FREE-bruary Spay/Neuter Special for feral and stray cats

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Portland, Ore. —The Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon (FCCO) is offering FREE spay/neuter services in February for feral and stray cats. This special is in honor of Spay/Neuter Awareness Month and World Spay Day on February 27th, 2018. Now is the perfect time to spay/neuter cats to prevent litters of kittens in the spring.

Individuals who are feeding feral or stray cats qualify for this special offer, regardless of income or where they live. Services include spay/neuter surgery, vaccines, flea treatment, pain relief medication and an ear-tip for identification. FCCO will also be offering specials for pet cats the last week of February. Surgeries are performed at the FCCO spay/neuter clinic in SW Portland and are supported through generous donations from the community.

FCCO has humane live traps available to safely catch and transport cats. They will train you on how to use the traps and on best practices for catching feral cats so that even if you haven’t trapped before you’ll be successful. [see trapping video here]

Help the feral and stray cats in your neighborhood this February and support FCCO in improving the welfare and reducing the population of feral and stray cats. Clinics are held regularly Tuesday through Friday, and there is a Sunday clinic on February 18th. To schedule an appointment call 503-797- 2606 or visit feralcats.com. Space is limited, so call today.

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The Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon, a 501c3 organization supported solely through donations, is a spay/neuter program for feral, stray and pet cats living in Oregon and southwest Washington. Its mission is to improve the welfare and reduce the population of feral cats in our area. Feral and stray cat services all provided at no charge. Low cost services are available for pet cats. The organization has spayed and neutered nearly 90,000 cats since its inception in 1995. For more information please visit feralcats.com.

Spay/Neuter Awareness Month is an annual campaign by the Humane Society of the United States that highlights the importance of spay/neuter programs to prevent pet overpopulation.

Faster. Closer Pet Care When Seconds Count

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Anyone with pets knows the Murphy’s Law of super-scary sudden illnesses and panic-inducing injuries: they happen on weekends and holidays, when our primary veterinary clinics are closed. When that happens, we all want to find a good doctor, fast. We want to know
what’s happening, how serious it is, and how to fix it.

Now, no matter where you are in the greater Portland area, getting that kind of smart, fast care just got easier. In an emergency when every frantic minute counts, the trained ER and critical care staff at Cascade Veterinary Referral Center is always ready to help.

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The Portland area has several emergency veterinary hospitals, some with quick care equivalent to human urgent care clinics, and others with the specialized care and equipment of human ERs. At CVRC, you’ll find skilled ER docs with veterinary technicians and support staff all assigned to their areas of specialty, such as internal medicine and orthopedics. And they have access to diagnostics ranging from digital x-rays and ultrasound to CT scans.

“It’s pretty exciting,” says CVRC Hospital Manager Traci Delos. “There are other choices, but hands down I think we have the best location: minutes off the I-5 freeway, no side streets, and easily accessible from 205 south and 217. From wherever you are in Portland it’s easy to get to us. That’s important when minutes count.

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The hospital’s move to emergency service is largely in response to the primary care vets who send patients to CVRC for specialized care.  'Our referring doctors definitely asked for this service,” Delos says. Full staffing means round-the-clock seamless care for the most
vulnerable patients.

It’s also the realization of a longtime dream of CVRC’s founder, surgical specialist Dr. Richard Howard. He envisioned emergency care when he opened the hospital a dozen years ago. Every detail from building design to staffing decisions followed this vision. “We got really lucky with our clinician staff, ” Delos beams, “all are highly experienced with eight or more years in ER and critical care.”

While such expertise promises better outcomes for sick and injured animals, it’s also a balm for jangled, frightened humans. “Our clinic is designed around the client,” says Delos. “Sometimes they don’t know why they’re here or what will happen.” Staff members try to help with little touches like knowing the pet’s name before they arrive, and never interrupting a conversation to answer the phone: calls are answered in a side office to allow front-office staff to focus on the humans and animals present.

With other touches like same-day appointments, 24-hour access to staff, and photo updates on a pet’s condition, Delos says, “We’re also a newer ER clinic, so our wait-times are shorter, and we can get you back to your day pretty quickly.”

Adding caring human touches to state-of-the-art care, at CVRC they like to say, “We’re trusted for our care and chosen for our experience.”


The February/March 2018 issue of Spot is brought to you by:

Cascade Veterinary Referral Center * 11140 SW 68th Pkwy, Tigard, OR * 503-684-1800 * CascadeVRC.com

Smile!

Happy Mouth = Happy Pets! 

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As a Certified Vet Tech, I know better than to wait a full year before getting a dental cleaning. While working at a clinic I was on the frontline of identifying early stage dental disease. So why did I wait so long? I was lazy. When I finally went for my cleaning I had eight cavities. I almost screamed when the dentist shared this news.

Regular cleanings are just as important for your animals. While you may not be talking about cavities during your pet’s annual wellness exam, you will be discussing periodontal disease, the risk of fractured teeth, and what to expect from your animal’s dental cleaning. Being proactive with oral health should be a priority for all pet parents.

The most common disease in pets is periodontal disease, which can lead to infections that introduce bacteria into other parts of the body. Simply put, bad teeth can lead to a very sick animal. Research shows that inflammation in any part of the body can have a serious negative impact on your pet’s internal organs. 

While oral exams are conducted during all routine visits, we as pet parents are their first line of defense. Signs of problems may include pawing at the mouth, dropping food, aggression when touched on or around the face, and/or disinterest in the food bowl. Any of these symptoms warrant a visit to the Vet. It’s important to remember that animals are stoic, so it’s up to us to recognize even small indicators that may signal dental disease.

What to expect with routine dental exams and cleaning

It begins with a comprehensive oral examination to evaluate structures of the face, head and neck. Then intraoral structures are examined, including teeth and soft tissues.

Dental cleaning

Dental cleaning

Scaling and polishing are the most common dental cleaning procedures. Dental radiology (x-ray) is also extremely important, as disease can easily be missed without examining beneath the gum margin. The gum margin is the border of the gingiva surrounding, but unattached to, the substance of the teeth.  

Speaking with the experts at the Animal Dental Clinic NW (ADCNW), a dental specialty clinic in Lake Oswego, reinforced what I was taught about oral health in Vet Tech School. It also made me appreciate how very lucky we are to have outstanding expertise throughout this community.

“You care most about what’s happening under the gum-line where hidden infection and pain resides,” explains Dr. Jean Batigg, DVM, DAVDC of ADCNW. “But without x-rays you cannot see what’s most important.” Pets must be sedated to obtain quality radiographs.

The goal is to avoid pets from having to live years and years in oral pain, according to Dr. Jacqueline Myers DVM of Forever Pet Dental. "Most dogs and cats require at least annual dental cleanings to maintain good oral health. The American Animal Hospital Association recommends dental cleanings annually after one year of age for cats and small dogs, or two years of age for large dogs,” Myers says. “To be effective, this must be done under general anesthesia in a veterinary setting, and must include dental x-rays.”  

Board Certified Veterinary Dentists offer specialty services in complex cases involving dental disease or injury. In many cases, Veterinarians in general practices refer cases to specialists when, for example, the dog or cat is at a higher anesthesia risk. Some general practitioners have Vet Techs with dentistry certification on staff as well.

With that in mind, world-class animal dentistry/oral surgery is performed every day at ADCNW, whose number-one priority, according to Batigg, is oral health. Also a top concern is anesthesia safety; many ADCNW patients are over eight years old. “There are a lot of options,” says Batigg, adding that “95 percent of cases can have anesthesia.”  

At many general practice clinics throughout Portland, two board certified Veterinary Anesthesiologists, Dr. Heidi Shafford and Dr. Lynnelle Graham, monitor patients with medical risks including diabetes and anxiety. Age is also a consideration, and both doctors are experts in providing anesthesia care for older pets. They both partner with clinics and offer their services so at risk patients can be safely operated on — and this goes beyond dental surgery. 

Signs of periodontal disease

Disease left untreated in your pet’s mouth causes continuing unnecessary pain. If you see any of these common symptoms of dental problems, see your Veterinarian as soon as possible:

  • Red, swollen gums
  • Increased drooling
  • Dropping food from the mouth
  • Whining while eating
  • Loss of appetite or weight
  • Loose or discolored teeth
  • Bleeding from the mouth

Preventing dental disease

Periodontal disease is difficult to control once it has developed. The good news is, it is preventable with a combination of home dental care and annual veterinary care. 

