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My Birthday Wish

Today is my birthday. And my birthday gift to me is taking this moment to say thank you to you. To each and every one of you. Thank you for caring about the animals. Thank you for loving the animals. Thank you for being the voice for the animals. For they too deserve to be heard.

My birthday wish is to see the end of animal abuse. End it forever. Finished. Kaput. Done. To stop any and all animal suffering. To end the agony that these majestic friends far too frequently endure when people choose to do bad things. Or simply, when people do not take the time to understand.

May we someday find a way to educate those who bring harm so they can learn what they have done is wrong. So that someday, they too can celebrate and enjoy the unconditional love of an animal friend.

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” — Mohandas Gandhi

For my birthday this is my wish. Because the animals deserve that wish. For each and every one of them. Whatever they are. Wherever they are. For they deserve better. Especially for those already gone at the hands of abuse. That have suffered. That have known pain.

May they rest in peace. Running on rainbows. Sleeping in clouds. May they know the smiles they brought. May they know they were loved. And that they will not be forgotten.

Please know that every wish I wish for the animals I wish for the people too. Adults and kids alike. Because we share this fine earth together. Even for those who bring harm and may not seemingly deserve that wish, I still wish it. Because that wish brings hope.

And with that wish, I hope today will bring a better day for all. For all animals. For all creatures. For all people. For all beings. For all living things great and small. That is my birthday wish.

“You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.” — Mohandas Gandhi

On my birthday I thank every single person who fuels The Pongo Fund forward. Getting up and showing up time and time and time again to make a difference for those less fortunate. There are far too many names to mention here, but please know you are important and appreciated and loved. And at our core, you are the heart and soul of The Pongo Fund. Because everything we do, we do together.

You give with heart and you give with joy and you are the core group of dedicated souls who have defied the odds and proven that impossible is possible. And I thank you.

“Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” ~ Muhammad Ali

On my birthday I thank 21 year-old Pongo for being who he was. The grand spirit of life who knew it was all about love, kindness and joy. And great food. He lived large and he lived long and against impossible odds he thrived, outliving his years many times over. Always with zest and gusto and love. He blessed my life for many years. But the 19 years we had together were still not enough. And I miss him.

And I thank Scooby, my 22 year-old beagle buddy, for the love and friendship he brought that went beyond anything I could have ever dreamed. The love and friendship that he still brings today. Because he’s here. Not the way you think. But he is, and I know you understand. He is my compass. My guide. No matter where he sleeps at night he still is all that he was and will continue to be. My Dalai Lama. My Gandhi. My Buddha.

He has lived long enough to know what’s important and what’s not. He is an inspiration. His soul is pure. His heart is full. And I am lucky to have him as a mentor.

And I thank Lola, for her love and patience in teaching me Lola’s Way. Especially for the birthday kisses she greeted with this morning at 4am when she decided it was time to get up. The moon was full, the air warm. Lola knew that and wanted to make sure I knew it too. So we danced under the morning sky and said blessings on this first day of Spring.

“If the only prayer you say in life is thank you, that would suffice.” — Meister Eckhart

With complete gratitude to each one of you, I have the honor and privilege of doing the work that many only dream of. I am truly blessed. And with you as the wind, together we have provided more than 21 million meals and saved the lives of more than 175,000 beloved animals, keeping them safe and healthy and out of the shelters. We have fed them with great food, we have healed them with lifesaving medical care. And each time we have helped the animals, we have helped their people too. Because that’s how it works. Because we are all connected.

This isn’t about us or them; this is about doing what’s right. And if by helping one we are able to help all, then by all means, that is what we shall do.

“Ring the bells that still can ring, Forget your perfect offering, There is a crack in everything, That’s how the light gets in.” ~ Leonard Cohen

For my next year and each one of the many thereafter, my wish for myself is that I will ring more bells. That I will be more understanding. More compassionate. More patient. More forgiving. And that I will always err on the side of kindness.

If nothing else I hope that I will bring the same kind of love and kindness that our animal friends bring. Because if I can do that, I will have done well.

“I shall pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, I can do or any kindness that I can show… let me do it now. Let me not defer it or neglect it for I shall not pass this way again.” — Stephen Grillet

And one more thing. You are loved!

