International Homeless Animals’ Day® is observed annually on the third Saturday in August.
Beginning in 1992, ISAR created and implemented INTERNATIONAL HOMELESS ANIMALS’ DAY, the first and still the only worldwide event that addresses the urgent need for affordable companion animal spay/neuter and adoption programs.
Annually on the third Saturday in August, ISAR globally coordinates International Homeless Animals’ Day activities and unites many countries of the world to take action and address the urgent need for spay/neuter, adoption and legislation to facilitate positive long-lasting changes for homeless companion animals.
On International Homeless Animals’ Day, ISAR along with animal protection organizations, veterinary professionals, corporate executives, law enforcement, emergency responders, elected officials, local celebrities, museums, libraries, communications and media outlets, retail establishments, community organizations, e-commerce companies, art galleries, educational institutions, community activists, volunteer groups, sports teams, youth clubs, schoolchildren and others join together to publicize the spay/neuter and adoption message. This worldwide educational effort is aimed at halting the euthanasia and suffering of unwanted companion animals and cats and dogs that have been abandoned on the streets.
A wide range of activities take place on IHAD including low-cost spay/neuter and microchip and vaccination clinics, free veterinary care programs, adoption events, shelter open houses, candlelight vigils, pet parades, dog walks, pet food donation drives, photo exhibitions of shelter animals, blessing of the animals ceremonies, award ceremonies, speeches by public officials, celebrities and local veterinarians, concerts to benefit homeless animals, educational and awareness webinars, and much more!
Since its inception, ISAR’s International Homeless Animals’ Day has continued to gain momentum in the fight against dog and cat overpopulation. To date, ISAR’s International Homeless Animals’ Day observances have been held in all fifty American states and the District of Columbia, in over 85 countries, on 6 continents.
As a direct result of International Homeless Animals’ Day, countless shelter animals have found permanent loving homes, and thousands of pets are now spayed and neutered preventing the birth of countless unwanted companion animals. We calculate that millions of animals’ lives have been saved!
In 2023, over one-hundred observances took place throughout the United States and in more than 45 geographically and culturally diverse countries including: AFGHANISTAN, ARGENTINA, AZERBAIJAN, BELARUS, BOLIVIA, CANADA, CHILE, COLUMBIA, CROATIA, CUBA, ECUADOR, GERMANY, GREECE, GUATEMALA, HUNGARY, INDONESIA, LATVIA, KAZAKHSTAN, LITHUANIA, MALAYSIA, MEXICO, NETHERLANDS, NEW ZEALAND, PANAMA, PERU, PHILIPPINES, POLAND, PORTUGAL, PUERTO RICO, ROMANIA, SLOVAKIA, SOUTH AFRICA, SOUTH KOREA, SPAIN, SWITZERLAND, TAIWAN, THAILAND, TURKEY, UKRAINE, UNITED KINGDOM, URUGUAY, UZBEKISTAN, and VENEZUELA.
As a direct result of IHAD, more than 1000 spay/neuter surgeries were performed, thus preventing the birth of uncountable unwanted companion animals.
ISAR once again made available our International Homeless Animals’ Day spay/neuter grant to not-for-profit organizations participating in the Day with a free or low-cost spay and neuter event.
Free spay and neuter events took place in Afghanistan, Columbia, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Philippines, United States and Venezuela. Together with the sterilization surgeries that took place on International Homeless Animals’ Day, organizations, veterinarians, and municipal government officials provided vouchers for free spay and neuter surgeries to the public.
In Afghanistan, Nowzad, a small animal clinic and shelter conducted TNVR (Trap-neuter-vaccinate-return) on five dogs and six cats in Kabul. Six rescued street cats were adopted to Afghan families, and more than fifty animals received rabies vaccinations.
Additionally, Nowzad staff arranged for school children to visit their veterinary clinic to learn about animal welfare and meet the rescued street dogs and cats.
In an effort to reduce the number of animals abandoned by their owners and decrease the population of cats and dogs that roam the streets, the mayor’s office of the municipality of Benito Juárez, Mexico invited citizens to a free canine and feline sterilization campaign to be carried out on International Homeless Animals’ Day.
The clinic took place at the Benito Juárez Veterinary Care Center, where more than 150 animals were vaccinated and sterilized.
Spay Panama Foundation marked IHAD with a large-scale spay/neuter clinic in Terraza de Cerro Campana, Panama. Patricia Chan, director and founder of the organization stated, “Thanks to the support of ISAR a total of 368 dogs and cats were sterilized.”
ISAR was pleased to assist their spay and neuter event with an IHAD grant.
“There is no better way to celebrate International Homeless Animals’ Day in the Philippines than to work on how animal homelessness can be prevented: spay and neuter,” stated veterinarian Dr. Gab.
