Joey and Veronica Kennedy

Joey and Veronica Kennedy - partners in life and partners in advocacy

Joey and Veronica are partners in life and partners in advocacy. They became actively involved in animal rescue about five years ago; in the past, they had volunteered at different times as literacy tutors and Court Appointed Special Advocates.

Both Joey and Veronica are veteran journalists, each spending four decades as newspaper reporters and editors. Joey is a Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial writer who spent the past year writing about animals for Al.com. As an adjunct instructor, he teaches composition and American literature at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and he is the back-page columnist for B-metro magazine. He also is featured each week on Alabama TV.

Joey is a former contributor to Redbook magazine as well as to several literary journals. He has visited Belize and El Salvador with church mission groups, and he accompanied mission groups to Cuba a dozen times.

In addition to the Pulitzer Prize, Joey and his colleagues were finalists for the top award on two other occasions. He was named Alabama's best columnist five times. He has received the Incarnation Award from Beloved Community Church for his work toward immigration reform. In December, he received the Abe Krawchak Award from the Greater Birmingham Humane Society Auxiliary for his efforts to improve the lives of animals in this state.

Veronica taught composition, literature, and newswriting at as an adjunct instructor at several area colleges, including UAB, Birmingham-Southern College, and the Birmingham Center of Faulkner University. While at The Birmingham News, she was a finalist for the Penny-Missouri Award for feature writing, and in addition to several Associated Press reporting citations, she received the Aldo Award for fashion writing.

She is a freelance editor and social media marketer through V. Kennedy, Ink. In that capacity, she has worked with numerous clients, including Pig the Unusual Dog. She created a 2015 wall calendar for Pig's Foundation, which almost sold out; and she has helped Pig's Facebook page to more than 87,000 likes.

The Kennedys have been married 36 years. They live on Birmingham, Alabama's, Southside with their grumble of rescue pugs as well as other dogs and a cat.


Animal Advocates of Alabama is an advertiser-supported website that is the source for all things animal in Alabama -- companion animals, in particular. You'll read about current issues affecting animals in our state, as well as articles offering expert advice on caring for your pets and feature stories on people who are working to make a difference in the lives of animals in Alabama. Sadly, Alabama has a poor reputation for the way animals are treated. We want to work with individuals and community leaders throughout the state to improve the lives of animals, whether it be through spay/neuter, unchaining, rescue, transport, etc.

You'll find new stories on ALanimals.com every day -- and on most days, we'll offer more than one new story. In addition to this website, Animal Advocates of Alabama has a Facebook page. You can also find us on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google+.



Our Contributors

Kathy Buttram

Kathy Roe Buttram

Kathy Roe Buttram is a former editor and writer for the Orlando Sentinel. A native of Alabama, she earned a master's degree in journalism from the University of Alabama and is now an advertising consultant in the health-care industry. Kathy and her husband, former U.S. District Judge Dean Buttram Jr., work to make life better for animals in rural Alabama. They live with lots of cats and dogs in Centre.

Marilyn Padgett Greely

Marilyn Padgett Greely is a native of Birmingham. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies and studio art with a minor in English. Besides working at Southern Research Institute and Southern Progress/Time Inc., she also worked under the tutelage of Dr. Mark Hickson at The University of Alabama at Birmingham where, with Dr. Hickson, she co-authored "Organisation Communication" a college textbook published by Allyn & Bacon, the educational division of Simon and Schuster, New York. Among other achievements, she has a portrait of jazz great Cleve Eaton as a part of his permanent exhibit in The Alabama Music Hall of Fame in Muscle Shoals.

Her real passion focuses on the care and well being of lost, abused, abounded, neglected and starving animals. "In my work with Animal Advocates of Alabama, I hope to help draw attention to this statewide problem,” Greeley said. “If my efforts help save more than a few animals a week, well, that's a start, and I will feel good about my contribution."


Abby WitthauerAbigail Witthauer

Abigail resides in Birmingham, Alabama where she owns Roverchase, a large dog training and care facility.  Abigail has been training dogs professionally for 15 years.  Abigail is one of the most certified animal behavior professionals in the southeast.  She is a Certified Canine Behavior Consultant, a Certified Pet Dog Trainer, a Victoria Stilwell Positively Dog Trainer, and a member of the Pet Professionals Guild.  Roverchase is the only Bond-Based Choice Teaching Facility in the state of Alabama.  Abigail and resides with several animals, most famously, Mr. Big the Chihuahua (Instagram @MrBigChihuahua). www.Roverchase.com

Johnny-NorrisJohnny Norris

Johnny Norris, a Talladega native, received a BA in political science from Birmingham-Southern College, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He has a law degree from the University of Alabama School of Law, and was on the Board of Editors of the Alabama Law Review. Johnny represents plaintiffs in cases involving environmental contamination and consumer rights. He also is a progressive blogger on the subject of Alabama political, tax, and constitutional reform He and his wife Missy have three dogs, two cats, and an unconscionable number of fish, and are both passionate about animal rights. He has stated, "We have a social contract with our pets. They give us unconditional love for their entire lifetime. In exchange, we owe them the happiest and most comfortable lives we can provide them."

Merritt MilamMerritt Milam

Merritt Milam, is the founder and head trainer at Wags ‘n Whiskers, a comprehensive pet care facility that is located in the heart of Homewood, Ala. She is an Animal Behavior College certified dog trainer with an accreditation in pet psychology.