12 Days of Meeting the Need 2016

As 2016 winds down, we at the Pet Pantry of Lancaster County are looking back at some of the amazing things we have been able to do while "Meeting the Need" in 2016.  We hope you enjoy this Countdown as we showcase something different each day from now till New Years Eve.

#1: The Most Amazingly Extraordinary Community of Lancaster!!!!

For the past three years the Pet Pantry has participated in the Extraordinary Give. This brilliant brainchild of the Lancaster County Community Foundation has grown into a spectacular 24 hours of Giving event. This year the Pantry was hoping to garner $30,000 in donations. We were left amazed, speechless, and humbled when YOU helped us shatter that goal and bring in over $40,000 to help us "Meet the Need". The money will be given to us in January of 2017, and you can bet that we will be using it to completely help even more families and their pets right here in Lancaster County. So once again...THANK YOU LANCASTER!!!!

#2: Our Little Champion "Adley"

We all have a soft spot for the wee ones that come in and need all the support they can get. Such was the case with little "Adley" Found by a Good Samaritan who brought her to us at the Pantry, it appeared that she did not have full use of her back legs. While the flesh may have been a little weak, her spirit was more than willing and we gave her the time and support to slowly regain that function. As we gave her more time, something else appeared to be amiss. There was an incredibly large mass in her tiny abdomen that was pressing on other structures. The mass involved one of her kidneys and so emergency surgery to remove the mass and the kidney were performed that night by our veterinarian. While her prognosis appeared guarded at best because of such a major surgery to undertake at such a young age, our little "Adley" showed a true fighting spirit, and recovered quicker than some adult cats that need to have major surgery. She was purring and bouncing around her cage the next day!! Over the next few weeks she continued to heal up completely and we just could not keep her contained anymore. Finally ready to go out and explore the world, she was adopted by some wonderful people and now rules her new kingdom!! She also inspired our very own animal rescue fund that was named in her honor...so that the funds would be there to help others who, like her, just needed a chance to show what they could do with some help. Here is to you little "Adley". May your story be an inspiration to all out there!!!

#4 and #3: The Local Lancaster Rescues We Have Helped

Most already know of the great vet care we offer to the public in the realm of spay/neuter and case by case in depth medical care. However, one of things we are most proud of (and need to take up 2 days worth in the countdown) is the relationships we have forged with so many local smaller rescues in the Lancaster area to provide basic and more in depth veterinary care for their animals. This collaboration with rescues such as PA Boxers, One Dog At A Time, Last Dog Rescue, Pitties Love Peace, Lost Paws, Mostly Mutz, ORCA, and others has allowed all of these rescues to help more animals that come through their facilities to be adopted out because we can provide the vet care they need at a reduced cost. We are looking forward to working with these and other rescues in 2017 and beyond to be able to help as many animals right here in Lancaster County!!

#5: Free The Vet

We all know the vet at the Pantry, Dr. Langlois, has done some amazing things to help all animals in need. Well, turns out in July he needed a little help of his own, bail help to be exact. After being found guilty of running an illegal Dog Poker Playing ring, he was sentenced by the Judge to 48 hours of dog crate confinement during which time he was required to raise 10,000 dollars to help programs at the shelter. It was an interesting and fun time had by all. While not reaching the 10K goal, enough was raised to provide the Pantry with the funds needed to purchase an anesthesia machine and surgery table for their mobile unit that will be hitting the road in 2017. Unfortunately, we hear that Dr. Langlois might have run afoul of the law again. So be on the lookout for another dog crate sentence potentially coming in 2017.

#6: Meeting the Most Desperate of Needs

We never know what will walk through our doors at the Pet Pantry, and one one cool spring morning this year a young woman walked in and asked if there was any way we could spare some food for her two dogs. As we talked to her we learned that she was caring for a lovable lab and a special needs Jack Russel Terrier. What we learned soon enough though, is that this woman had just lost her job and suffered a funding crisis making it necessary to ;live out of her car temporarily. Well, of course we could not say no to that. We went ahead and got her all the food she needed, and she even told us right at the end that the Jack Russell with special needs was also a therapy dog for her. It is funny how sometimes the ones we need to rely on the most are of the canine variety. The Pantry is always there to help people in their most desperate times of need, and this time was especially desperate for this woman. It is why we are here, and why it makes our countdown.

