Speak up and act for our animal friends on World Animal Day.
October 4 may be a day you celebrate a birthday, an anniversary, or another milestone event. It is also, however, a day set aside to honor all animals through a global effort to improve the welfare of the animal kingdom.
This special day, called World Animal Day, coincides with the Feast Day of Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals. Francis of Assisi is honored for his love and devotion for all of God’s creatures, including the animal kingdom. He not only cared for people who were poor, marginalized, and ill before his death in 1226, but it is said he often preached sermons to birds and hailed them and their animal counterparts as brothers and sisters under his Creator.
It only seems fitting then that World Animal Day would be celebrated in concert with the Feast Day of Francis of Assisi. Started in 1925 by Heinrich Zimmerman, World Animal Day “unites the animal welfare movement, mobilizing it into a global force to make the world a better place for all animals,’’ according to World Animal Day in Gloucestershire, UK.
The event calls for every nation to join forces to raise awareness of the plight of animals and commit to improving their lives, ending animal cruelty and protecting them from becoming endangered. The organization predicts this year’s commemoration will result in upwards of 1,000 events spread across more than 100 countries around the globe.
There are numerous ways you can take part in this celebration that enables you to be a voice for cats, dogs, lions, tigers, elephants and all living creatures that share planet Earth with us.
Take part in an event! You can check World Animal Day’s website for an events list. Events range from animal blessing services and fundraising concerts to adoption events and spay-and-neuter marathons.
Volunteer at your local animal shelter. Shelters are always in need of walkers and workers to help clean cages or simply play with the animals.
Adopt an animal. If you’ve been considering adoption, today is the perfect time to bring home your new four-legged fur friend. Be sure you’re ready for such a commitment and have everything in place to ensure your furry friend feels comfortable and secure.
Sponsor an animal if you’re unable to adopt. A multitude of wildlife organizations encourage participation and provide updates on the animals you sponsor, such as lions, gorillas, and pandas.
Create a certified backyard habitat. With the proper plants and a design that attracts wildlife, you can transform your garden or backyard into a safe haven for hummingbirds, turtles, bees, and other small creatures.
Donate food, toys, blankets, and other items to your local shelter. Animal shelters are always in need. When you’re out and about, pick up a few extra items and drop them off. If you have an extra cat carrier or dog collars, shelters can use these items as well.
Organize a group to pick up litter on roadsides or in local lakes. Animals are often injured or harmed by discarded plastic cups, broken bottles, and plastic drink-can holders. You’ll be doing your animal friends a huge favor by eliminating this environmental hazard.
Avoid buying products made with leather or fur. Instead, choose things that are plant-based or made with synthetic materials.
Refuse to buy household or personal products that have been tested on animals. The marketplace holds plenty of alternatives.
Write “thank-you” notes to those special people who care for animals like your family's vet, volunteers at your local animal shelter, your dog walker, and your cat sitter.
Do something special for your own kitty or another animal at home. Go for an extra walk throughout the day, for example, or spend a little more time playing or buy them a new toy.
Too many people around the world view animals as tools, property, or prey, sadly resulting in inhumane conditions for billions of creatures. Take time today to be a voice for those unable to speak up for themselves. Animals hurt. They feel pain. They sense fear. But they also show love, appreciation, companionship, and loyalty. Be an advocate for them on this World Animal Day.
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