An important annual event raising awareness of animal charities and welfare issues, World Animal Day takes place each year on October 4th, the feast day of St Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and the environment.
First established in 1931 at a convention of ecologists in Florence as a way of highlighting the plight of endangered species, this year World Animal Day was marked by a Global Wave across social media. It’s not too late to be a part of this influential movement for change – contribute your own images to the Global Wave campaign to raise awareness by uploading a selfie with the official poster – full details can be found at the World Animal Day website.
Animal welfare organisations across the world are able to gain awareness for their work, as well as benefit from a wide range of fund raising activities linked to World Animal Day. Some of this year’s events included:
- ‘Roar for Tony’ campaign and petition, highlighting the poor conditions in which many captive big cats are held across the world
- Special prayers for animals held at over 50 places of worship in Coimbatore, India
- Doggie Beach Day in the Cayman Islands
- Love the Animals parade in Tondano, Indonesia
- Global March for Elephants and Rhinos in Melbourne
Animal welfare has historically always been very well supported by the Great British public, and animal charities receive millions of pounds in donations every year. They receive no state funding for their important work, although the Treasury does exempt donations from income tax in the form of Gift Aid. The largest – and sometimes controversial – animal charities in the UK receive generous levels of financial support from animal lovers: the 2014 RSPCA Trustees report states that the charity’s income for the year was £125.9 million, whilst the PDSA received £99.3 million in the same year. Whilst these figures are mind bogglingly high, they pale into insignificance when we consider that through the vital work done by each of these organisations, the PDSA was able to provide 2.23 million free treatments to pets, whilst the RSPCA fielded (and responded where appropriate) to 1,299,163 calls to its cruelty line.
Housing animals safely and humanely until they can be re-homed is expensive and requires an enormous amount of time, effort and expertise. And yet smaller, local charities can sometimes be overlooked by pet lovers wanting to donate – TV campaigns and press advertising are an extravagance unavailable to small charities with very limited resources, competing with huge organisations for a share of the limited public purse. If you would like to help an animal in distress this World Animal Day, you can find details of all the UK’s registered charities HERE.
And remember that your donation does not have to be financial – perhaps you have a spare hour to walk a dog? Deliver leaflets? Help out at the charity’s shop? Hold a jumble sale or cake bake to raise much-needed funds? However you choose to help, your contribution will go a long way to helping give animals a better deal – which of course is important at any time of year, not just around World Animal Day.
Until next time, very best wishes from Shailen and The Ralph Site team
The Ralph Site, non-profit pet loss support
Please note: The Ralph Site is not affiliated with the third-party organisations in any of the links shared here, and the views, ideas and suggestions expressed in this and other blogs are simply shared with the intention of helping you, our friends, take care of the special animals in your lives.