~ Larry Chusid, The Pongo Fund, March 20, 2021.

PS: I’ve learned over the years that many people have taken my words and reposted them as their own. But they are not. I do appreciate the compliment, but would also appreciate others including my name and The Pongo Fund in the posting. Because the words mean far less without the heart behind them. Thank you.

Sit. Stay. Eat. Live. thepongofund.org

 

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Hallelujah Montelujah

It was four years ago today. Still seems like yesterday. I see his face on my screensaver, we feel his spirit in every cat The Pongo Fund helps.

The band was ready and today Sir Monte joined them. Bowie, Prince, Glenn Frey, Merle Haggard, George Michael and of course, Mr. Leonard Cohen, greeted him with his very own Monte rendition of Montelujah. With a backup chorus of Angels too many to name, they wrapped this Sweet Babu in loving arms and welcomed him across the Rainbow Bridge and then they sang it again. Leonard said he’d never done it with Montelujah before. I heard the song, it was beautiful. Even Leonard smiled.

Now, I’ve heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don’t really care for music, do you?
It goes like this, the fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing Montelujah…

Our dear friend Sir Monte aka Monte Babu aka The Sdrabu aka Little Montecito aka Asdrubalo; he is now somewhere beautiful, peaceful, running pain free.

In Loving Memory of Monte.

Always Loved. Always Remembered.

Baci to you always, my Angel friend.

Sit. Stay. Eat. Live. thepongofund.org

#thepongofund #petfoodbank #freeveterinarycare #emergency #Portland #Oregon

#love #dogs #cats #helper #hunger #hope #joy #food #nonprofit #community

#seniors #veterans #homeless #because #Monte #grateful #thankful 

 

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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: http://bit.ly/2CVq34E.

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)
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Sometimes We Never See It Coming

Sometimes we never see it coming. Even when we think we do. At least, not this time. She lives on the Oregon coast, a salt-of-the-earth disabled woman in a leaky trailer. Small monthly social security check is all she has. She gleans, she scavenges, she does everything she can but what she does most of all is love her cat.

When COVID hit The Pongo Fund responded in force, doubling our pet food bank distribution sites to 100. Some of them were inside large local food pantries, other times more creatively placed on small community tables. Take something, leave something, those kind of community tables.

Because for a lot of people, COVID was more than a pandemic. It pushed a lot of folks over the edge, needing help for the first time. But not everyone is comfortable asking for help or going to a food pantry. But a community table? Much easier. Kind of like sidewalk shopping. Walk by, browse a bit, find what you need. We like that. Because meeting people where they are, when they are, that’s at the core of everything we do.

Because if we don’t do that, then animals go hungry. People too. Like her. Like her cat.

She’d been feeding the same cat food for years. It was the only food she could afford. Her cat ate it, so she thought everything was good. Then she ran out of food. And money. Someone told her about the community table we had set up nearby and she went there, thanks to a ride from a friend because no car of her own. She got enough cat food to last a few months, careful to make sure there was still plenty for everyone else. And there was. But with limited transportation she needed to make sure she got all she could, since she might not be able to get back again.

The food she got wasn’t what she was used to feeding. Not even close. She didn’t know anything about it except it said cat food. But we knew about it. And we knew it was some of the highest quality cat food made. Because The Pongo Fund uses only high quality foods. Because it’s important to us, because it’s important for the animals.

She called us a few days ago. Out of the blue, just another call. Or so we thought. Her call was to say thank you. That’s how we learned about her and her cat. But there was a lot more to the call. And that’s the part we never saw coming. Her voice soft, rickety. But also calm, kind. She told me everything I’ve already written above. Then a pause, and then a question.

Could I tell her where she could buy more of that cat food?

She said after feeding the same cat food for years, she thought that her cat liked it. He’d nibble at it, walking away two or three times before coming back to nibble some more. But he rarely finished, and she just assumed he wasn’t hungry.

But she said what happened next wasn’t supposed to happen.

Because everything changed when she fed The Pongo Fund food. The Nulo Pet Food generously donated by #Nulo. She said she put the same amount into his bowl and she walked away, like she always does. She’d go back to check on him a few minutes later and that was their routine. But this time when she went back to check on him, the entire bowl was empty. She said it looked like there had never been any food in it, like it was already washed.

