Kelli Bender

kelli bender head shot

Kelli Bender is the Pets Editor for PEOPLE Digital and PEOPLE magazine. She has been with the PEOPLE brand for more than eight years, working as a writer/producer across PEOPLE's Lifestyle, Features, and Entertainment verticals before taking on her current role. Kelli is also an editor on PEOPLE's Stories to Make You Smile and serves as an editorial lead on PEOPLE's World's Cutest Rescue Dog Contest and Pet Product Awards.   Before joining PEOPLE, Kelli helped AOL and Whalerock launch a pet lifestyle site called PawNation. She is a pet parent to a cat named Wallace, and her professional and personal devotion to animals has taken her to three dog weddings ... so far.


PEOPLE, a Dotdash Meredith Brand, delivers the most trustworthy celebrity news and captivating human interest stories, connecting you to the pulse of American culture. Since our first issue hit stands in 1974, we have been striving to tell compelling stories about the people behind the issues, as opposed to just the issues themselves. We are your everyday escape, taking you inside the lives of intriguing stars, newsmakers, up-and-comers and ordinary people doing extraordinary things. We serve and delight you by providing ideas about beauty, food and style through the lens of the people influencing the trends. And we are a force for good by telling stories of hope, optimism and kindness that drive conversation and inspire action. Learn more about us and our editorial guidelines.

Latest from Kelli Bender
America's Vetdogs photos
Veteran Shares How Canine Related to George H.W. Bush's Service Dog Changed His Life in 8 Weeks
pregnant dog survives rattlesnake bite
Pregnant Dog Survives Rattlesnake Bite and Gives Birth to 7 Puppies Moments After Her Rescue
Adoptable dogs named after Taylor Swift songs
Rescue Saves 24 Dogs and Names Pups After Taylor Swift to Celebrate Singer's N.Y.C. Shows
Dog birthday party
Photo of Over 30 Perfectly Posed Pups at Dog Birthday Party Wins Contest: 'Patience Is Key'
Donatello the Shelter Dog
Pit Bull Overlooked by Adopters for 4 Years Is Still Hoping to Find a Best Friend and New Home
nikki the german shepherd rescued with stuffed animal/ pet post
German Shepherd Spotted Alone in the Rain Clutching Stuffed Animal Is Rescued with Her Toy
zoo elephant rescue and relocation Katie Bryden-World Animal Protection
Elephant Isolated in Captivity for 35 Years Makes Friends Instantly at New Sanctuary Home
Strawberry the unicorn dog Credit: Instagram/@strawberrytheunicorndog
Scared 'Unicorn Dog' with Bump on Her Head Becomes Loving Local Celebrity with Rescue's Help
beach alligator
Large Alligator Swims Out of Ocean and onto Alabama Beach Surprising Visitors — Watch!
fire department rescues tiny puppy
Itty Bitty Dog Rescue Committee! Firefighters Save Tiny 1-Week-Old Puppy Stuck Under Texas Deck
wild hog piglet birth at disney world
Disney World Celebrates Mother's Day Early With Adorable Piglet Birth at Animal Kingdom
Goat greeting and yawning against trees
Loud, Annoyed Goat Mistaken for Human Screaming for Help by Oklahoma Police — Watch!
Cat gets stuck under shower during renovation;
Firefighters Tear Up Bathroom After Pet Cat Gets Stuck Under Shower Floor During Renovation
Handler Janice Hays poses for photos with Buddy Holly, a petit basset griffon Vendéen, after he won best in show during the 147th Westminster Kennel Club Dog show, Tuesday, May 9, 2023, at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Buddy Holly the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen Wins Best in Show at the 2023 Westminster Dog Show
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 14: Pekingese dog "Wasabi," Best in Show winner of the 145th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, visits The Empire State Building on June 14, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Empire State Realty Trust, Inc.)
The 5 Dogs Breeds with the Most Best in Show Wins at the Westminster Dog Show
Winston, the French Bulldog, winner of the Non-Sporting Group, competes in the 147th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show Presented by Purina Pro Plan at Arthur Ashe Stadium on May 08, 2023 in New York City.
Westminster Dog Show Winners! Meet the Canines Competing in Westminster's Best in Show Round
Trumpet the bloodhound
Top Dog! 17 Years of Best in Show Winners from the Westminster Dog Show
Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show
The Westminster Dog Show Is Back! Here's How to Watch Every Minute of the Canine Competition
Pit bull
Pit Bull Who Overcame Spine Fracture Hoping for Home on Specially-Abled Pet Day After 2-Year Wait
Dog Meat Rescue Dogs Find Homes
17 Golden Retrievers Among the 22 Dogs Rescued from Dog Meat Farms and Flown to U.S. to Find Homes
Patches the Cat Update
Patches the 40-Lb. Rescue Cat Is Adjusting Wonderfully to His New Home and Viral Fame, Owner Says
ginny the dog
Rescue Throws Big Goodbye Party for Newly Adopted Dog Who Spent Over 1,000 Days at Shelter
Ralphie the Demon Dog New Home. Courtesy of Jason
'Demon' Dog Ralphie Excels at Agility Training After Adoption: 'He's Going to Do Amazing Things'
In this handout photo provided by NYC Parks on February 20, 2023, an approximately 4 foot long alligator is tended to by Parks Enforcement Patrol and Urban Park Rangers, at Prospect Park in the Brooklyn borough of New York City on February 19, 2023. - Alligators inhabit Florida and the humid southeast of the United States: much further north, in New York, one was found alive, but in a very poor condition, in a pond in a Brooklyn park, the city announced on February 20, 2023. The rare discovery of the animal, probably abandoned by its owner, was made Sunday morning in the lake of Prospect Park.
Emaciated Alligator Rescued from Cold Lake in Brooklyn's Prospect Park Dies, Zoo Officials Say