The Pongo Fund

The Pongo Fund is Oregon’s only full-time charity fighting animal hunger. Because hungry people have hungry pets. We work tirelessly to reduce shelter populations and keep families together by providing emergency pet food assistance to those struggling to keep their own pets fed, protecting beloved family pets from the suffering, starvation, surrender, abandonment or worse, when a lack of food, but not a lack of love, is their only enemy.

Begun during the deep recession of 2009, our award winning and volunteer driven group has provided more than 21 million meals for 175,000 hungry pets belonging to more than 70,000 families throughout Oregon and Washington. People who love their pets just like you do. People who might even be your friends and your neighbors. Proud people. People struggling to keep both themselves and their animals fed.

Because at times like that the food box filled with people food suddenly becomes pet food. The cans of tuna and carton of eggs become cat food; the package of ground beef and cans of chili become dog food. Same for the cans of macaroni and cheese, soup, oatmeal, rice, pasta and more. Food that is not a healthy diet for hungry pets. But it is food that is desperately needed for hungry people. People that continue to go hungry because feeding their pets is more important than feeding themselves. Because pets are family too.

But thanks to The Pongo Fund things have gotten a lot better in Oregon and Southwest Washington. Because with our help thousands of people with thousands of pets are still together. Thousands of beloved dogs and cats still at home and not in shelters.

And that’s because The Pongo Fund’s emergency pet food distribution network was there to help when help was needed. Help that we provided for more than 100 human focused food banks and food pantries, shelters, government agencies and other groups in dozens of Oregon and Washington counties that depend on us as a trusted food and referral resource to help their own clients.

Respected groups including Oregon Food Bank, Oregon Department of Human Services, Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs, Oregon Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence, Portland Adventist Community Services, 211, Human Solutions, Meals on Wheels, Oregon Humane Society, West Columbia Gorge Humane Society, Snowcap Charities, Salvation Army, P:ear, St. Vincent dePaul, Neighborhood House, West Women and Children’s Shelter, Clackamas Women’s Services, Bradley Angle House, Rose Haven, Union Gospel Mission, Potluck in the Park, Marion-Polk Food Share, Willamette Humane Society, Curry County Animal Shelter, Kenton Women’s Village, Dignity Village, Catholic Charities, Clackamas Service Center, Estacada Food Pantry, Cannon Beach Food Pantry and many more all count on The Pongo Fund.

But maybe the best way to appreciate our work is to hear what others say.

Judy Alley, Executive Director of SnowCap Community Charities, one of Oregon’s largest food charities, said it well when she said: “We partner with many organizations to accomplish our mission, but The Pongo Fund is one of the best. They alone are seeking to assure good quality nutrition for the pets in our lives. And they enable us to provide what low income pet owners need and deserve—the ability to feed everyone around the table.”

Best Friends Animals Society is one of America’s most admired organizations. This is what they said about The Pongo Fund: “The best way to reduce shelter populations is to keep animals out of the shelters to begin with. The Pongo Fund has developed that very program. They’re doing something innovative in Portland that’s making a huge difference.” 

The Pongo Fund was established in honor and memory of our dear friend Pongo, an almost 19-year-old canine gourmet who lived his years with zest and enjoyed making each and every meal a culinary adventure. The photo above is Pongo on his 18th birthday. In his memory, The Pongo Fund gives a chance to animals that might not otherwise have a chance and gives hope to families that might have little else to be hopeful for.