Said her first thought was there were some other cats who had gotten into the trailer and eaten the food. It didn’t make any sense. He just sat there, looking at the empty bowl. And he would not move. She said she asked him if he was still hungry. But she never asked him if he was still hungry because there was always food left in the bowl. She said she was truly confused. So she put a few more kibble into his bowl and all of the sudden she understood what had happened.

Because he hoovered them up.

She said she felt happy and sad at the same time. Happy because she had found a food that he loved. Sad that for all those years she’d been feeding him a food he didn’t love. Even worse, it was the only food she could afford. So that very minute she decided she would begin saving money for the next bag of cat food, and this time, it would be the Nulo. And that’s when she called.

She wanted to know where to buy the Nulo cat food. In person, not online. Because she had no online. A place she could go, pay cash at the register, and then go home. Even better if she could walk there. And she was happy to tell me she had saved $10 for the purchase.

When she said $10, she could have said $1,000, because it was the same thing. Because having saved $10 was almost a miracle in her world. And she wanted to know where to take her $10 to buy another bag of Nulo.

I’ve talked with thousands of people about pet food over the years. Most of the calls are the same. But not all of them. And this was one of those.

Because what she didn’t know was that the bags of cat food she’d gotten from the community table were going to cost a lot more than $10. But I couldn’t tell her that because it would take her right back to being the woman who always needed to buy the cheapest food. The cat food she now knew her cat didn’t really like.

And I wasn’t going to let that happen.

So we worked out a deal, me and this woman. Asked her to please hang onto her $10, and we just happened to have some more of that food that we would get to her. But she wasn’t that easily fooled. She said if we do that, who does she pay? And that was a problem, because the goal was to get her the food but not take her money. So we talked some more.

We knew someone who loves day trips and that person jumped at the chance to be part of our Emergency Kibble Response Team — EKRT. She’d been on our volunteer wait list for a long time, just waiting for the chance to help. I think she might have been the most excited of all of us, when she got the call.

She asked for the game plan. Because she knew it wasn’t going to be as simple as just dropping off a bag of cat food. Not for The Pongo Fund, anyway. So we bundled together several bags of food, Enough food to last quite some time, so this woman didn’t need to worry about running out of food every month. And it would give our EKRT driver a chance to restock some community tables.

As for the game plan part, I asked if she would please take a look around and let me know how bad the situation was? The leaky trailer for example, was it one leak, or the entire trailer that leaked.

Later that day she told me what she found. The situation wasn’t a good one. Many leaks, many challenges. But she knew people in the area, and said she knew how to fix leaks. Tarps, tape. Stop the leaks now. Do more later. My kind of plan.

I waited for more from her, more details about what she saw and how it made her feel. Because sometimes being part of our Emergency Kibble Response Team is a heavy load, because it sometimes puts us face to face with things we wish we’d never seen.

I asked her the best part of the day, thinking she’d say that it felt good to be a helper. But she didn’t say that.

She said the best part of the day were the cookies the woman sent her home with.

Because sometimes we never see it coming.

If you’d like to help us keep out pet food bank stocked for the holidays, please click here: https://bit.ly/37joA5S. All donations are being doubled thanks to a generous donor.

Being a helper.

And this is why we Pongo.

Sit. Stay. Eat. Live. thepongofund.org

#thepongofund #petfoodbank #freeveterinarycare #emergency #Portland #Oregon #love #dogs #cats #helper #hunger #hope #joy #food #nonprofit #community #seniors #veterans #homeless #because #Thanksgiving #Christmas #grateful #thankful #COVID #nulo #emergencykibbleresponseteam #savinglives

 