#7: Giving Three Families the Christmas Miracle of Having Their Dogs Back With Them For the Holiday

Sometimes the most precious gift of all during the Holidays is being able to be together with family. For some people, their pets are just that. This year, in the 2 weeks leading up to Christmas, we were able to provide life saving surgery to three dogs. "Lovey", "Chewie"(both pictured), and "Eddie" had infirmaries that required major surgery. In the case of "Chewie" and "Lovey" it was a tumor on the leg that had grown too big to remove, necessitating a leg amputation. For "Eddie" it was having hip surgery after getting hit by a car. In all three cases these families had been suffering from some hard times and just could not afford regular vet care. The Pantry was once again there to "Meet the Need" though and through intensive and dedicated care by the entire veterinary staff, all three fully recovered from their surgeries and were able to be home for the holidays with their families. Without the Pantry, these dogs faced an uncertain future likely ending in Euthanasia or surrender to a shelter. Because the Pantry was there, that is far from the case. We are so proud to be the organization that was there to make sure "Chewie", "Lovey", and "Eddie" have many more great Holiday Memories to create with their families in the years to come.

#8: The Kindness of the Children

We have said time and time again that the Pantry would not exist without the generosity of the community. What has surprised us all is how many young children have gotten in on the donating. When a lot of kids would normally want toys or the latest gadget for their birthday, some have shown maturity beyond their years in wanting people to provide donations to the Pantry instead of presents. One such special little girl is Megan, pictured, with her family. She wanted donations instead of gifts for her birthday and we completely forgot to post it when she did. So Megan, we apologize for the oversight and showcase your great generosity and giving spirit now for all to see, as an example of all the amazing kids who decided it was better to give to those in need than get gifts for their Birthday!! THANK YOU!!!

#9: The Blizzard of 2016

While many state that these last few months have been the warmest on record, we also will never forget the epic blizzard of 2016 and all the "fun" our team had digging out the Pantry afterward. Fortunately, thanks to our fearless (some might substitute "crazy") Medical Director, Dr. Langlois, who bravely stayed overnight for two evenings at the Pantry during the storm, all our critters were quite well taken care of. In fact, many of out feline friends never even knew there was a worry since they had the most awesome sleepover party this side of Catnip Heaven.  It truly was an epic storm that we at the Pantry will never forget.  We were also happy to be able to be right back an open a day later to continue to help Meet the Need of those who truly needed it as they were digging out.

#10: 1,000 Feral Cats Through our TNR Clinic

#10 in our Countdown is about the Feral Cat Trap/Neuter/Return (TNR) program we run at the Pet Pantry. For the first time this year we have topped 1,000 cats coming through the Program!!! From basic spay/neuter to caring for injuries and illness in some of them, the Pantry has been there to care for these outdoor warriors of the Feline World. Just because they may be feral or stray doesn't mean they deserve any less care than owned cats. The Pantry is proud to be one of the only organizations in Lancaster with a dedicated TNR program that is able to serve so many. It also helps with public health as all the cats in the program are vaccinated against rabies. That's a lot of cats, and we look forward to doing even more!!!

#11: The Millersville Parade

Our 12 Days of Meeting the Need Countdown continues with #11: The Millersville Parade. Sometimes being there to Meet the Need means getting out there to let people know you exist. We had a ton of fun doing that this year by participating in the 20th Annual Millersville Day Parade. "Chance" was decked out in his best Golden Era of Film directors outfit and our float celebrated all the great animal stars of the Silver Screen. We also were able to give out a ton of treats and information about the Pantry to all those great families that lined the parade route and cheered us on. Our float even won 2nd place in the contest netting us a small cash prize that we will put right back to helping those animals in need in Lancaster County.

#12: Our Pal "George"

 #12 is about our pal "George". He was brought in by a dedicated feral caretaker who noticed that he showed up at his colony feeding spot one evening. Realizing he was ill and suffering from various injuries, "George" was brought to the Pet Pantry. We took him in and quickly realized that he was suffering from FIV as well as an old injury to his hip. His eyes also appeared to be affected by some long standing issues. It quickly became apparent that it would be nearly impossible to adopt "George" out considering all of his needs. However, the Pantry had a spare room upstairs that quickly became his "penthouse sweet". A little standoffish when he first meets you, he turned into quite the love bug and purr machine when you took the time to get to know him. He enjoyed many an afternoon out on our screened in porch enjoying the sunshine and the good life. Sadly, because of more severe complications from his FIV infection, we had to say goodbye to "George" last week. It was a very sad time for all of us, but we took pride in knowing that we were able to give him the best life possible. The Pet Pantry is here for cases like "George", and we were so happy we were the organization that could help him enjoy the last few months of his life in the warmth and love of the Pantry. Just because he could not be adopted didn't mean he had to be denied a chance at a comfortable rest of his life. This is what "Meeting the Need" in Lancaster County is all about, and the Pet Pantry is the organization that has shown it can do it.