’s porch in Warrior. Cornelius, a consultant who in January was named CEO of the Greater Birmingham Humane Society, read a list of medical findings from the dog’s intake sheet. Beside the usual parasites and a scar grimly outlining a chemical burn, the dog had tested positive for heartworm -- a virtual death sentence in the shelter world due to the protracted and expensive course of care. “If she had been found as recently as six weeks ago, this dog would have been euthanized. Period,” Cornelius said. Small city impounds don’t have the money or space to rehabilitate such animals. And saving pets wasn’t a priority of the privately-run Birmingham-Jefferson County Animal Control, whose contract covered impoundment of strays in Jefferson County. That all changed on Jan. 22 when the Humane Society took over the BJC’s role under a new county contract and business model generously subsidized by donors “who wanted to move the needle” on animal welfare in the county, Cornelius said. Overnight, GBHS staff scrubbed down the county’s impound facility in Woodlawn and moved in. See pet fr iendl y, page 9

Journal photo by Kaitlin Candelaria

Greater Birmingham Humane Society CEO Allison Cornelius with “Skip.” At right are a few of the animals currently available for adoption, from top to bottom: Roscoe; Sasha; Van Cooper; Isabella and Roo.


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on the mo ve Smith’s Variety is moving to Crestline Village. news page 12

Ambassador visits Birmingham for spotlight on China. social Page 14

r oc k Solid New Realtor president had varied career path. Home page 22