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The Intersection

He was near the corner of a busy intersection. From across the street I watched him carefully set up dinner service for his two dogs, both of them senior Chihuahuas. First he poured clean water into bowls, then each one got a treat, then some pets, then dinner. That’s when I walked over to say hi. He’s been homeless a few days, is sleeping in someone’s backyard for now. I asked him what he needed, he said dog food. He was very specific about ingredients; he had no idea how much that meant to me. There was a pet supply store nearby, I went there and bought the food. I then asked him the same question again, what he needed, and he said he was fine. He stood there watching the dogs, he was at peace. And the dogs, they could not have been happier. I asked him what he was going to eat for dinner, and again, he said he was fine. I changed it around a bit, and this time I asked him what sounded good for dinner? He described chicken that they had at a nearby store. I asked him what was special about that chicken, and he said they could all eat it together. I’m a vegan. I didn’t tell him that. I gave him $20 for dinner and wished him a good night. This man, he was extremely soft spoken, embarrassed about their situation. He felt he’d let the dogs down. The man had no food, the dogs had plenty. The man had not bathed, the dogs were clean and happy. The man had no coat, the dogs had sweaters. And still, he felt he’d let them down. These moments break my heart. #portlandhomeless

I’ll be returning to see them again soon with all the winter gear they need.

Welcome to my world.

And this is why we Pongo.

Sit. Stay. Eat. Live. thepongofund.org

#thepongofund #petfoodbank #veterinarycare #love #Chihuahua #dog

 

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10 Years Today

It was ten years ago today, The Pongo Fund opened our doors for the first time, November 9, 2009. What began in the back of a Chevy Trailblazer has blossomed into one of Oregon’s most vital animal welfare groups. And since that day we’ve provided more than 15 million high-quality meals and a whole lot of lifesaving veterinary care, all of it for free, helping 155,000 beloved family pets stay safe at home and out of the shelters. We do it by combining two of the most critical needs in animal welfare, food and medical, and doing work like it’s never been done before.

Food and medical, those are the top two reasons nationally that animals are surrendered to shelters. Flat out, because sometimes people can’t afford to care for the animals they have. Could be any one of us. Could be any number of reasons. But hungry people have hungry pets. And that’s the problem we solve. Ten years later, our award-winning and volunteer driven group continues to provide our services free of charge; consistently and without fail. Keeping animals safe in their homes and out of the shelters, that’s what we do.

Because while adoption is good, not needing to be adopted is even better. And we’re the only group doing it this way.

Thanks to you, during this past year we were a lifesaving resource for more than 100 different social service and other groups, including humane societies, food banks, Veterans resource centers, homeless shelters, senior centers, hospital emergency rooms, domestic violence shelters, school backpack buddy programs and more. In fact, on any given day The Pongo Fund has high-quality pet food in more than 50 different satellite locations throughout Oregon and SW Washington, and our six core programs reach countless people and pets when they need us most.

Thanks to you, The Pongo Fund helps 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, thanks to programs including our Pet Food Bank, Emergency Kibble Response Team, Mobile Veterinary Hospital, Meals On Wheels, Honored Veterans Program, Emergency Veterinary Care Fund and more

Because sometimes we all can use a little extra help.

We are one group of many groups working to make a difference. But what we do and the way we do it is different than the rest. And we’re proud of that. Because we don’t need another group doing what 10 other groups are already doing. This is a time for risk taking and innovation and running into the challenge, not away from it.

Bottom line is that what we’re doing is working, and the 155,000 animals we’ve helped will be the first to agree.That’s because The Pongo Fund was there for them when they needed us most.

Because each one of you made that possible.

The Pongo Fund is powered by a dedicated volunteer Dream Team, many of whom have been with us since the beginning ten years ago; directors, advisors, veterinarians, kibble packers, community advocates and so many more. Fueled forward by a group of generous and loving donors who keep our shelves stocked. Made proud by millions of kind words that come from each and every one of you. The reality is simple. Without you, there is no us. Because we’re all in this together.

And that’s why I thank you with the biggest thank you possible. Because everything we do, we do together. Helping others like no one else does. Two and four-legged alike. Giving a chance to animals that might not otherwise have a chance and giving hope to people who have little else to be hopeful for.

We are also a solid reminder that you don’t need to be a big group with a big budget to make a big difference. We’re still the same volunteer driven group we were when we started. Small but mighty, and proud of it.

We are proud to do what we do, and we are proud to make the difference we make. But there is still so much more to do, so many more people and pets who need our help.

Which is why we will continue to push forward, working harder and smarter every chance we can, to accomplish things in a way they have never been done before. Because the old school business of animal welfare is no longer the answer.

