Pet overpopulation is a problem that many people work toward solving every day. For example, you might have your pet spayed or neutered, participate in a TNR program, volunteer, run a shelter or rescue, or donate to animal welfare organizations.
Addressing the pet overpopulation takes all of these actions and so much more. Together we can make a difference, and this weekend organizations around the world are spreading awareness for homeless animals.
International Homeless Animals’ Day was created by the International Society for Animal Rights to raise awareness about pet overpopulation. Organizations participate by having candlelight vigils, pet adoption events, fairs, contests, “meet the pets,” discounts, drawings and more.
Those participating in 2014 vary from my own local shelter to rescues and feed stores. Many places will feature pets looking for homes, and some of them may have discounted or waived adoption fees.
If you’ve been thinking about adopting a pet or know someone who is, this is a great event to attend.
When Is It?
International Homeless Animals’ Day takes place on the third Saturday in August. This year, it’s August 16. In the U.S., 21 states are participating, and international events will take place in Canada, France, Malaysia, South Africa and Switzerland, just to name a few.
Check this list to see if a location near you is holding an event.
Some places are holding events on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, so check with your destination to confirm the event details before heading out.
What Can I Do?
If you have a participating location nearby, stop by and show your support. This is also a great day to consider adoption or fostering, meet the animals, and ask the staff questions. Even if you can’t have pets or you already have too many and bringing more home will ensure you become homeless, you can drop off donations or ask them how you can help in other ways.
Many tasks are needed to run an animal organization and can range from stuffing envelopes to cleaning cages or gathering supplies.
You might also have a hidden talent such as graphic design or photography that you could offer through donating your services and time. New animals arrive regularly, and being able to advertise those animals or get their photographs online faster helps find their new homes sooner.
If you can’t attend an event, don’t want to attend pet blessings for religious reasons, or have trouble traveling, you can still help out from home: Light a candle online for homeless animals everywhere. Spread the news about this day on your social media accounts. Check out your local shelter or rescue websites to see if they have wish lists for items they currently need. Make a donation. The possibilities are endless.
Keep It Going
This event is just another way you can help the enormous amount of animals hoping to find a loving home and the organizations that strive to give them that opportunity every day.
Although International Homeless Animals’ Day 2014 may be limited to 1 weekend, it could be a starting point for your role in volunteering or being a role model for others.
For ideas on how to help regularly, check out ways you can help an animal shelters and rescues, do a shelter drive-by and find out how you can get kids involved. Donations, foster parents, volunteers and supplies are needed year-round.
You might think, “What can I do? I’m only a single person.” While it’s true that your efforts may not resonate around the world, you will help change an animal’s world.