Daily brushing is necessary to minimize calculus formation. Reduction of bacteria in the mouth can be accomplished through not only brushing, but diet, chews, and toys designed to support oral health.

Water additives with the Veterinary Oral Health Council seal of acceptance also support a pet’s preventive oral healthcare routine.

Start early! Before introducing a toothbrush, massage your puppy’s or kitten’s gums to accustom them to having their mouth manipulated. “You must train your puppy to open its mouth so you can safely check his teeth,” says Batigg.

Pets prone to dental problems

Some breeds are more susceptible to dental problems than others. The smaller the breed, the greater chance of periodontal disease. Because the teeth are closer together, plaque and tartar builds up in the space in between.  

Additionally, smaller breeds tend to live longer, giving periodontal disease more time to progress.  

[What] to chew or not to chew

An educational drawer at The Animal Dental Clinic NW

An educational drawer at The Animal Dental Clinic NW

Unfortunately, I know from experience that excessively hard chew toys like antlers are a common cause of broken teeth in dogs. This is extremely painful, and can sometimes become abscessed. I recently learned this with my dog, Walter, as he had a pre-molar extracted as a result of chewing aggressively on an antler.

According to the veterinary experts with VetzInsight, “Watch a dog with a bone and you will see he grabs it with both front paws and munches on it on the side of his teeth. Human teeth chew straight up and down, but animals chew in the back where the teeth are made to shear food into little pieces; like scissors, they go past each other. When dogs do that and crunch down on something too hard at just the right angle, a piece of the upper fourth premolar breaks off, leaving a slab. Now the teeth slide over each other like pinking shears.”  

Dos

·        Flexibility is a must!

·        Consider brands made with potato starch, which can be hydrated when they dry out (TIP: moisturize toys with a slice of bread in a food storage container)

·        Be present and aware whenever your pet is enjoying chews

Don’ts

Offer chews that cannot be ingested, which can cause a GI obstruction. Use products that can fracture a dog’s tooth, including:

·        Nylabones

·        Yaks

·        Rocks

·        Hooves, horns and antlers

Your pet will thank you for a healthy mouth! For dogs and cats to stop eating they must be in terrible pain. Schedule an annual exam now, and if you suspect discomfort or any of the symptoms mentioned above, get your pet seen right away.

And start brushing their teeth!


Anesthetic-free dentistry (AFD)

Experts in pet dentistry are very clear about Anesthesia Free Dentistry or No Anesthesia Dentistry (NAD). The American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC) simply states that an oral exam and x-rays cannot be done on an awake pet, stating: “A thorough oral health exam can’t be done on a dog or cat that is awake. During a thorough oral health exam, all surfaces of your pet’s mouth are evaluated and radiographs are taken. This allows a veterinarian to identify painful problems including broken teeth, periodontal disease or even oral tumors.”


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As a Certified Vet Tech, longtime PR veteran and content marketing expert, Christy Caplan brings her unique understanding of social and digital media to connect dog lovers to brands both on and offline. She lives with three hounds – two Doxies and a Beagle/Basset Hound mix,
who constantly teach her about life and companionship. Follow Christy at mylifewithdogspdx.com.

 

 

Try yoga with cats

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New year’s fitness resolution flagging? 

Try yoga with cats

Yoga is about being in the moment.

And nobody does that like a cat.

In recent years Portland area cat lovers have been able to see this truth in action, at yoga with cats classes offered at Purringtons Cat Lounge (home of the Meowmosa), and Animal Aid shelter for homeless pets.

Yoga with cats adds furry charm, zenful energy and playfulness to the feel-good factor of your practice. You might call it Meowga.

The experience has plenty of spontaneity. One cat might play-target a ponytail while another skitters across the gleaming studio floor around the mats. Still another feline drapes across a human outstretched in downward dog while another’s voice accompanies the instructor’s. Across the way a 20-lb furball lounges on a student’s chest. Whatever they’re up to, you can be sure that for cat lovers, felines take the zen of yoga to new heights.

