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.

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.

Pet Owner Reunited with Dog After Being Separated by Storm

BAY COUNTY (WMBB) – The Bay County Humane Society is working hard to reunite pets and owners separated by the storm.

Friday morning, a Bay County resident was lucky enough to be reunited with his dog Quinn.

The owner, Patrick, tells WMBB that his family had an appointment in Atlanta ahead of the storm and left their dog behind, not knowing the lurking danger of Michael.

Patrick says he had a home sitter lined up to watch the dog, but when the storm struck, everything got disrupted.

Friday, he reconnected with Quinn at the Bay County Humane Society.

If you are looking for your pet, you can head over to the Humane Society at 1600 Bay Avenue, behind the police department, to check.

By: Howard Thompson

Posted: Oct 19, 2018 12:58 PM EDT See article here.

Alba Cheer Team Collecting Supplies for Four-Legged Victims of Hurricane Michael

By: Jennifer Messick Rogers

Posted: Oct 19, 2018 12:10 PM CDT

BAYOU LA BATRE, Ala. (WKRG) – Cheerleaders are used to raising school spirit. This week, the cheer team at Alba Middle School wants to do a little more, by helping four-legged victims of Hurricane Michael.

The cheer team is collecting pet food and supplies for pets who may have been left behind or lost during the category four hurricane. All donations will be delivered to the Humane Society of Bay County, Florida, which will be in charge of distribution.

Donations will be collected on Friday, October 26 at Alba Middle School at 14180 Wintzell Avenue in Bayou La Batre.

See story here.