This past year we came within 72 hours of making our biggest announcement ever. Words that would have echoed near and far for the historic change they would have brought. A few of you knew what was coming. You attended our kibble talks. You listened, we listened. Together we had a dream. And we were that close.

But things beyond our control got in the way. Yet every day since we have worked to perfect that plan, and we continue to push forward to make it happen. Maybe next year will be the year.

I’ve written too much already, and I didn’t even tell you about some of the work we did, about some of the lives we saved, about the people and pets we helped. I didn’t tell you that we won an award, the Shining World Compassion Award, and that brought us a $25,000 prize. It came at a perfect time because our shelves were close to empty after the federal government asked us to step in and help 10,000 furloughed federal workers, including Coast Guard, TSA, Customs and more. I didn’t tell you about the letter we received from the US Department of Homeland Security, telling us the level of support we provided was unprecedented.

It felt good to be of service. You helped make that possible.

I didn’t tell you about the hundreds of calls and letters and emails we received, telling us how many lives we saved. Human lives saved, by saving animal lives. Because for some people, without their pets, they would not be here.

And when a suicide crisis counselor calls to say thank you, then you know you’ve done something special.

But for all I didn’t tell you, I will tell you this. We remain heartbroken over the loss of our dear friend Howard Hedinger. He left us almost nine months ago today, and despite our continuing to drive forward and accomplish at the highest levels, it’s never been the same. Howard left a big hole, and I don’t mind telling you, it still hurts.

It hurts right now because I would have celebrated these words with Howard. I would have shared them with him before I shared them with you. And he would have read these words with tears in his eyes, because he cares that much. Cares as if he’s still here, because for me, he still is.

In honor of 10 years and in memory of Howard, one of our donors has generously presented us with a $10,000 matching gift. Meaning the next $10,000 raised will be TRIPLED.

Now it’s up to you, the very people who do so much for us already. But if you’d like to do a little bit more, to celebrate 10 Pongo years, to celebrate and remember Howard Hedinger, please join us as we work hard to raise the $10,000 to receive the match.

We have three ways to help. Please donate via our Give Guide fundraiser here, https://giveguide.org/#thepongofund%20, or via our website https://bit.ly/2oUZeYh. Or please mail a check to us at The Pongo Fund, PO Box 9000, Portland, OR 97207. As always, please do not hesitate to call or email with any questions you have and I’ll do my best to answer them.

I’ve rambled through a lot of words here, about 1,500 by the time you get to the end. And what I hope you take away, is that these words are a celebration. Because ten years ago I remember the people who told me we’d never be able to do what I said we would do. They told me we’d never make it. They told me I was a fool. Literally, a fool.

And here we are, 10 years later, with 155,000 animals alive today. All because I was a fool.

I like that.

And it’s all thanks to you.

My name is Larry Chusid, and I am deeply honored to lead this group that is making a difference in ways few thought possible. For the pets, and for the people who love them.

Saving lives since 2009.

And this is why we Pongo.

Sit. Stay. Eat. Live. thepongofund.org

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Next Adventure

These are the moments we dream about. When a community partner steps forward and includes The Pongo Fund in their generosity. As Next Adventure did recently, when they welcomed The Pongo Fund as the beneficiary of their Gear Up Your Pup event.

A few days ago Devin from Next Adventure came to The Pongo Fund to tell us how things went. She came bearing many gifts, including tasty Pongo cupcakes and a lot of gear including socks, headlamps and more. Really nice gear for us to share with those less fortunate.

She also brought a check for $1,000.

For those of you who follow the world of small non-profits, a $1,000 donation is huge. Then she stayed and volunteered for the entire shift, being face-to-face with those we help. She asked questions. She listened to answers. She was fully present the entire time.

At the end of the day we asked her how she felt about dedicating her Sunday to being a helper. She smiled the kind of smile that told two stories, both the joy and the pain. Because she was there for both. Seeing firsthand what their Next Adventure donation will mean, and then seeing those who will benefit.

It was a conflict of emotions, as being a helper often is. But in that conflict of emotions there are also many gifts. Love being the most important. We felt it from Devin. We hope she felt it too.

Thank you Next Adventure, Phido Photography and Ruffwear, for sharing your love with The Pongo Fund and the tens of thousands we help. Your kindness means more than words can ever say.

“A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal.” ― Steve Maraboli.