Behind the fun, those hosting the classes hope that people drawn to them might just be moved to adopt a homeless kitty. Rescue professionals say that seeing cats outside the shelter environment makes it easier for people to envision them as home companions.

Courtesy of Purrington's Cat Lounge

Courtesy of Purrington's Cat Lounge

And whether you’re a beginner or advanced yoga student, instructors at both locales make classes enjoyable and accessible for all.

At Purringtons, both kitties and people “absolutely love it,” says owner Kristen Castillo. “It’s nice and quiet, and if there are any shy kitties hanging out in the back room they will often come out just to see what’s up. The cats always love visitors, and there is always an emotional benefit from being in the presence of cats.”

Rachelle Grant and her daughter caught a Purringtons cat yoga class while visiting from Vancouver BC.

“It was awesome,” says Rachel Grant. “It was a highlight of our trip. My daughter and I try to find cat cafes or cat rescues when we travel, and this was so much fun. We fully expected to like the cats, and we were so pleasantly surprised to love the yoga class too. The teacher was excellent, and her assistants were "purrfect". I wish all my yoga classes had cats!”

Courtesy of Animal Aid

Courtesy of Animal Aid

Animal Aid’s monthly yoga class is held at “our main free-roam cat room, which holds the largest number of our adoptables,” says Paige O'Rourke, Animal Aid Director of Operations. “Our kitties definitely get curious when they see the yoga mats roll out. Some like to roam around, weaving between participants as they hold their various poses. Others plop right down on the mats and make themselves at home. Of course, some observe from a distance.”

After class there’s time for playtime and visits with kitties throughout the shelter.

“Regardless of skill level, everyone is brought together by their love of cats and their desire to enjoy their company,” O’Rourke says. “Their participation directly benefits homeless animals by helping pay for their daily care needs, including high-quality food, medications, and vet checkups.”

Sounds purr-fect.


 

 

 

Yoga with Cats at Animal Aid

Find your center (and a little cat hair) by joining adoptable kitty Harriet (a yoga and parkour champ) and her friends at the Animal Aid shelter for Yoga with Cats! taught by Yoga NW instructor Bonny Chipman. Guests should take a mat and arrive at the shelter at 11:45am. Next class Feb. 18 noon-1pm. Preregistration required, space is limited.

Animal Aid 5335 SW 42nd Ave Portland | 503-292-6628 | animalaidpdx.org

Purr Yoga at Purringtons Cat Lounge

Cat Yoga started shortly after Purringtons’ opening in January 2015. Sessions run 6:30-7:30pm; with a half hour to hang out with the kitties. Teachers Alicia Johnson and Heather Klawender.

Drop in? You MIGHT luck out. “It depends. If we have an opening, we happily welcome walk-ins and have a few yoga mats for those who show up sans their own mat,” Castillo offered.

Purringtons 3529 NE Martin Luther King Blvd | 503-334-3570 | purringtonscatlounge.com


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Christy Caballero writes from the heart about all things pet-related, from a couple deer trails off the beaten path, typically juggling a cat (or two) on her lap as black kitty AsTar teeters on her shoulder and Mojo the retired Greyhound quietly calls for reinforcements!!

The Art of Animals

Part 2 in a series

The Northwest is home to amazing artists whose works celebrate animals in countless ways, from whimsical to majestic. Their subjects are diverse, as are their media: everything from scrap metal to acrylics, and from newsprint to clay and bronze. What unites them is a love of animals that led them down a serendipitous career path. Animal art chose them, they say, like a happy dog or friendly goat, landing right in their laps. 

And they wouldn’t have it any other way.


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The sculptor who created Zelda, the iconic bronze bulldog outside Portland’s Heathman Hotel, says his medium is the humblest on Earth. It comes from the ground, is walked upon, dug up, shaped and fired into a durable work, yet can still return to dirt.

Jim Gion sculpted as a child and later as a young man during wartime, serving in Vietnam. There he studied with a local sculptor who taught him to make bronze castings.

