Remember Me Thursday is a global pet awareness campaign to honor all those pets not given a future – their lives snuffed out too soon. It is also a day to take action to prevent the same fate happening to others. Light a candle in remembrance, then do something for those who risk being next.
Organized by the Helen Woodward Animal Center (HWAC), Remember Me Thursday is a day to take a moment to pay tribute to those pets who were not fortunate enough to be rehomed. Of the hundreds of thousands of pets who enter shelters each day, there are tens of thousands euthanized.
As Mike Arms, president of HWAC, said – “My heart breaks for those beautiful people working in animal welfare who are forced to take the lives of the pets they love. I believe lighting a candle for the orphan pets will be a way for people to let the world know how much they love them, and the awareness can help in increasing adoptions and decreasing euthanasia.”
Rescues all around this country, all around the world, dedicate time, talent, resources, even their own money and homes, to do whatever they can to give a future for homeless pets. Rescues have been the lifeline for pets who find themselves frightened and alone in shelters. Without rescues, euthanasia rates would be so much higher.
And yet, estimates suggest only about 30% of pets come from rescues. Just imagine if that percentage were more, how many lives would be saved!
What can be done?
- Spay/neuter your pets, and spread the word to all you know that this simple act can save countless lives. Many pets are obtained from someone whose pet “accidentally had babies”.
- Which brings us to….spay/neuter your pets, and get that crazy idea out of your head that you want your pet to have babies. Or that you want your kids to experience the “miracle of birth”. (Here’s the deal: if you want the latter, you are hereby required to also have your kids experience the “horror of early death” – by taking them to a high-kill shelter and seeing how many dogs and cats are killed that day. Capisce?)
- ADOPT DON’T SHOP. Broken record here, but the pets at pet stores come from large-scale breeders – aka puppy mills – and are not only promoting neglect and cruelty to animals, they’re simply not worth the money charged. Head to your nearest rescue adoption event instead.
- Volunteer. There are countless ways you can give to your local rescue – anything from giving them your old/unwanted towels/linens/newspapers/stuff they can auction, to offering to do something with the animals, to clerical or fundraising work.
- Donate. It is beyond comprehension just how far a small amount can go when you’re talking the efforts of rescues. Deanne provides some great examples in What $1 Can Do.
AHF rescues pets from all over – local strays, Chicago Care and Animal Control, dogs and cats in high-kill shelters/low adoption areas from not only around our state but also southern states. Recently, Almost Home Foundation even rescued 27 dogs from the Pine Ridge Reservation.
So, yes – light a candle, whether virtual or IRL….but make a vow you’re going to also do something to help prevent another pet from becoming one of those grim statistics. It’s really not hard at all – and quite frankly, it’s extremely gratifying. Go ahead – give it a try.
Do you already do something to help the homeless pets? Tell us in the comments below – what do you do? Any other ideas of how people can help?
(Video thanks to Helen Woodward Animal Center on YouTube)