World Animal Day is an international day of action for animal rights and welfare celebrated annually on October 4, the feast day of Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals.
World Animal Day is an international day of action to raise the status of animals and improve their welfare and is celebrated annually on October 4, the feast day of Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals. First held in 1925, the day is a means of drawing attention to animal welfare issues across the globe by encouraging businesses, schools, clubs and others to organise and participate in various World Animal Day events, with the goal of improving the lives of all animals through recognition and awareness.
Historically, the day was initiated by its originator, cynologist and animal protection activist Heinrich Zimmermann, but today, the yearly global celebration of animals is spearheaded by UK-based animal welfare charity, Naturewatch Foundation. In 2003, Naturewatch Foundation launched the first World Animal Day website, which the charity still maintains. The website lists global World Animal Day events that take place on and around World Animal Day and encourages supporters to add their own events to the directory. The World Animal Day website also offers hundreds of ideas of how to get involved with the special event and provides a ‘resources’ section to guide supporters to actions that their group can take.
The mission of World Animal Day is “to raise the status of animals in order to improve welfare standards around the globe. Building the celebration of World Animal Day unites the animal welfare movement, mobilising it into a global force to make the world a better place for all animals. It is celebrated in different ways in every country, irrespective of nationality, religion, faith or political ideology. Through increased awareness and education we can create a world where animals are always recognised as sentient beings and full regard is always paid to their welfare.”