Gathered around a tiny table in the corner of a local café a decade ago, Melody Sanders and her co-founders were committing to meet the unspoken needs of animals in Lancaster County. The inception of the organization was based on her love for animals and has grown into a transformative animal welfare organization that serves hundreds of families and thousands of animals in need.
With a background in both entrepreneurship and animal rescue, Mel knew the dedication it took to make an idea succeed and she approached the creation of the Pet Pantry of Lancaster County with that level of zeal.
Like many of us, her love of animals began in childhood with a bevy of beloved family pets. Mel’s philosophy early in life was that “pets are family and are forever.” Mel believes that each animal that comes to the Pet Pantry of Lancaster County is worthy and deserves a home that shares her same philosophy.
The Pet Pantry was founded on three core services – to fix, feed, and rescue animals in need. Food insecurity is one of the leading reasons why a beloved family pet would be surrendered to a rescue. Mel knew this issue could be addressed by providing services with dignity. The organization provided emergency and longer-term pet food assistance to those in need in order to ensure pets remain happy, healthy, and safe in their homes and with their loving families.
Animal overpopulation was another issue Mel and her team recognized, and began to diligently address. In order to help keep pets healthy by reducing pet overpopulation concerns, the Pet Pantry expanded from a pet food bank into offering Lower-cost Spay/Neuter and feral cat Trap, Neuter, Return (TNR) programs. These services are provided with the intention of removing barriers to accessing exceptional veterinary care. Lastly, was ensuring that animals in need of loving forever homes were given the chance they deserved to find those families. Each year the Pet Pantry helps place over 450 animals in need of love and care into homes that share Mel’s core philosophy.
Following ten years of dedication to animals in need, today, the Pet Pantry of Lancaster County celebrates a decade of saving stray, sick, and injured animals. All of this has been possible through the intention, care, and passion of one woman’s commitment to empowering animals to thrive by listening and responding to their unspoken needs.