Bay County Humane Society prepares to open new thrift shop

PANAMA CITY Fla. (WMBB) — After the Bay County Humane Society’s former thrift store building was destroyed during Hurricane Michael, the non-profit felt homeless for the time being. 

The thrift shop is a major source of revenue for the Humane Society being they do not receive grants from federal governments and have to survive solely on local donations.  

The group was able to secure a new building back in January, but have not been able to open due to financial troubles caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has also forced the Humane Society to temporarily close the doors of their animal shelter in order to survive long term. 

Now thanks to a generous donation from The Panama City Beach Chamber of Commerce, the non-profit organization is working toward getting back on their feet. 

Each year the Chamber host’s their golf classic and then chooses one organization to donate the profits to. This year they chose the Humane Society knowing the obstacles they have faced over the years and looking to help in any way they can.  

President of the Humane Society, Mary Gauden, said they are very grateful for the help and ready to get back to doing what they do best – helping Bay County’s animals.

“I’m excited about getting through that process and getting to see the completion and being able to open our doors and share it with the public and get people in and use that momentum to be able to get back in and get the shelter operating,” said Gauden.

She said they are starting to get products in the store and are looking forward to reopening both the store and the shelter. The new store will be located at the Panama Plaza on 15th St. in Panama City.

She said they are planning a grand opening to coincide with the two year anniversary of the hurricane.

by: Anna Hoffman

Posted: Sep 1, 2020 / 04:47 PM CDT

Updated: Sep 1, 2020 / 11:08 PM CDT

Humane Society Thrift Store Secures New Location

by: Melissa Thomas
Posted: May 29, 2020 / 06:30 PM CDT / Updated: May 29, 2020 / 06:30 PM CDT

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — So close to moving into a new location after being destroyed by Hurricane Michael in 2018, The Bay County Society Thrift Store was once more hindered by a disaster.

Finding a new spot in the Panama Plaza, earlier this year, the store was planning to move in as soon as possible and get set up. Right around that time COVID-19 shut the country down. The thrift store was unable to move forward and the Humane Society Shelter for animals also had to close down, no longer accepting animals or processing adoptions. Those services are not yet being offered.

Shelter Manager, Lauryn Gill, said the thrift store helps fund the shelter operations and it is hopeful they can get the thrift store back up and running by late June.

Humane Society leadership said volunteers are welcome to help set the store up when the process begins, asking that people call ahead to set up meeting times, 850-215-7120. They said monetary donations to assist with setting up the store would also be appreciated.

There is also yard sale solely benefiting the shelter tomorrow.

“We are asking shoppers to bring/donate one food item: cat, kitten, dog, or puppy food. Please bring one food item per person.”

Other services like dog baths, nail trimmings, and more will be offered during the day without an appointment needing to be made.

View article here.

The Humane Society of Bay County hosts Community Day

By Julia Daniels | Posted: Sat 7:31 PM, May 02, 2020  | Updated: Sat 11:03 PM, May 02, 2020

BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) The Humane Society of Bay County hosted its first Community Day Saturday morning. The special day was put in place after the shelter had to close last Sunday, and people in need could no longer walk in during normal business hours and pick up pet necessities.

The animal shelter will still be hosting low cost shot clinics and other community days in the future. (WJHG/WECP)

“Being that we are temporarily closed, we have had time to go through what we have and separate what we need and what we don’t need. We have plenty of stuff here for the shelter, so when we do open back up, we are not going to go without. This is just everything that we don’t need that we have an abundance of,” said Lauryn Gill, shelter manager.

President of the Humane Society of Bay County, Mary Gauden, said these programs are needed to keep the circle of giving going.

“We are a community organization, and we are funded by the community, so it’s always been part of our mission to give back,” said Gauden.

The Humane Society does have criteria you must meet in order to participate in the giveaway based upon welfare, income, and household size.

“If your check is short, it happens, and we are here to help. We aren’t charging anything, we are just giving it away,” said Gill.

“We want to keep the pets in homes, not have to be in shelters, so that’s what this program is really about. Making sure that person that needs help doesn’t have to choose between feeding and giving up that animal,” said Gauden.

The line at the shelter was long.

“Everyone has been really sweet and understanding. There is that wait, but people are sticking it out with us. For those that have appointments, we are doing it appointment-based, but also walk up. Of course, we will help those who have that appointment set first, but if you just hang tight, we will get to you next,” said Gill.

The main concern of the shelter is monetary donations. They are not accepting food or supply donations at this time, but they are in need of monetary donations, so when they do open back up, they can stay open.

For more information on donations and upcoming events, you can visit the Humane Society of Bay County Facebook page.

Copyright 2020 WJHG. All rights reserved..

Humane Society and Local Animal Hospital Team up for Holiday Pet Photo Shoot


By Stephanie Byrne | Posted: Sat 8:43 PM, Nov 24, 2018

The Humane Society of Bay County is hosting holiday photo shoots for families and their pets this season.

Four-legged friends had their pictures taken at Breeze Animal Hospital in Panama City Beach Saturday.

For a $20 donation, people could receive 3 unedited photos. For $30, they could get 5 edited photos.

Donations benefit the Humane Society.

