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Community donates $50K to animal sanctuary dealing with an outbreak of rare type of pneumonia

With the illness claiming one of the dogs and others requiring emergency care, the owner appealed for help, prompting a heartwarming response.

Community donates $50K to animal sanctuary dealing with an outbreak of rare type of pneumonia
Cover Image Source: Instagram | @theasherhouse

Netizens always come together to help people and animals in need. When TikTokers learned that an Oregon animal sanctuary was hit by a serious medical emergency, they were quick to help. Lee Asher, owner of The Asher House in Estacada, shared an emotional video that went viral on TikTok and was also shared on Instagram. He explained that an outbreak of a rare type of pneumonia had reached the sanctuary. He added that it was "unpredictable, fast-acting, and quickly lead to an infection in the lungs."

Things took a turn for the worse when one of his dogs, Roo, succumbed to the illness, and four pooches were in and out of the emergency room throughout the weekend. "At this time, we need your help more than ever. I rarely ask for help, but we are dealing with a bad situation right now," he urged his followers.


 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Lee Asher (@theasherhouse)


 

The sanctuary has 1.2 million TikTok followers and they were quick to come up with more than $50,000 in donations. Asher said the money helped purchase four at-home oxygen chambers and a new quarantine facility. In a follow-up video, he thanked everyone for their support. "Because of the outpouring of love and support, all of our vet expenses have been covered," he shared. "We purchased four at-home oxygen chambers, plus a new quarantine facility to put on the sanctuary. We do not need any more donations at this time, and I sincerely cannot thank you all enough."

Fortunately, the four sick dogs were also home from the hospital and "on the road to recovery." He added, "This has been a very difficult experience for us, but having this amazing community come together has certainly helped in more ways than I could ever explain."


 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Lee Asher (@theasherhouse)


 

Before the outbreak hit, The Asher House was home to 42 dogs, with five of them experiencing more serious symptoms. Pneumonia was affecting many other dogs in the area but Asher isn't sure how it started. “Unfortunately, many of the emergency clinics don’t even have a room for us because they are dealing with this,” he explained. “Their oxygen chambers are full. So this is something that is new not only to The Asher House, this is new to the community. The doctors aren’t really sure where this is stemming from or how this is happening.”

In another video, Asher explained, "As more time goes on I am hearing about more and more of these cases in many different states including Montana, Colorado, and California. The symptoms are coughing, nasal discharge, fatigue and no appetite. A lot of vets that are seeing this for the first time will say it’s kennel cough. Please insist to ask for X-rays, this is pneumonia and if treated like kennel cough then it will get worse. It’s important to please not panic about this but just to please be aware."


 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Lee Asher (@theasherhouse)


 

As for the sanctuary, Asher "traveled across 49 states to promote dog adoption and spotlight various shelters and rescues. After his pitbull Stella passed away, Asher was determined to fulfill his lifelong dream of creating a sanctuary, where animals could feel treasured, protected and free. In late 2020, he discovered a large parcel of property which was the perfect setting to turn his vision into a reality," according to their official website.


 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Lee Asher (@theasherhouse)


 

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