Pictured are Anthem Pets volunteers during the Saddle Up for Paws fundraiser.
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Pets in need? Anthem Pets is there

Staff Report~ 9/17/2014

ANTHEM – In animal emergencies, local residents know who to call: Anthem Pets. Built as a small grassroots volunteer organization nine years ago, Anthem Pets has become known throughout the north valley as the go-to organization for lost and found pets.

Anthem Pets lost its founder Barb Ward-Windgassen a year ago. Ward Windgassen, who passed away from cancer last year, instilled dedication to animal welfare in Anthem Pets, and the current volunteers show that dedication in their hard work for the animals of the north valley.

Under Ward-Windgassen’s lead, Anthem Pets grew into more than a rescue – Anthem Pets became a well-rounded animal welfare program, providing education and resources to the community and promoting responsible pet ownership. Anthem Pets began supporting the community in other ways, including low-cost shot and microchip clinics and bagging pet food for pet owners in need.

After Ward-Windgassen’s death, Anthem Pets volunteers were at a loss, trying to accomplish their rescue goals. The memory of Ward-Windgassen provided inspiration for the volunteers. In a memorial article for Ward-Windgassen written just after she died, Anthem Pets vowed to “carry on her passion and promise to continue her work to find loving, caring homes for pets and to be the voice for animals on earth.” A year after her death, the dedicated volunteers of Anthem Pets honor her legacy by continuing to work around the clock for the animals she loved. 

Anthem Pets has grown significantly and is now represented by a Board of Directors and several dozen volunteers. The group meets monthly at the Anthem Civic Center to brainstorm outreach, fundraising, and coordination strategies. The rescue’s Web site, www.anthempets.org, and Facebook page are also active and provide resources for those who have lost or found a pet.

To help out the hard-working volunteers of Anthem Pets, start by liking the Facebook page and stay updated on lost and found animals in the community. Anthem Pets is eligible for donations through the Fry’s Community Rewards Program and AmazonSmile – sign in with an email address and select Anthem Pets as your organization, and they will donate a percentage of the price of your purchases to them.  You can also donate through the smart phone app WoofTrax, which donates money to the rescue of your choice every time you walk your dog.  Visit www.anthempets.org/donate/ for other ways to donate.

Interested in volunteering with Anthem Pets? Email anthempets@yahoo.com for more information. For lost or found pets, call the 24-hour hotline: (480) 287-3542.

Look for Anthem Pets at upcoming community events, including a microchip clinic on Sept. 27 at St. Rose Catholic Church, an outreach booth at AutumnFest, and holiday gift wrapping at Wal-Mart, the Outlets at Anthem, and Barnes and Noble at Happy Valley Towne Center.