“This is a big fundraiser for them as much as we can, especially close to the holidays and we love it and this has worked out wonderful, especially right after what we just went through with the storm, so all we can do is help them and that was great,” Peggy Wilson, Hospital Manager for Breeze Animal Hospital, said.

Leslie Jones is the volunteer photographer.

If you missed Saturday’s photo shoot, no need to pout or cry.

Your next chance to capture holiday moments with your pets is December 1st from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Humane Society of Bay County. – View article here.

Dog Separated from Owner During Hurricane Michael Gets the Reunion He’s Been Waiting For

October 30, 2018 04:23 PM

Patrick Burns and his family endured a dog owner’s worst nightmare while away on vacation.

The family from Panama City, Florida, arranged for a pet sitter for their three dogs while they were gone, but then Hurricane Michael hit their hometown. Forced to evacuate, the pet sitter had to leave the family’s three dogs behind.

The family returned home to discover their house and possessions had been lost during the natural disaster, and worst yet, Quinn, their smallest dog, was missing.

But Quinn wasn’t gone for good — just lost. Cory Bruckschen found the fluffy dog wandering the wreckage left behind by the storm while he was looking for his own missing dog. Based on Quinn’s appearance and demeanor, Bruckschen knew the dog had a family who was likely looking for him.

In hopes of reuniting the family, the dog-loving do-gooder took Quinn to the Humane Society of Bay County, where the ASPCA and the Florida State Animal Response Coalition were leading emergency sheltering operations for animals displaced by the hurricane.

After talking with the rescuers, Bruckschen agreed to care for Quinn until the canine’s true owners were found. When Burns came by the same shelter a few days later with a picture of Quinn, disaster responders were able to tell him they recognized Quinn from meeting the animal a few days prior.

The ASPCA arranged for Bruckschen and his family to bring Quinn to the shelter to reunite the pooch with Burns and his family. For both groups is a was a ray light after days of disappointment. And not to fear, the Bruckschens received a happy ending their own, too, finding their own missing dog not long after saving Quinn.

View article here.

Humane Society of Bay County Urge Residents to be on the Lookout for Strays

“We have seen several reunions here, and those are the best part about it,” said Ehren Melius, the shelter director at ASPCA.

Officials say donations have been coming in regularly, and 25 responders on the ground are helping rescues find their way back home.

“We were able to mobilize our response teams into the area,” said Melius. “We partnered up with the Florida State Animal Response Coalition – they invited us in for assistance. , and we were able to stage places close by so as soon as the storm passed we were able to mobilize resources.”

While there have been several reunions, many families in the area have no choice but to give up their animals – due to lack of resources or relocation.

“We are getting some surrenders, and we are getting people who have lost everything,” said Melius. “They’ve lost their homes. They’ve lost family members, and they’re not in a position to hold onto their animals.”

If you have a lost animal, post the information to

For detailed information on resources available, go to

Individuals looking to report missing or stranded animals, contact the Hurricane Michael pet hotline at 1-800-738-9437.

View article here.

Family reunites with Lost Dog after Hurricane Michael


BAY COUNTY, Fla (WJHG/WECP) – The Burins lost pretty much everything due to hurricane Michael, their home, personal belongings and their 5-year-old dog, Quin.
but the family didn’t lose hope.

“Quin being Quin, you ever see the old picture, live you’re life like the gate was left open…that would be Quin, and we have been looking for him ever since, knocking on every door, just working around the neighborhood, because I was convinced he was alive and with somebody, Quin’s owner, Patrick Burins said.

Thanks to good Samaritans, Quin was returned to the Burins. The Bruckschin found him among all the rubble and debris while they were searching for gas.

They called the Bay County Humane Society, but decided to foster Quin because the shelter was overcrowded.

“We nick named him Mikey from the storm, Hurricane Michael, and we called him hurricane mike,” Cory Bruckshin said.

They too lost their home and dog, but found him shortly after.

“You know we couldn’t imagine what that family was going through because we only lost our dog for and hour, they’ve lost them for days…we are just excited we are able to help in this time in the devastation,” Marla Bruckschin said.

With all the damage and devastation both families have gone through, this happy ending is glimpse of hope.

“The house and possessions are no big deal, I mean it’s horrible, but we are very lucky that we are all safe and i got my guys back,” Patrick Burins said.

The ASPCA and the Florida State Animal Response Coalition, are the two groups operating the emergency shelter at the Humane Society of Bay County and facilitating reunions.

Article here.

The ASPCA and Bay County Humane Society are Rescuing Displaced Animals

By Jordan McCool  | 

Bay County, Fla (WJHG/WECP) – While many people have lost their homes due to Hurricane Michael, many have also lost their pets.

The ASPCA has a search and Rescue team in Bay County. Their headquarters are at the Bay County Humane Society (1600 Bay Avenue in Panama City).

They have been here since Hurricane Michael and have been on the been bringing in lost animals every day.

If you are looking for a lost pet, you can go to the Bay County Humane Society located behind the panama city police department.

Now if you see an animal that appears to be missing, you can call their hotline.

ASPCA Hurricane Michael Pet Hotline: 1-800-738-9437

They will hold the animals for 30 days and then send them to shelters across the country to help them find forever homes.

Here’s the article.