World Animal Day - Fun Ways to Celebrate!

Join us to celebrate the World Animal Day on 4th October in some rather fun ways!

October 4 marks an international celebration for animals and their unique concerns. From pets that share our homes, to animals in our local reserves, to exotic animals from around the world, on World Animal Day, let's pause and reflect on ways that we can make their lives better. Virtually, every country and its people are known to participate in celebrating World Animal Day by showcasing their animal advocacy in the most creative ways. 

Throughout the course of this day, there are many things you can do to help the amazingly vast animal species from around the world. Why not take a walk in your neighbourhood and actively hear those animal sounds that we miss on an average day? Or share your animal sightings on social media? Or just spend a bit of your time engaging in some creative writing and drawing/painting around the theme of World Animal Day? After all, it is this diverse animal life, including the ones in our oceans and the ones in the sky above us, that keeps us company on this beautiful big planet of ours. 

But first, let us understand how it all started.

Why Is World Animal Day Celebrated?

World Animal Day is celebrated in order to draw the attention of people from all corners of the world to some of the most pressing animal challenges that they face today - including habitat loss due to mass and rampant deforestation, animal euthanization, animal testing in various industries, animals killed as a part of traditions, and the effects of climate change on animals among other reasons. 

History of World Animal Day

Over 5000 people attended the first-ever World Animal Day that was celebrated on March 24, 1925, in Berlin, Germany! The brain behind this celebration was animal activist Heinrich Zimmermann. October 4th was the day that Catholic and Anglican churches started holding ceremonies where people brought their animals and pets to have them blessed. While the original plan was to celebrate World Animal Day on October 4, which also happens to be the Feast Day of Francis of Assisi, unfortunately, the venue was unavailable that day. Over the next couple of years, Animal Day celebrations were only limited to Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Czechoslovakia. In May 1931, Zimmerman proposed that this day be celebrated all over the world, and his suggestion was accepted unanimously at the International Animal Protection Congress in Florence in Italy.
Today, World Animal Day is celebrated on October 4, with 93 ambassadors from 73 countries from around the world.

How Can You Celebrate International Animal Day?

While we can not keep the celebrations limited to just this one day, it is a good day to start. Here are some ways that you and people around you can celebrate World Animal Day:

  • Organise a spay/neuter/animal vaccination event in your community

Core vaccines for dogs include rabies, canine parvovirus, distemper and canine hepatitis

Every year, millions of dogs and cats are left out on the streets with no real chance of survival. While some of them are lucky enough to get a spot in an animal shelter, a lot more are not so lucky. Did you know one unspayed female dog and her puppies can result in the birth of over 50,000 dogs in 6 years? That’s a whole lot of puppies who may never find a good home. Just tells you how important even one spay can be!

Animal vaccinations ensure both animal health and public health are protected. They also help the animals fight off infectious diseases and give them a chance at a better, healthier life. This World Animal Day, get in touch with a local animal shelter and organise a local spay/neuter and/or animal vaccination event where both strays and pets can be welcomed.

  • Encourage local radio channels to discuss animal issues 

All the non-human animals that live among us deserve the same recognition and protection as humans do. You can get in touch with the local radio stations and encourage them to speak up about the many local animal issues that can include asking local restaurants and stores to switch to cage-free farming to many other global animal issues like factory farming and animal experimentation.

  • Get your family and friends to write a pledge

Get together with animal lovers from around the world and pledge to protect and promote the rights of the animals and be a learned and responsible cruelty-free consumer. You can pledge to always treat all the animals with love and respect, report animal neglect and abuse to the local authorities in a timely manner, or make a decision to keep animal-tested products out of your shipping carts. But remember, also get your family and friends to pledge. Every small bit counts. 

  • Volunteer at a local animal shelter

Animals need us! They need our time and patience and understanding. Animal shelters are doing a great job at treating and rehabilitating animals who would be otherwise left to fend on the streets. Your time and hands-on help can make a huge difference. 

  • Adopt a pet from a local animal shelter or rescue group

Encourage adoption over buying a pet

Yes, adopting a pet requires careful planning. But if you are thinking of adopting a pet, you might want to consider adopting from the shelter or rescue group. Animals who live in shelters are usually either lost, given up on, or abandoned and are in need of a permanent new home. This way, you not only are saving a life but also encouraging others around you to do the same. Remember, #adoptdontshop.

  • Foster abandoned animals

Fostered animals have a better chance of getting adopted. Animals in foster homes can be taught better house manners, they tend to be less stressed, and are better socialised. Volunteer to keep a homeless animal at your home by becoming a foster parent. While most people foster dogs or cats, it does not have to be limited to just that. Working with the right organisation will help you prepare yourself and your home to be a better foster care. 

  • Donate - No amount is small 

Every year, thousands of abandoned and injured animals in rehab centres require medical attention. This can include vaccinations, lifelong medicines, or even surgeries. You can also sponsor animals in shelters by paying for their food and vaccinations. These days, donations are made easy and can be done even without visiting the shelter.

  • Use the power of social media

Social media has become one of the most accessible tools to advocate for animal rights. But what type of posts really garner awareness? You can share success stories about animals in need that actually got help, share creative videos that bring out animals’ personalities, and employ the right hashtags to make sure that the post reaches millions of users.

As human beings, together with all those around us, it is our responsibility to help protect the animals so that we and our future generations can enjoy the company of these incredible souls. Let us celebrate this World Animal Day by doing the best we can. Do you have more amazing ways to celebrate this day? Do let us know in the comments below. 

Aaditee Kulkarni

Aaditee Kulkarni

Jeevoka member since Aug 2020