Today, with an expansive portfolio and major commissions from airlines to local churches, Gion works the Portland Saturday Market, offering $50-$100 sculptures of any form the customer chooses. “In the first month,” he recalls, “I sculpted one person and 12 dogs.” The humble dog, in humble clay, is his customers’ favorite work of art. 

artdog.info * vimeo.com/147198218 

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Alix Mosieur has been drawing and painting since age five. Largely self-taught, subjects for her still lives range from dogs, cats, and wildlife, but she says horses have been a lifelong passion.

Mosieur does commissioned work on paper, canvas, wood, and gourds. She and her husband Bruce operate their business, Red Horse Art Co, and while they do not currently have a website, you can find her work online at Etsy, and in store at The Nest in Eugene and many galleries and gift shops along the Oregon Coast.

The Mosieurs reside in Lorane, OR, along with two elderly cats, two rambunctious dogs, and two rescue horses.

redhorseart@gmail.com

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Beth Redwood’s photography carries a message. Years ago, she attended a workshop where famous photographers showed stirring photographs of endangered species. “We were told it was our social responsibility to use our photos as a tool to awaken people to their suffering,” she remembers. 

A longtime animal advocate, Redwood approached an instructor to ask about cows and sheep, pigs and turkeys. “Aren’t they suffering and scared and worth helping?” 

She thought his reply was dismissive: “That’s your thing. You do that.”

But soon she felt empowered by his comment and decided to focus work accordingly. 

“That’s when I dedicated my efforts to helping alleviate the suffering of farmed animals,” she says.            

Redwood’s photos grace books, magazines, greeting cards, and websites, always with the goal of helping people see animals in a new way, to see their “beauty and individuality.”

bethlilyredwood.com

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In Memory of Phyllis Johanson

"The brilliant person is the person who does brilliant things and tells no one." ~ author unknown

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Portland lost a real jewel of the animal community recently, when Phyllis Johanson passed away peacefully at her home, high in the West Hills, her husband of 62 years, George, at her side and her beloved cat Buster sleeping on her feet.

Born in 1925 in Sutton, Canada, Phyllis met her future husband George in 1955 in Ixmiquilpan, Hildalgo, Mexico, where they were both missionaries working to improve the conditions of the local people.

One day, George and Phyllis bonded over a kitten. Someone had tarred the poor kitten, and the two worked for days to save him.

George jokes about what occurred two weeks later. "I asked her to marry me. She said, ‘Do you like cats?’ I said yes, of course." Two weeks later they got hitched and soon established their home in Portland.

George says he saw a harbinger of his wife's soon to be vocation when a friend brought over two homeless kittens for Phyllis to choose from. Phyllis took both, and created clever hammocks out of a wooden clothes rack. Soon the Johansons had 10 cats, most found by their young son, Aaron.

Phyllis began a long and successful series of campaigns feeding feral cats around Portland. One location: the bushes in the parking lot of the City Club. For a year and a half, George drove Phyllis (who didn't drive) there every night around midnight. An accomplished artist, George says they supported each other throughout their 62 years together; Phyllis attended all his openings and inspired much of his work.

Phyllis found a new colony of needy cats at PGE Ballpark. She managed to arrange for the spay, neuter, and feeding of dozens of them. Working with the park managers, Phyllis convinced them the cats were a great asset, keeping the rodent population down. Once, she even went on the field to feed a cat during a game!

Phyllis then took her own game to a whole new level, joining forces with local vet, Dr. Ralph Plomondon, who was as passionate about pet overpopulation as she was. They worked together to change the status quo, the massive euthanasia numbers at local shelters at the time. They founded The Responsible Pet Ownership Council and did groundbreaking work, including printing and distributing low-cost spay and neuter coupons.

For about 10 years George says Phyllis gave her phone number to anyone who had pet problems. She spent hundreds of hours on the phone, day and night, counseling folks. She always said, "It is a people problem not a pet problem." George remembers one piece of advice Phyllis gave a person troubled by a barking dog next door. "Bake some cookies," she said, “and go over and talk to your neighbor and tell them their dog is lovely, but barks a bit." George still has dozens of notebooks filled with notes about Phyllis’s many cases.

Long before computers, Phyllis would spend hours on the phone, newspaper in front of her, matching lost and found pets and reuniting many pets and their people.

