World Animal Day: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

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A baby elephant, of the species Loxodonta africana, which is in danger of extinction, is seen at the Africam Safari zoo in Puebla, Mexico, on July 12, 2017.

Today is World Animal Day, an international celebration for animal rights and welfare.

Here’s what you need to know about the holiday:


1. The First World Animal Day Was in 1925

World Animal Day was founded by an writer GermHeinrich Zimmermann (author of Mensch und Hund/Man and Dog), and was first celebrated in 1925 in Berlin, Germany.

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The first World Animal Day took place on March 24, 1925, at the Sport Palace in Berlin and over 5,000 people attended the event. The organizers reportedly planned the celebration for October 4, but the venue was not available for that day.


2. The Holiday Is Celebrated on the Feast Day of Francis of Assisi

World Animal Day is celebrated on October 4, otherwise known as the feast day of Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of ecology and animals.

PETA’s website reads, “It’s customary that in remembrance of St. Francis of Assisi’s love for all creatures, animals are led to churches for a special ceremony called the Blessing of the Animals. Every year, millions of animals are blessed by priests in a ceremony that touches the hearts of most of those in attendance.”


3. The Day’s Mission Is to Raise the Status of Animals to Improve Welfare Standards Across the Globe

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J.B the Pug is seen on the orange carpet at the ‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle’ World Premiere held at Odeon Leicester Square on September 18, 2017 in London, England.

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According to WorldAnimalDay.org, the goal of World Animal Day is to, “To raise the status of animals in order to improve welfare standards around the globe.”

The site that says in order to achieve this, they recommend animal welfare groups and those who simply love animals organize local events that others can be participate in. “Involvement is growing at an astonishing rate and it’s now widely accepted and celebrated in a variety of different ways in many countries, with no regard to nationality, religion, faith or political ideology. ”


4. A Number of Events Will Be Held in to Honor the Day, Like Shelter and Pet Adoption Events

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GettyDogs for adoption at Time Inc.’s PetHero Pet Party benefiting animals impacted by the recent hurricanes at 225 Liberty on September 28, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for PetHero)

A number of events have been arranged to honor World Animal Day, including awareness and education events, shelter open days and pet adoption events, and even animal blessing services.

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5. PETA’s Website Instructs Users How to Organize an Event for World Animal Day

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This photograph taken on August 28, 2017, shows female panda Huan Huan holding her cub inside her enclosure at The Beauval Zoo in Saint-Aignan-sur-Cher, central France.
Female panda gave birth to twins on August 4, 2017, but one died soon afterwards. Nine-year-old Huan Huan and her male partner Yuan Zi arrived at Beauval zoo in January 2012 on a 10-year loan from China after intense, high-level negotiations between Paris and Beijing. Huan Huan (meaning “happy”) and Yuan Zi (“chubby”) are the only giant pandas living in France. Nine-year-old Huan Huan and her male partner Yuan Zi arrived at Beauval zoo in January 2012 on a 10-year loan from China after intense negotiations between Paris and Beijing.

PETA’s website offers users a simple step-by-step instruction to organize an event. Step 1 involves brainstorming ideas for World Animal Day event, and step 2 gives users guidelines to help them plan the event. Step 3 advises users how they can gain momentum but reaching out to the media and public.

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