St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and the environment, passed away on October 4, 1226. His message of mercy toward all creatures great and small lives on in the hearts of animal lovers around the globe on World Animal Day.
When is World Animal Day?
Since 1931, World Animal Day has been held each October 4th, the Feast Day of Francis of Assisi. The event began in Florence, Italy.
The day is a time to celebrate all of our friends with fur, fins and feathers and to contemplate ways to create a better tomorrow for every being on the planet.
Although created to raise awareness of species that are in danger of disappearing off the face of the earth, the annual awareness day also includes an array of events which pay tribute to our tail-wagging chums, including pet blessings, fundraisers for paws causes, and gatherings to show support for our brother and sister companion animals who are suffering (such as the Stop Yulin Forever March in Los Angeles.)
Regardless of whether you are able to attend one of the many functions scheduled around the globe, dog devotees and fans of felines can take part in World Animal Day in a variety of ways, such as teaching others about the option of pet adoption, making a donation to a rescue organization or giving the valuable gift of your time to your local animal shelter.
We’re starting to get ready for #WorldAnimalDay on October 4 – are you?— World Animal Day (@worldanimalday) July 5, 2022
One of the planet’s biggest #animal recognition days is YOUR chance to speak up for the voiceless.
There are tons of ways you can get involved – here’s a quick overview:https://t.co/PWDb9J6Ho3 pic.twitter.com/x2M2Sw4xkw
While a world free from animal abuse, neglect and abandonment may seem unattainable, remember that each act of kindness, no matter how small, leads us all one step closer to turning that dream from reverie into reality.
Blessing of the Pets
Today World Animal Day, which was launched at a convention of ecologists, has grown to span all beliefs and nationalities. Many organizations, from churches to shelters to dog parks, host Blessing of the Pets on this special day to celebrate animals encompasses pets and wildlife alike.
In the words of St. Francis, “Start by doing what is necessary, then what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”
How you Can Take Part in World Animal Day
If you are unable to attend an event you can still become involved in World Animal Day by:
- helping to teach others to choose the option of pet adoption over “shopping” for a companion animal at a pet store
- making a donation of money or supplies to a rescue organization
- giving the priceless gift of your time to your local animal shelter.
Over the years many animal-loving celebrities have shown their support for World Animal Day, among them:
- illusionist Uri Geller
- Born Free star and co-founder of The Born Free Foundation
- Virginia McKenna
- actor Brian Blessed
- former Spice Girl Melanie Chisholm
- the Duke of York
- World Animal Day patron, television presenter and conservationist Anneka Svenska