Happy anniversary AHS! Arizona Humane Society marks 60 years in the Valley

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(Source: Arizona Humane Society) (Source: Arizona Humane Society)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

The Arizona Humane Society is marking a huge milestone. The shelter has been finding new families for homeless pets for 60 years now.

When it comes to puppy love, you could say it is just in Hanna Forstrom's blood. Her mom, Shelly, says Hannah got it from her, and she got it from her mom, Cricket.

“My mom and dad were kind of crazy because there are four of us kids and as soon as they would have a new child, they had to go get a new pet,” she remembers.

“I do animals because they can't speak for themselves,” adds Cricket.

And that love of animals means these three generations all give back to the Arizona Humane Society. “Mostly I worked on the Compassion with Fashion fashion show,” says Cricket.

They are not only involved with Compassion with Fashion fundraiser, but also volunteer the spay-neuter clinic, and Hannah takes part in summer camps. 

But for Cricket, it is personal.

Just a year after the Humane Society opened its doors in Arizona back in 1957, the shelter came to Cricket’s rescue. “We had this wonderful Irish setter collie mix,” she says, “Phoenix at that time, we didn't have fences around our yards. So my wonderful Caesar wandered off. And my mother immediately called the Humane Society.”

And that is exactly where Caesar had ended up. “She came home one night with Caesar and we were all happy, happy to have him,” Cricket remembers.

But since then the Humane Society has become much more than a place to find lost pets, says spokeswoman Bretta Nelson. “And that means adding more programs to our trauma hospital, like our parvo puppy intensive care unit. Our bottle baby kitten intensive care unit. We are taking on those tough medical cases, behavioral cases, because those are the animals that need us the most.”

All are supported by volunteers like the Forstroms, who are carrying on a tradition of giving a voice and second chances to Valley animals.

“I don’t think we can even fathom what the Valley would be missing if we lost the Humane Society, from low cost spay/neuters to microchipping, to reuniting families with pets,” says Shelly.

Cricket adds, “It's very, very fulfilling.“

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