Being a helper.

And this is why we Pongo.

Sit. Stay. Eat. Live. thepongofund.org

#thepongofund #nextadventure #beingahelper #phidophotography#ruffwear

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Horus

Remember Horus, the 12 year-old dog friend who spends his days comforting his cancer stricken Dad during final stage hospice care? Horus, the sweet Golden Retriever who a few weeks ago developed a fast growing eye tumor that makes every day a little bit tougher than it should be. Horus, the dog who despite it all, never once complains.

Several of you stepped forward to help, along with the kind and generous folks at Salty’s Pet SupplyFang Pet & Garden Supply, and Three Paws Neighborhood Pet Supply. And thanks to each of you, surgery is set for next Tuesday. It’s a big surgery; the eye is a delicate place. Yet because of you, Horus has a chance, and that is all any of us can hope for.

In the midst of all she has going on, Horus’s Mom took the time to send a truly beautiful card, a card filled with deeply meaningful words. And right there along with her words, Horus signed his name too.

Moments like these.

And this is why we Pongo.

Sit. Stay. Eat. Live. thepongofund.org
#thepongofund

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Federal Shutdown & Hungry Animals

While the photo may not look like much, we could not be more proud of it. Because that’s part of the 2,000 pounds of food The Pongo Fund Emergency Kibble Response Team delivered today, 2,000 pounds of Canidae dog & cat food for furloughed TSA, FAA, and Customs and Border Patrol agents and employees. Nine of those furloughed employees stayed late at the end of their regular work shift and unloaded our truck. A work shift for which they earned no paycheck.

We’ve got so many federal workers reaching out for help that we’ve already provided more than 10,000 pounds of extra food this month. And in case you don’t know it, that’s a huge amount of food. And that 10,000 pounds of food is on top of all of the other help we provide throughout our regular distribution network, which now includes 50 different satellite locations. That’s right. The Pongo Fund has 50 different satellite locations.

Here’s the weird part. Those furloughed federal workers are fully employed. Asking for help is not their way. Yet their employment brings no paycheck. It’s a terribly confusing situation, both financially and emotionally. And they shared that with us, about how most of them don’t even know where to look for help. Plus they don’t have the time, as they are still working full schedules.

And that’s what made today’s delivery extra special. Because they never saw it coming. We pulled up and got to work, 30 minutes later we were gone. And next week we’ll be doing it again, as we’ve got a waiting list of another six federal locations to deliver too.

The thing is, we’re getting crushed by need, and that’s why we need your help. Because this Shutdown is hurting a lot of people. And those people have hungry pets. And all this extra help means our pet food bank is pretty much empty. And that’s why we’re getting crushed. Because so many need us. And that means we need you.

Please, if you can, please donate to help us. Because we flat out can’t do it without you. Please click here to give: https://bit.ly/2oUZeYh.

Being a helper.

And this is why we Pongo.

Sit. Stay. Eat. Live. thepongofund.org

#thepongofund #petfoodbank #tsa #faa #federal #shutdown #hunger #dog#cat

Posted on

January 1, 2019

My name is Larry Chusid. I am the founder and executive director of The Pongo Fund, Oregon’s Pet Food Bank. Pongo was my dog. I work for the day when no animal goes hungry because their families cannot afford to keep them fed. Thereby preventing the hunger, suffering, abandonment, surrender and loss of the animals they love.

We have donated more than 12 million meals throughout Oregon, Washington and beyond, helping more than 120,000 beloved dogs, cats and horses stay safe at home with their families and out of the shelters. We provide emergency veterinary care and spay-neuter too. And I am honored to do this work.

But 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 that are 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, sincere affection, 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 2019. A new beginning. A new chapter 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 all of the animals everywhere, may each one enjoy an abundance of love. To 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.

One more thing. We have a newsletter, and while we’ve only sent it twice in 9 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 read it, please click here https://bit.ly/2CIOCDc

To receive the next one in your inbox, please click here: http://bit.ly/2CVq34E.

And if you don’t like it, it’s only one quick click to unsubscribe.

Sit. Stay. Eat. Live. thepongofund.org

(Photo of Larry & Scooby, The Beagle Buddha. Photo Credit: Pauline Zonneveld)