Who We Are

Melanie Lyons, manager, national shelter medicine

Melanie Lyons - Best Friends Animal SocietyMelanie Lyons is the Manager of the National Shelter Medicine program. Her work involves sharing her medical and animal shelter expertise by providing consultations, mentorship, and training to animal welfare organizations nationwide.

She has been working with animals in some capacity since she was 17 years old with her first job as a receptionist at a Veterinary Clinic in Salt Lake City Utah. She quickly realized working with animals was her calling and began learning the Veterinary Technician role. In addition to 20+ years as a Veterinary Technician, she has held various roles including working for a animal wheelchair company and owning a small pet supply, grooming and boarding shop.

She began her work within animal welfare in 2012 when she moved to Kanab to work at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in their medical department. She led the surgery team and was instrumental in increasing efficiency of the surgical team to more than double the capacity of spay/neuter surgeries per day. Melanie eventually moved into the role of Operations Manager for the Medical Department at the Sanctuary. During that time,she worked with Palm Valley Animal Society in Edinburg, TX with medical assessment and training support for their surgical department.

Melanie received her Animal Shelter Management Certification in 2020 while working as Assistant Operations Director at an animal shelter in Bozeman, Montana. Most recently, she worked at a Veterinary Specialty Hospital where she was a lead surgery technician and Inventory manager and is thrilled to be back working at Best Friends and working in shelter medicine.

As much as possible, Melanie volunteers with numerous spay/neuter programs for underserved communities. She is based in Big Sky, Montana where she lives with her partner and rescue dog Zip-a-dee-doo-dog.