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A Foothill Focus Article by David Murphy

Meet Forest

Early life wasn’t too easy for Forest the cat. At just a few weeks old, he was found alone in the street, underweight and ill. He was taken to the Arizona Humane Society showing symptoms of severe gastrointestinal distress. Though his diagnostic tests came back clear, Forest spent all his time at the shelter isolated from other cats for fear he was contagious.

After six weeks with no improvement, a local Anthem-area woman named Megan was assigned to foster Forest for a few days with the hope he could gain enough weight to be neutered. When began brought Forest home, she realized he was still very sick. She contacted the Humane Society to discuss options for treating him, however she was told they could do nothing more for Forest and that he would be put down in a matter of days if they could not find a home for him. Megan, however, was determined to care for Forest. “I had the choice to take him back to
the shelter to be euthanized or have him signed over to me,” said Megan. “I chose the latter.”


Since Forest’s medical tests showed no sign of parasites or disease, Megan took it upon herself to try the simplest solution — she changed the brand of food he was eating. His health improved immediately, and he began to gain weight. She helped Forest learn some socialization skills, which were lacking after all the weeks he spent in isolation, and just a little while later Megan’s personal vet gave Forest a clean bill of health.

In June, Megan reached out to Anthem Pets, a 501(c)(3) animal rescue center in Anthem, AZ. Her goal was to get help in finding Forest his forever home. Touched by Forest’s story and Megan’s commitment to him, Anthem Pets volunteer Jessica Harris jumped to action. “[Megan] was such an advocate and saved his life when no one else wanted to try to help him anymore,” Jessica said. “Animals need us to be their voice, and doing nothing silences that voice.”

Jessica began searching for a new foster family to care for Forest, and she was very pleased when several people showed interest in him. She sifted through the inquiries trying to find the
best fit for his needs and personality and settled on a family who quickly came to love Forest and decided to adopt him.

Pets’ Journey to Their Forever Homes

Anthem Pets is no stranger to success stories like Forest’s. Founded in 2005, the rescue believes every pet deserves a loving home. Every animal that arrives at Anthem Pets receives comprehensive care, including necessary medical attention, vaccinations, and spaying or neutering. Their team of compassionate volunteers is committed to finding the perfect match between pets and their future families, taking extra care to screen and counsel applicants to ensure both pet and adopter are prepared for a fulfilling and lifelong companionship.

Through Anthem Pets’ efforts, abused and abandoned animals get a second chance, and many lost pets are reunited with their owners through the use of a Pet Hotline and a very active Facebook page. In July 2023 alone, Anthem Pets is proud to have rescued 25 pets and found loving homes for 17 pets.

Fostering a Lifeline of Love

Anthem Pets offers an impressive fostering program to provide temporary homes for animals that need extra care, help with socialization, or time to recover after medical procedures. This crucial bridge allows pets to flourish in a home environment while they wait for their forever families to find them. Anthem Pets’ foster families play an integral role in providing love, stability, and nurture to these animals, setting them up for a successful transition into their permanent homes.

Community Engagement and Education

Anthem Pets is not only focused on finding homes for animals but also dedicated to building a compassionate community. Through various outreach programs, workshops, and educational initiatives, the rescue promotes responsible pet ownership, animal welfare, and the importance of spaying or neutering pets. By partnering with local schools and community organizations, Anthem Pets fosters empathy and kindness towards animals, nurturing a future generation of responsible pet owners.

Anthem Pets Relies on Anthem’s Community Support

As a nonprofit organization, Anthem Pets relies on the support and generosity of the community to continue their vital work. There are several ways to get involved, from volunteering your time at the shelter or their events, making donations, or providing much-needed supplies. By contributing to Anthem Pets, you become an advocate for the voiceless and play a significant role in their journey towards a better life.

Anthem Pets is a shining example of the power of compassion and the incredible impact that a community can make when they come together for a common cause. Through their unwavering dedication, this remarkable organization has transformed countless lives, offering hope, love, and a second chance to animals in need. As we celebrate the heartwarming work of Anthem Pets, let us remember that every life they touch is a testament to the extraordinary bond between humans and animals — a bond that enriches our lives and makes the world a brighter place, one paw at a time.

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