Annette Simmons Maddox has loved animals her entire life. She’s provided a home for a number of rescue dogs and cats through the years.

Some time ago, Annette began hearing how dog treats were making dogs ill. That news planted an idea in her head. She thought about it, and one day went into the kitchen and went to work. The result was healthy, gourmet dog treats for dogs.

“I started making treats for my own dogs at first, and then I started giving some to my friends, and their dogs liked them,” said Annette. “I gave some as Christmas gifts to my friends who had dogs.”

Annette is a member of the board of directors of S.A.V.E., an organization that helps pay for neutering and spaying for Calhoun County dogs and cats if the owners can’t afford it.

“I’m a big proponent of neutering and spaying,” she said.

Annette researched a name for her treats and -- no pun intended -- the name SNIPS had not been taken and seemed appropriate for her product.

Ten percent of what she brings in goes to S.A.V.E.

Instead of not knowing what was going into treats purchased at stores, she came up with ingredients for her own. Many of the treats she makes include peanut butter and pumpkin.

“The dogs go nuts over them,” she said. “I’m working on different flavors. It’s basically like human food, but I don’t put any meat in them. They’re more like a vegetarian treat. They have whole wheat flour and that kind of thing.”

Annette said she has friends whose dogs have allergies, and they’ve asked her to come up with a treat for them. She also is working on developing treats for cats. Anyone wanting to purchase SNIPS or learn more about the product can call Annette at 256-452-8153.

She offers discounts when bigger amounts are purchased. One woman buys 10 dozen at a time and puts them in the freezer to give to her dog. If they’re to be given as gifts, Annette packages them and she also packages them for the freezer. She hopes to sell them at the Jacksonville Farmers Market eventually.

Annette currently has five rescue animals. The dogs are Carter, Carlisle and Pepper. The cats are Big Willie, a 25-pounder, and Psych, who made his home at Pet Smart for a long time. One day Annette and her daughter, Anna, decided to bring Psych home with them.

“I can’t get any more (animals),” she said. “Their food bill is higher than mine, but I love animals. My ultimate goal is to have a rescue ranch close to Jacksonville, filled with all sorts of critters.”

Anna is a 2013 graduate of Jacksonville High School. She’s currently living in Birmingham and working at Pet Smart. Anna wants to be a financial adviser and is attending the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) where she will be a sophomore in August.

Annette was born and grew up in Anniston. She graduated from Anniston High School and attended Jacksonville State University. Her mother and step-father are Judy and Scott Manners of Jacksonville. Her father, Rudy Simmons, lives in Ohatchee. She has two brothers and sisters-in-law, Rusty and Becky Simmons of Jacksonville and Daniel and Leah Simmons of Anniston.

Annette is excited about a job with Healthy Horizons magazine she’s recently accepted. As events coordinator for the publication, she will arrange events in five Alabama cities as well as Hilton Head, S. C., and west Georgia.

The job will allow her to work from home most of the time coordinating fund raisers, family type events, and health fairs. The magazine, said Annette, gives advice on healthy living for all ages.

The magazine will host a poker run on July 12 at Harley-Davidson in Oxford to raise money for Children’s Hospital in Birmingham. There will be activities for the entire family to enjoy. 

Annette wrote a column, Small Talk, for The Anniston Star for 10 years. Prior to the closing of the chemical weapons incinerator at Bynum, she was maintenance secretary. She also worked 11 years for an employment service.

“I’m better at working with people than I am at shuffling papers all day,” she said. 

Annette is on the board of directors of the Visual Arts Society at Jacksonville State University. She’s a member of the Funkalicious Alabama Kudzu Queens, a social and community service organization made up of 27 friends who raise money for charity.

She is a distributor for Young Living Essential Oils and is a Mary Kay consultant.

She enjoys outdoor concerts, music festivals, traveling, gardening, reading and writing. She likes books written by Jen Lancaster and Chelsea Handler and enjoys writing poetry, specifically Haiku, a Japanese form of poetry. She’s currently working on two children’s books.

Annette likes to cook, and she likes to try new recipes. She gets many of her recipes from the Food Network, magazines and cookbooks.

Annette sometimes prepares Summer Corn Salad, Redneck Delight, Insalata Delight, and Cornbread Cakes.

“I have no idea why they’re called Cornbread Cakes, as there is no corn or cornmeal, but my friend Cindy McLeod gave me the recipe,” said Annette. “I don’t care what you call them, they’re good.”


Summer Corn Salad

  • 4 ears fresh corn, removed from cob
  • 1 cup fresh peaches, peeled and chopped
  • 6-8 fresh radishes, sliced very thin
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 1 T. good extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 T. apple cider vinegar
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • Fresh ground pepper

Combine corn, peaches, radishes and mint in bowl. Add olive oil and vinegar, then toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately. (Also can be made ahead of time, but don’t add the oil, vinegar, salt and pepper until right before serving.) Makes about 4 servings.

Redneck Delight

(To make after you’ve grilled your dinner)

  • Glazed donut (Krispy Kreme works the best)
  • Vanilla ice cream

Place donut on hot grill, about 1 minute per side (long enough to get grill marks.) 

Remove donut from grill and place a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. Serve immediately. Sounds crazy but it’s really good.

Insalata Caprese

  • 10 oz cherry or grape tomatoes, cut lengthwise
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella cheese (I use the little balls – bocconcini)
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped (measure after chopping)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • Fresh ground pepper

Combine tomatoes, cheese and basil, then drizzle with oil and vinegar and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. You can serve immediately, but it tastes better if you refrigerate it for at least a few hours first, and stir before serving.

Cornbread Cakes

(Makes 24)

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 t. vanilla

Mix all ingredients and bake in muffin tins at 350 for about 25 minutes.

Contact Margaret at