Friday, August 19, 2011
International Homeless Animals Day
The third Saturday of August each year is observed as International Homeless Animals Day. International Society of Animal Rights initiated this observance in 1991. and each year it has grown awareness for the homeless animals.
This day is an opportunity for all of us to collectively acknowledge the problem and take an action to bring about a solution to help homeless animals in our community. These animals need us all to help them. There are companion animals who are in shelters, rescue groups or who have still yet to be born that suffer or wait for homes to call their own.
In 2001 three friends and myself organized the first Homeless Animals Day event in Memphis, Tennessee. Kathy Bonney, Stephanie Talley, Yvette Mock and myself pulled resources together and held an event at midtown Memphis' beautiful Overton Park. It brought over 20 groups and shelters together for the first time for an organized multi-group, animal-related event in Memphis. The popular Surfin' Cowboys with Linzie Butler played their reggae blues music and helped us rock.
The fun-filled event which started at 6:00 pm at the Overton Park Shell amphitheater was an adoption event, pet parade of hopeful adoptables & rescued animals who had been already been adopted. Attendees were able to sign up with a group, learn more and/or adopt a precious animal. We ended the event with a candlelight vigil. The wonderful friendships that were built that day will last a lifetime. And, the paths that many of us set out on for the precious animals have changed our lives forever.
Here are links for a couple of blurbs for that August 18, 2001 event.
Memphis Daily News http://www.memphisdailynews.com/editorial/Article.aspx?id=23964
Memphis Flyer http://www.memphisflyer.com/memphis/saturday-august-18/Content?oid=1106679
My friends and I were not part of any organized group, but we knew individually that helping animals in a collective manner was something we wanted to do on this special day. Shining the spotlight on the dedicated, wonderful people and groups who were helping animals was also a goal for us.
International Homeless Animals Day is an occasion that no matter who you are or where you are located... you can make a difference for one or more homeless animals who need you. Some ideas:
1. Organize an event that will bring awareness for the homeless animals.
2. Visit your local shelter and adopt a pet.
3. Help bring awareness for spay- neuter programs as a solution in your community.
4. Donate your talent to a local shelter, spay-neuter, humane or rescue group.
5. Connect with other animal lovers and start a coalition to help animals.
6. Donate newspaper, toys, beds or food to your shelter-whatever they will take.
7. Promote education. Ask an educator to coordinate a project during the year.
8. Take action through your local government if problems exist at your shelter.
9. Never ever give up in seeking solutions to injustices that are happening to animals in your community.
10. Post adoptable pics or websites that help animals in your emails.
To learn more about Homeless Animals Day, please visit International Society of Animal Rights website at http://www.isaronline.org/
To become involved in the Animal World USA-International Weeks for the Animals campaign, please visit Animal World USA at http://www.animalworldusa.org/
Know that your unique special gift and talent can change the plight and history for animals in greater ways than you can ever imagine. It could possibly set you on a path that you have only dreamed of in terms of fulfilling your destiny.
Michelle Buckalew, Animal World USA-International president