Every year on the third Saturday in August, we observe International Homeless Animals Day to celebrate how far we’ve come in taking care of our pets and to share knowledge on what more we can do.
International Homeless Animals Day (IHAD), on August 17, began in 1992 when the International Society for Animals Rights decided to dedicate a day to spread awareness about pet overpopulation. Since then, events, observances, participants and positive results have grown every year. Currently, celebrations can be found in all 50 states and more than 50 countries. To date, the group has saved the lives of millions of animals around the world.
How to Observe International Homeless Animals Day
Spay or neuter your pet
Ensuring all pets are spayed or neutered is one of IHAD's most ambitious and important goals. A single, non-spayed female dog and her mate can produce about 16 puppies in a year. If none of these puppies are spayed or neutered, it can turn into 128 more puppies in two years. After three years, that’s 512 puppies. If extrapolated to six years, that’s 67,000 animals from that unprotected first mating!
Be "in the house" for an event
Bring your pooch or cat and attend one of the several events taking place all over the country. Invite your other pet-loving friends to join you in spreading awareness about the plight of homeless animals. But all isn't doom and gloom because you can still have a blast romping around with your closest nonhuman friends!
Adopt a pet
Aside from doing your part to control pet overpopulation, one of the greatest things you could do this August 19 is take home a pet from a shelter. These animal control centers fill up fast, but we can all make a big difference by inviting a dog or cat to be your new roommate in a safe, loving home.
Why International Homeless Animals Day is Important
It sheds light on a serious problem
Pet overpopulation is an epidemic that has spread worldwide but the solution is simple — all pets should be spayed or neutered. Every year, IHAD sponsors spay/neuter clinics, adopt-a-thons and microchip clinics. It's also a day peppered with inspiring speeches from those who work with these animals every day.
It’s a fun way to make a difference
IHAD addresses a serious topic, but that doesn’t mean participants can’t have fun, too. Attending events also means taking part in rallies, games and dog walks, while enjoying live music, raffles, open houses, slide shows and awards ceremonies. What a beautiful way to show your support for homeless animals while making a major change in the world.
It gives animals a voice
The millions of homeless animals around the world need their humans to look out for them. If we don’t do anything, these animals risk starvation and pain, or euthanization at overcrowded animal control facilities. The animals depend on us and thanks to IHAD, we can speak up for them.