Leadership & Founder
Founded and led by longtime veterinarian Dr. Zeke Zekoff, UPF is technically his second full-time job. Off-hours and weekends are spent gathering momentum, awareness, supplies, volunteers, corporate sponsors and more for this organization that he’s built from the ground up.
Together with his wife, Barbara, Dr. Zekoff has lived in the Cincinnati area since 1983, after graduating from the Auburn University School of Veterinary Medicine. In addition to also owning and founding the Towne Square Animal Clinic in Blue Ash, Ohio, Dr. Zekoff dedicated his post-college years – and countless hours – to putting his well-honed professional skills to great use for a variety of animal care organizations, rescues, shelters, feral cat groups and advocacy associations.
Working closely with these nonprofit and smaller agencies for 30+ years gave Dr. Zekoff a unique insight – notably, that for independent animal care groups serving the tristate and surrounding Midwest, there was an absence of an efficient and dependable community of assistance. In fact, there was no organized support system at all. Dr. Zekoff decided to change that.
Together with his passion for giving back to his community and the apparent need for a more substantial effort to help local care groups, Dr. Zekoff launched the United Pet Fund in 2010 as a one-man operation. Today, it encompasses nearly a hundred of member organizations, national corporate sponsors, local businesses, volunteers, participants and supporters. More importantly, it’s still a wholly nonprofit venture, without organizational fees, admin costs or employee paychecks.
Along with his work for both UPF and his veterinary practice, Dr. Zekoff has been honored to serve as the President of the Cincinnati Veterinary Medical Association and President of the Ohio Animal Health Foundation, as well as co-recipient of the 2010 Ohio Veterinary Medical Association Distinguished Service Award.