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January 1, 2021

January 1, 2021. My name is Larry Chusid. I am the founder and executive director of The Pongo Fund, Oregon’s Pet Food Bank. Because hungry people have hungry pets. Pongo was my dog. I work for the day when no animal knows pain or hunger because their family cannot afford food or veterinary care. And I dedicate myself to this work to prevent the hunger, suffering, abandonment, surrender and loss of the animals I love.

Since our first day in 2009, The Pongo Fund has helped more than 165,000 hungry and hurting animals and provided more than 18 million meals throughout Oregon, Washington and beyond. Keeping each one of those animals safe at home and out of the shelters. Because it is the right thing to do.

We do it by providing two of the most critical needs in animal welfare, high quality pet food and lifesaving veterinary care, and we provide it free of charge, consistently and without fail, keeping tens of thousands of animals safe and healthy.

We help the animals of proud seniors, brave Veterans, the victimized, the marginalized, the unemployed, the disabled, the mentally ill, the hungry, the hurting, the homeless, and good people facing the toughest of times. That’s what The Pongo Fund does. Tens of thousands of animals are here today because we were there for them when they needed us most.

Because sometimes we all can use a little extra help.

The work I do is deeply important to me. And in order to love me as a friend or even like me as a person you must understand that animals are the best part of my life. And that my heart is broken time and time again for animals not treated with compassion and respect.

For those who do not know kind words and gentle hands.

For those who are abused, who suffer, who live in fear.

For those who recoil at the hand reaching out to pet them, for fear it will hurt them.

At my core I believe that every animal deserves good food, clean water, proper shelter, humane care and a safe and stable environment. Not just occasionally, but always. And I believe that Gandhi was right when he said “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

Today is the first day of 2021. A new beginning. A new chapter. A new day filled with all of the things that we can do, that we should do, that we must do, to make life better for the animals. And I invite you to please join me in doing these things.

For animals everywhere, may each one of them live safely and well. Without fear. Without harm. Without suffering. I wish for them to know the same love and respect from us that we know from them. And every wish that I wish for the animals, I wish for you too.

On an even more personal note, and I mean this from my heart, I am so deeply grateful to you, to all of you, for getting up, for standing up, for fighting against abuse and neglect and cruelty. For fighting the fight that sometimes seems like a lonely one. But in time, it is a fight we will win.

My name is Larry Chusid and I am proud that the animals are my friends. They make my life better. And may they always enjoy Peace, Love and Kibble.

Wishing you a Happy New Year from all of us at The Pongo Fund.

–Larry Chusid, The Pongo Fund, Portland, Oregon, USA.

One more thing. We have a newsletter, and while we’ve only sent it five times in 11 years, it’s still a newsletter. It’s not fancy by any means. In fact, it’s primarily run-on sentences lacking proper punctuation. But we would very much like to keep you in the loop as to the good work you help us do, so to receive the next one in your inbox, please click here:

And if you don’t like it, it’s only one quick click to unsubscribe. It won’t hurt my feelings a bit. Because I am here for the Animals.

(Photo of Larry & Scooby, The 1,000 year-old Beagle Buddha. Photo Credit: Pauline Zonneveld)