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Her helping heart and hands went beyond animals. Residing near the Vista Bridge (once known as Suicide Bridge), she would see folks ready to jump, and fly down the block to speak with them. She gave some a bit of cash, telling them to go get cleaned up. They always did.

Lisa Brown Sandmire, a volunteer with FRiends of Shelter Animals, another of Phyllis's projects, says, "The first time I met Phyllis at her home was so eye-opening for me. It was heartening to know there were people like that in the world. She was so plugged into the agencies and really knew how to get things done for animals."

Vida Lohnes, good friend and animal advocate, had a similar take. "In the ‘90s and beyond, I could always turn to Phyllis, look up to her, and consult with her. She had so many great ideas and was constantly testifying at agencies and hearings. One thing she always told me was to help animals, go local. She was practical, no nonsense. She was such a force.”

The list of Phyllis's accomplishments is huge, and we will never truly know all the amazing things she did, for people and animals. Very tight lipped, Phyllis never touted her accomplishments. But those lucky enough to know her knew, and so did she.


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Born in Washington, Connie Theil loves greyhounds, donkeys, cats, parrots, dogs, and crows. Now retired, Connie studies the Weimar Republic, gardens, refurnishes old furniture, rescues cats and dogs, and visits her son in Boston.

Reader Spotlight - Titan

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Note from the editor ~ Nina Kelley reached out to thank Spot after seeing “Saving the Dogs of Kauai” in the Dec/Jan 2017 edition. We thought you would enjoy hearing her personal story within the story, and photos of her beautiful survivor, Titan.

Titan became a part of our family in January of 2017. We met him December 2016 when we decided to participate in the Kauai Humane Society’s Field Trip program.

Their field trip program is a fabulous way for KHS to get their dogs exercise while also getting them socialized. You can pick out just about any dog they have for the day and they give you a leash, some dog treats, and other doggy essentials and send you out for the day. It was during our field trip with Titan that we fell head over heels in love with him. 

We didn’t take him home right away, but were able to work with the Kauai Humane Society and Hawaiian Airlines to fly him to the mainland. We are SO lucky to have him as part of our family!

Nina Kelley, Portland Oregon

In Loving Memory of 
Rusty Miller 11/18/2000 – 5/22/17

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If you are fortunate, once in your lifetime along will come that special companion.   Not that you didn’t love others before, or that you won’t love again, just that this special love will forever be etched in your heart.  This was Rusty.  I had Nick, my beloved lab, when this adorable Lhasa Apso joined the family.  They became “The Boys” — inseparable.  Rusty attempted anything Nick did, except swim!   Small only in size, he had great zest for life and found joy in making me laugh – wagging his tail when successful.  Rusty was my rock when I lost Nick and other loved ones.  Late in life, challenged by serious health issues and vision loss, Rusty was tenacious, accepting and found joy in each day. We read each other’s minds with mutual concern, admiration, assurance, appreciation and love.  This intensely dedicated happy, loving soul, enriched my life immensely.   His gift of a life well lived and shared will forever remain in my heart and soul.

 —     Rick Miller, Portland OR

Pongo Fund rolls out mobile vet hospital

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The Pongo Fund, Oregon and SW Washington’s emergency pet food bank, introduced Pongo One in December, a state-of-the-art mobile veterinary hospital bringing critical veterinary care and other services to underserved and underprivileged families and pets throughout Oregon and SW Washington.

The 23-foot mobile hospital, featuring two surgical suites, a laboratory, x-ray, pharmacy and more will provide advanced veterinary services at no cost to qualified pet owners in need, including the homeless, seniors, veterans, victims of domestic violence, residents of low income housing and more. The Pongo Fund is a volunteer-driven, nonprofit. Learn more at thepongofund.org.

Sit Stay Fit resumes play groups

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Sit Stay Fit has resumed trainer-led play groups the first and third Saturdays of the month. The groups are kept small, and a trainer is on hand to help keep play appropriate and work on skill building. Play groups run two hours at the SSF studio, located at 7100 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd in Portland. Participating dogs must either be clients or have trainer approval. Learn more at sitstayfit.com.