Lee Asher, dog adoption champion, social media juggernaut

by | Apr 24, 2024

Lee Asher–a staunch advocate of dog adoption whose profile has risen dramatically in recent years, owing to a handful of factors, including multiple compelling stories: his ADHD and attendant childhood isolation prompted him to regularly visit his local animal shelter as a kid, years later crisscrossing the country in an RV, traveling to animal shelters, accompanied by his own pack of 10+ dogs—recalls those formative years, feeling disconnected from his peers and profoundly connected to pooches. Addressing the schoolkid experience of contending with his attention deficit disorder, Asher projects the fortitude of a motivational speaker, saying things like “vulnerability is power,” providing a glimpse into the resilience and drive that helped propel his canine kinship into starring in the Animal Planet series, “My Pack Life,” and becoming a social media juggernaut. Archer observes that it’s not uncommon for comments on his posts to pledge that once that person retires, or wins the Lottery, they plan to open a sanctuary–an assertion he firmly refutes, urging folks to volunteer at their local shelter in even the smallest of ways now; do not wait. He notes that whatever else he was doing—attending college, launching a career in the financial field, and so on—he always worked on getting dogs adopted, and always had a pack wherever he went. He traces the path of making the complicated decision to leave his job in finance (alienating those who helped him land that position), sell his possessions, buy an RV, and hit the road, driving to animal shelters across the country, promoting adoption, accompanied by his then-pack of around 10 dogs. This journey lasted about two years, followed by some shorter stints—then COVID hit, closing shelters to visitors, pulling Asher off the road, and galvanizing him to open his first sanctuary in Estacada, Oregon. That facility and others didn’t just house dogs, but also cats, horses, alpacas, sheep, and other animals—the backdrop for his 2022 Animal Planet series, “My Pack Life.” He addresses the question that many of his Florida followers had raised in the run-up to this interview—the possibility of Asher opening a Florida sanctuary—basically confirming that this is a distinct possibility, but not an imminent one, wanting to focus for now on the existing sanctuaries, his burgeoning social media operation, and other projects. One of those projects involves a speaking tour, under the title, “Unlock Your Superpower,” including Florida appearances at the Florida Theater, in Jacksonville on May 29, at the Hard Rock Orlando on May 30, and the Capitol Theater, in Clearwater, on May 31. (https://www.theasherhouse.com/, https://www.facebook.com/TheAsherHouse/, https://www.instagram.com/theasherhouse/?hl=en, https://theofficialleeasher.com/tour/)


ALSO: I spoke briefly with Dara Eckart, CEO of Friends of Strays, the St. Petersburg no-kill shelter (caring for animals for 45 years, Eckart noted), which has organized a Free Microchip and Vaccine Clinic for Dogs on April 27. She outlines the key details of the Clinic, including that it’s limited to Pinellas County residents, offered to dogs only (and two dogs maximum per party), and that it happens from 8am to noon—or until supplies run out; it’s first come, first served—at 863 3rd Avenue North, St. Petersburg, FL, 33701-2703. Dogs participating will receive a microchip, along with rabies, kennel cough, and DAPPv vaccinations, plus one bag of food. Plus, Eckart explained, The St. Pete Free Clinic will provide one box of human food per party. No advance registration is required for the Clinic. (https://www.friendsofstrays.org/, https://www.facebook.com/FriendsofStraysAnimalShelter, https://www.instagram.com/friendsofstrays)

COMEDY CORNER: Jeremy Hotz’s “Bronx Zoo” (DS edit)   (https://jeremyhotz.com/)

MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” instrumentals

NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE:  We didn’t play “Name That Animal Tune” today.


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