He added, “We successfully sterilized 122 cats today with the help of our partners at the Paws Project and Pet Care Society. As we recognize the plight of homeless animals around the world on this day, we also realize the goal is that one day all animals will have a safe and nurturing home.”
Many veterinarians and municipalities participated in IHAD with free veterinary care days and vaccination clinics to assist families with pets in communities that would otherwise not have access to veterinary services.
For example, in cooperation with ECAFI, a professional veterinary medical association located in Peru, the Municipality of Chaclacayo organized a free rabies vaccination and veterinary wellness clinic in observance of International Homeless Animals’ Day. In addition to the free clinic, participants were encouraged to register their pets for free spay/neuter surgery sponsored by the municipality.
The mayor of Chaclacavo, Sergio Baigorria stated: “We want to thank ISAR, today we coordinated this important event that reflects the municipalities concern for responsible pet ownership. We will generate changes in our public policies to further assist with the wellbeing of the community’s animals.”
Additional vaccination, microchip and veterinary wellness clinics were held in observance of International Homeless Animals’ Day in Australia, Belarus, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Hungary, Mexico, and Puerto Rico.
Other participants celebrated IHAD-2023 with observances that enlightened the public about the tragedy of companion animal overpopulation and the need for spay/neuter and adoption programs. This message was communicated through a variety of activities including candlelight vigils, adoption fairs, photo shoots, and educational awareness events.
Defenders of Animals hosted its 29th annual International Homeless Animals’ Day/Candlelight Vigil and awards ceremony at the Governor Sprague Mansion in Cranston, Rhode Island. Humane Heroes Awards were presented to individuals for the significant impact they have made on behalf of animals locally. Guest speakers at the ceremony included the Town of Smithfield’s Councilman and former State Senator, John J. Tassoni, who put forth the strongest municipal animal-protection ordinance in the state.
Tri-County Animal Rescue Center hosted its 11th annual International Homeless Animals’ Day observance at Lost In The Wilds Brewing in Shippenville, Pennsylvania. The family-friendly and pet-friendly event included a blessing of the animals, pet parade, low-cost vaccine clinic, information booths, and several speakers, including veterinarians who spotlighted the plight of homeless animals and encouraged the spaying/neutering and adoption of pets.
At Place Pury in Neuchatel, Switzerland, for more than fifteen years, Foundation SOS Chats Noiraigue – CH participated in the day with an information stall promoting spay and neuter. Educational literature, speakers and petition drives educated citizens about the many abuses inflicted on animals.
Players for the South Korean professional soccer team, Incheon United in partnership with the Dorothy Rescue Dog Shelter entered the soccer field with dogs in arms, in an effort to boost adoptions on International Homeless Animals’ Day. Following the soccer game, an adoption event took place at Bukchon Square, in Seoul, South Korea.
A spokesperson for the soccer team stated, “Every year on the third Saturday of August is International Homeless Animals’ Day. This is the second year our Incheon United team organized this special event with the dog rescue to help abandoned dogs find homes.”
“In celebration of International Homeless Animals’ Day, our police uniform team held a photo shoot in conjunction with the REX Dog Shelter Foundation. The policemen in the capital rescue animals that are in trouble throughout the year, and we want to provide further help to find homes for our canine friends,” remarked the chief office of the Budapest Police Department, Hungary. He continued,” The officers are hopeful that they can be advocates for dogs who need a home, not just the dogs in the photos, but hopefully some light will shine on the entire shelter to get them all adopted.” More than 30 photos were shared on the Budapest Police Headquarters website and social media pages and garnered thousands of views.
International Homeless Animals’ Day provides a wonderful opportunity for younger children to learn about animal issues and inspire them to take action to help animals.
In Croatia, the Špičkovina Regional School District in cooperation with the Shelter for Neglected Animals “Luč Zagorja created the “Fićo and Točka, Our House Friends” project, an educational campaign designed to inform and engage students from first through fourth grades about animal shelters and how animals become homeless.
A spokesperson from Špičkovina Regional School stated, “We dedicate this project to International Homeless Animals’ Day, which has been celebrated for more than three decades every third Saturday in August. We are pedagogical professors, we can impart, and at least change the way children think about homeless animals and the steps that can be taken in the future to help them.”
The “Fićo and Točka, Our House Friends”project involved one-hour educational lessons each school day for a one-week period. The teachers presented the students with information that addressed animal abandonment, as well as an action plan for helping the homeless animals including volunteering and shelter adoption. A veterinarian was invited to the classroom to teach the students about the importance of taking care of animals from vaccinations to breeding control.
At the conclusion of the project the students visited the animals available for adoption at the Luč Zagorja animal shelter and volunteered their time to help care for them.
Many municipalities and communities provided food, water, and shelter to free-roaming and community dogs and cats on International Homeless Animals’ Day, while others donated food and supplies, walked dogs and volunteered at local animal shelters.
