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Believe in Anthem AZ holding second annual pet food drive for Anthem Pets


Elizabeth Medora

ANTHEM – Local pets are getting a helping hand from mother-daughter community non-profit Believe in Anthem AZ.

For the second year in a row, Believe is holding a pet food drive for local animal rescue Anthem Pets. Donations are being accepted now through Aug. 10 at PostNet in Anthem.

Teenager Sabrina Seifert got the idea for a pet food drive after attending a community meeting and hearing that Anthem Pets was in pet food donations.

“I was at this meeting, and I heard that Anthem Pets was in need of pet food,” Sabrina shared. “So after the meeting, I said, ‘Hey Mom, I think we should start a drive for Anthem Pets.’ That’s how it started.”

Last year’s drive netted 575 pounds of dog and cat food, as well as 30 cans of wet cat food, treats, and 155 pounds of cat litter.

“This food drive, and the donations we receive throughout the year from supporters like Walmart here in Anthem have a huge impact on the organization, as it keeps our operating costs down and replenishes our supplies,” said Anthem Pets volunteer Lisa Kilwein. “Feeding our pets in foster care shouldn't have to be a burden for our foster families. These donations make it possible for us to rescue more animals and support more families.”

Donations of pet food and other supplies, like toys and cat litter, can be dropped off at PostNet. Once the donation box fills up, PostNet workers call Anthem Pets, and volunteers pick up the donations to be stored.

“All collected food items will be brought to a central location here in Anthem, where volunteers will re-bag the food in 5-gallon bags,” Kilwein explained. “A large portion of the food will be donated to families in the area with financial needs. It’s amazing how many people can't afford to feed their pets right now. The remaining is kept on reserve for our Anthem Pets fosters to feed the pets that are in their care.”

This is pet food drive is just one of Believe in Anthem AZ’s many community projects.

“We recently adopted a park in Anthem, so we are responsible for cleaning up that park and reporting any vandalism landscaping issues,” described Wendy Seifert, Sabrina’s mother. Believe has done food drives, drives for donations for veterans, knitted and donated hats for hospitals and neo-natal units, and recently held a toy drive for HonorHealth to provide toys for children in local hospitals.

“We like to participate in as many random acts of kindness as we can,” Wendy said.

Wendy noted that much of last year’s food drive donations went to families who were in need after the New River flood in August 2014.

“Most of those supplies went right out to people in need,” Wendy said. “It made us very happy that we were able to help in such a big way.”

Anthem Pets’ need for donations is evident right now, as they have many homeless cats and kittens needing care.

“Our growing need couldn't be more evident this year, during kitten season,” Kilwein noted. “In the last two months, Anthem Pets has rescued more than 61 newborn kittens, and the season isn't showing any signs of slowing down. Thirty-nine of those kittens have been adopted so far, and we still have 23 in our foster system waiting to find their forever home. That’s a lot of mouths to feed! Without the help and support of this community, we would never be able to feed or fund the care of these sweet babies.”

As part of the drive, Sabrina is encouraging people to stop by the donation box at PostNet, drop off pet food, and take a selfie while there and tag it #FoodForFido. They are advertising the drive through Believe’s Facebook page, BelieveinAnthemAZ.

“It’s really great to help such a great organization as Anthem Pets,” Sabrina emphasized.