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No more hungry dogs or cats

New pet food bank in Lake Oswego calls for donations, volunteers


by: CLIFF NEWELL - Dana Lionel and Kitty the kitten are getting out the word that a new dog and cat food bank is coming to Lake Oswego.When it comes to cats, Dana Lionel is known for performing miracles.

Now the founder and director of The Oregon Cat Project is planning another big job — starting a free food bank for dogs and cats in Lake Oswego. It opens Aug. 11.

Her motto is “no more hungry cats or dogs.”

“I think we can step in because we’re centrally located in the Portland metro area and we’re established," she said.

The way Lionel figures it, a new free food bank will greatly reduce the cat and dog population in shelters, which are simply not equipped to provide boarding and adoption services for so many animals. Instead of being forced to give up their cat or dog, struggling pet owners can obtain free food.

She said, “The purpose of the TOCP’s food bank is to keep cats and dogs in their homes, to provide meals for the pets of the homeless and to promote the feeding and care of Portland’s community cats and feral cat colonies.

Lionel also said, “This will bring more visibility to our organization.”

The Oregon Cat Project has already provided so much for cats in its four years of existence. Its little home on B Avenue is usually chock full of cats, often with their furry faces at the windows watching people pass by.

In all, Lionel has found homes for 2,300 cats, and she is well established as a person you call when a large number of cats suddenly show up. One time there was a flood of orange cats who were taken from an animal hoarder and delivered to Lionel’s doorstep.

Whenever the house’s population drops to a relatively low level (like 35 cats), calls start coming in and the population soon rises back to 100 cats. Just last week, on July 10, Lionel went to pick up 12 cats.

Lionel jokes that she is “the crazy cat lady,” but she is always calm and collected, and also relentless in her efforts. One of her most recent partnerships is with Multnomah County; Lionel places feral cats on farms so they will have a warm place to sleep and enough food to eat.

But even Lionel needs lots of help with the new dog and cat food bank.

“We’re looking for volunteers as well as donations,” she said.

Cat and dog food, both wet and dry varieties, is now being accepted. Tax-deductible donations can be made online at TheOregonCat.org or by check at the food bank at 340 B Ave. in Lake Oswego. Cash donations are also highly desirable. Donations of food are much needed.

The food bank will be open the second Sunday of each month. Additional days will be added as demand grows.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly said The Oregon Cat Project's new pet food bank would be the only one of its kind in the Portland metro area when it opens. However, The Pongo Fund Pet Food Bank, located in Portland, has been serving the area since 2009. It feeds both dogs and cats and provides more than 100,000 meals each month — nearly 5 million to date. For more information about The Pongo Fund, visit thepongofund.org.



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