The Minister of Youth and Sports of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Fərid Qayıbov, stated, “In observance of International Homeless Animals’ Day, our members and volunteers provided food and water for homeless animals in the city of Lankaran.” He continued, “Today’s commemoration is an opportunity to focus our attention on homeless animals’ and to educate more people about their plight.”
“On the third Saturday of August we celebrate International Homeless Animals’ Day, established in 1992 by International Society for Animal Rights,” proclaimed Iroda Matkarimova, the founder of the Uzbekistan organization, Mushukkent Project.
“Today we have installed two cat houses for street cats in the Yakkasaray District of Tashkent.” She added, “It’s important on this day that we draw public attention to the problem of homeless pets and to remind people of the need to be responsible for those they have tamed.”
The Uzbekistan National Guard provides the organization with the cat houses and as funds become available the cats are spayed and neutered.
The Bureau of the National Police Headquarters in Warsaw, Poland held a pet food and pet supplies collection drive. Police officers delivered the donations to the Nowy Dwór Mazowiecki animal shelter and spent the day walking dogs and volunteering at the shelter.
A deputy for the department remarked, “This is the second year the police force has celebrated International Homeless Animals’ Day. We enjoy spending time with the dogs and helping the shelter. We have posted photos of dogs awaiting a new home on our website. Please adopt.”
With its international reach, many businesses around the world celebrate International Homeless Animals’ Day through support of local animal protection efforts.
In commemoration of International Homeless Animals’ Day, 7-Eleven the largest convenience store chain in Taiwan, and Uni-President Corporation, Asia’s largest food company, jointly launched a “Pet Love Card” campaign to encourage the public to make donations of dog and cat food to homeless animal shelters.
The “Pet Love Card” campaign integrates online and offline resources that allows customers in more than 6,800 7-Eleven stores throughout Taiwan to donate pet food to local animal shelters through a mobile app or at the store checkout.
All pet food donations are delivered monthly by 7-Eleven employees to the animal shelter designated by the purchaser.
ISAR is extremely grateful to all government and humane-minded elected officials who have taken the initiative to recognize International Homeless Animals’ Day through declarations and other activities.
Municipal officials gathered in Ayía Paraskeví, Greece on International Homeless Animals’ Day to discuss a stray animal management program. Councilman Γιώργος Οικονόμου declared, “On International Homeless Animals’ Day the council is preparing a policy to help the stray animals in our community through an organized sterilization, vaccination and adoption system. The municipality will work in cooperation with animal organizations and secure the resources for the stray animal program.”
A new policy was instituted on International Homeless Animals’ Day in Daugavpils, Latvia. According to Vice-Mayor Valery Kononov, “The Daugavpils City Council voted to provide funding from the city’s budget to help care for the homeless animals in two regional animal shelters. We will also provide assistance with monthly food donations.” City council members highlighted the importance of dog and cat adoption on a visit to the local animal shelter on IHAD.
The Municipal de Vila Franca de Xira commemorated IHAD with an open day at the Official Animal Collection Center in Castanheira do Ribatejo, Portugal.
Mayor Fernando Paulo Ferreira, announced, “Today is International Homeless Animals’ Day, the municipality, in partnership with International Society for Animal Rights (ISAR), aims to raise awareness of the importance of responsible adoption and sterilization. We provide our citizens with information on the care and welfare of companion animals on our municipal website.”
More than 700 people joined the City Institute, in Lviv, Ukraine for the “ProstoPes – Not Just a Friend” adoption event held at the Park of Culture and Recreation.
A variety of activities took place throughout the day including a children’s drawing contest entitled “Home is every dog’s dream.” Photos of dogs awaiting adoption were placed on the fencing that surrounded the park and there was an opportunity to meet a few dogs available for adoption on location.
According to the event organizer, “On the occasion of International Homeless Animals’ Day, we will demonstrate how beautiful and intelligent dogs are! And by doing so, we will promote the adoption of dogs in our city.”
The enormous impact that International Homeless Animals’ Day has made around the world in the lives of animals and communities is incalculable.
Since its inception, there is no doubt that as a direct result of International Homeless Animals’ Day observances and activities involving literally tens of thousands of participants and spectators, millions of animals’ lives have been saved.
Individuals, organizations, animal-friendly businesses and others wishing to take part in ISAR’s International Homeless Animals’ Day events can view our complimentary event planning packet HERE.
Your participation in ISAR’s International Homeless Animals’ Day will guarantee advertisement of your event to thousands of people on ISAR’s International Homeless Animals’ Day website, as well as promotion on ISAR’s online communities such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Please register your event HERE
By coming together on International Homeless Animals’ Day, you can support ISAR in letting the world know we will not tolerate the senseless killing that continues to take the lives of innocent dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens simply because there are not enough good homes for them.