​Charlie is a dog available for adoption this weekend at Paws over Politics. (Photo by Whitney Boylston).

LEESBURG — With President’s Day approaching on Monday, a nonfit group committed to finding homes for abandoned, abused and stray pets is asking area residents to put “Paws Over Politics.”
In an effort to boost the adoption rate in Lake County, the organization L.E.A.S.H. Inc. is inviting people to come out to the Via Port Florida Mall in Leesburg this weekend to hopefully fall in love with a pet in need of a home.
And as President’s Day gets closer, they are encouraging people to spend the weekend thinking less about today’s political climate, and more about … well, just how cute those cats and dogs can be.
“With today’s contentious political climate, residents can celebrate Presidents Day, whether a Re’pup‘lican, Demo’cat,’ or somewhere in between, by opening their home to a new friend,” the organization based in Leesburg noted in a news release.
Unlike friends and neighbors who are highly opinionated about their political views, a cat or dog will love unconditionally and “will not care what is posted on social media, and who will never argue about politics.”
Shelter pets will be available at the “Paws Over Politics” event, being held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18 and Sunday, Feb. 19 at the PetSmart store at Via Port Florida Mall, 10401 U.S. 441 in Leesburg.
This large-scale adoption event was financed by a grant from PetSmart Charities that was awarded recently to L.E.A.S.H. Inc. This event is taking place as part of PetSmart’s National Adoption Weekend. Four times a year, PetSmart Charities works with animal welfare organizations across the country to host pet adoption events at PetSmart stores, making dogs, puppies, cats, kittens and small pets available for adoption.
All the animals at this event will be available for adoption, and are coming directly from the Lake County Animal Shelter. Whitney Boylston, the president and founder of L.E.A.S.H., noted that each pet has been spayed or neutered, is current on their vaccinations, and has been micro-chipped for identification.
All that’s needed now, she said, is a family to take them home. The adoption fee is $10.
“We are always looking for different approaches to assist the shelter in increasing adoptions,” Boylston noted “We are fortunate to have the opportunity to host this event, with the support of PetSmart Charities. Anyone looking for a new friend should consider adoption.”
L.E.A.S.H. sponsors numerous support programs for the Lake County Animal Shelter, including heartworm treatment and other medical sponsorships, enrichment activities, facility improvements, adoption promotions, and trap-neuter-return to keep strays from reproducing in the wild.
They also recruit volunteers to continue their work.
L.E.A.S.H., Inc., is a non-profit agency based in Lake County that directly benefits shelter animals in need.
For more information about L.E.A.S.H., Inc., to volunteer, or to donate funds, visit www.leashinc.org, www.facebook.com/LEASHinc, or call 352-340-3803.

Michael Freeman is an Orlando journalist, playwright and author of the book “Bloody Rabbit”. Contact him at Freelineorlando@gmail.com..


  1. Your sponsors, participants and all caring pet owners and animal activists should be aware of the recent actions taken by the USDA. Follow this link to see the, or in this case, not see, the dark side of the Trump administration at work. To say the Pet Adoption event can be a distraction from the authoritarian and dangerous administration that now occupies the White House would be an affront to our democracy itself. Open your eyes… not the time to bury heads in the sand. http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/resistance-is-growing-to-the-usda%E2%80%99s-blackout-of-animal-welfare-records/ar-AAn1tQG?li=AA4ZnC&ocid=spartanntp

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *