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 2022, more than one-hundred observances took place throughout the United States and in at least forty-five other countries including: ANTIGUA and BARBUDA, ARGENTINA, AUSTRALIA, AZERBAIJAN, BOLIVIA, BRAZIL, CANADA, CHILE, COLOMBIA, COSTA RICA, CROATIA, CYPRUS, CZECH REPUBLIC, ECUADOR, EGYPT, EL SALVADOR, ESTONIA, FRANCE, GREECE, GUATEMALA, HONDURAS, HUNGARY, INDIA, KAZAKHSTAN, LITHUANIA, MALAYSIA, MEXICO, MOLDOVA, NETHERLANDS, NICARAGUA, PANAMA, PERU, PHILIPPINES, POLAND, PORTUGAL, ROMANIA, SLOVAKIA, SOUTH AFRICA, SPAIN, SWITZERLAND, TRINIDAD and TOBAGO, TURKEY, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, UNITED KINGDOM and VENEZUELA.
Humane-minded elected officials created positive changes for animals through declarations and other actions on IHAD-2022.
For the first time in the history of IHAD, a nation’s president officially recognized the Day by raising awareness of pet adoption.
Hungarian President Katalin Novák, announced on her official social media pages: “On the occasion of International Homeless Animals’ Day we visited the local animal shelter and adopted a dog that was rescued from horrible conditions. We named her Zsömle. Welcome, Zsömle, now you belong to us!” The President’s touching post included photos of her and her rescued dog.
The significant impact of the President’s action sends a powerful message to the citizens of Hungary on the importance of adopting while also highlighting the many animals in shelters in need of good homes.
Ilnur Cevik, Chief Advisor to the President of Turkey stated that he met with associations that help homeless animals in Ankara, the capital of Turkey, to discuss stray dog and cat problems. Çevik stated that he submitted a report on the subject to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on International Homeless Animals’ Day.
He reported: “The third Saturday in August is International Homeless Animals’ Day. According to estimates, there are between 6 million and 8 million homeless animals in Turkey. There is a very large population, and they are all on the streets. We need to bring volunteers together and mobilize them first in Ankara and then in all of Turkey to help sterilize and build shelters for homeless animals. We can handle this within a 5-year plan, a Platform for the Protection and Sustenance of Homeless Animals mobilization should be established.”
The municipality of Rosario, the third most populated city in Argentina, passed legislation to institute a week-long observance of International Homeless Animals’ Day. The legislation states: “Awareness of the responsible adoption of homeless companion animals is to be carried out for a week in August of each year to coincide with International Homeless Animal’ Day, established in 1992 by International Society for Animal Right (ISAR).”
The legislation further states: “Actions during the week will promote spay/neuter, adoption, pet identification and routine vaccinations in an effort to discourage future abandonment of animals.”
In Mexico, governments officials from the states of Quintana Roo and Aguascalientes signed proclamations declaring August 20, 2022, as International Homeless Animals’ Day. The proclamations encourage citizens to act responsibly when it comes to companion animals and have their pets spayed and neutered.
ISAR once again made available our International Homeless Animals’ Day grant to not-for-profit organizations participating in the Day with a free or low-cost spay and neuter event.
Working with ISAR to eliminate the tragedy of homeless companion animals, Spay Panama Foundation, Panama, Animals 360 Foundation in Trinidad and Tobago, and Red de Apoyo Canino, Venezuela hosted low-cost and free spay/neuter clinics in recognition of International Homeless Animals’ Day. More than one thousand homeless and owned dogs and cats benefited from the spay and neuter campaigns.
With the theme “Stray No More: On the Way Home,” PAWSsion Project, Philippines participated in IHAD with a week-long event that kicked off on Aug. 14th with a free spay/neuter and vaccination clinic.
Other activities that took place during the week included, a pet adoption day, and an art exhibit to raise awareness on the harsh realities of stray animals. An entire day was devoted to an animal welfare conference forum on dog and cat overpopulation issues. Speakers included leaders of animal welfare groups, veterinarians, and local celebrities. Ending the commemoration of IHAD on a high note, PAWSsion Project hosted a musical concert called “Pawchella.”
The Municipal Government of Tuxpan, Jalisco in Mexico celebrated International Homeless Animals’ Day with a ‘Festival for Animal Awareness’ multi-activity event that included pet adoptions, free rabies vaccination and a spay/neuter clinic.
Veterinarians spoke about responsible pet ownership and preventative health care. A question-and-answer session followed the speech.
Barriers to accessible veterinary care negatively impact not only animals’ lives, but also the experiences of those who care for the animals. To address this issue, the Misión Nevado team organized a “Mega Comprehensive Veterinary Care Day” in three different remote areas of Venezuela.
According to a spokesperson for Misión Nevado, “We provided veterinary care, medications and vaccinations to more than four hundred animals on International Homeless Animals’ Day.”
Additional spay/neuter, vaccination, microchip and veterinary wellness clinics were held in observance of International Homeless Animals’ Day in El Salvador, Estonia, Greece, Malaysia, Slovakia, Turkey, and the United States.
Other participants celebrated International Homeless Animals’ Day 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.
Two organizations, Misión Animal and Estoy Aquí Mendoza commemorated the Day with informative speeches about the plight of homeless animals and the importance of spay/neuter at an adoption day event that took place at Central Park in the city of Mendoza, Argentina.
“On International Homeless Animals’ Day, we took action to stop the scourge of homeless animals with talks to raise awareness about the situation in Mendoza and humane solutions to end the suffering such as spay and neuter,” stated Roxana González from Misión Animal.
Defenders of Animals hosted its 28th annual International Homeless Animals’ Day/Candlelight Vigil/Award Ceremony at the Governor Sprague Mansion in Cranston, Rhode Island.
Humane Heroes Awards were presented to several individuals for the significant impact they have made for animals throughout Rhode Island.
The organization’s founder, Dennis Tabella, stated: “The International Homeless Animals’ Day/Candlelight Vigil is held in conjunction with the International Society for Animal Rights campaign and serves as an opportunity for animal advocates from around Rhode Island to band together on a special day and jumpstart new spay/neuter and adoption campaigns while rekindling existing programs to raise awareness about pet overpopulation.”
Tri-County Animal Rescue Center hosted its 10th annual International Homeless Animals’ Day observance at the Veterans Memorial Park in Clarion, 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.
The Budapest Police Force arranged for photos with the dogs from the REX Dog Home Foundation in Budapest, Hungary. Photos of the animals and information about each pet were then published on the police headquarters’ and animal shelter’s social media pages.
At Place Pury in Neuchatel, Switzerland, for more than fifteen years, Sos Chats Noiraigue participated in the Day with an information stall promoting spay and neuter.
Educational literature, speakers and petition drives educated about the many abuses inflicted on animals.
The Mayor’s office of La Paz, Bolivia organized a dog parade and pet wellness fair to promote responsible ownership and pet adoption on International Homeless Animals’ Day. Hundreds of people and their dogs marched in the parade that finished at la plaza San Francisco, where a pet fair was held and citizens were able to meet adoptable dogs from local animal rescue organizations.
According to the Director of Promotion for the Mayor’s office, Iveliz Asturizaga, “The objective of the parade is to promote responsible pet care and adoption in commemoration of International Homeless Animals’ Day.”
In Romania, the Bucharest City Museum together with the Ilfov County Council organized a month-long outdoor photo exhibition of dogs available for adoption from shelters in the county of Brănești.
Photos of the dogs, along with information about each animal were posted to a fence in the busy downtown district of Bucharest at Palatul Suțu.
Restelo Stadium, Lisbon, Portugal was the venue for the celebration of International Homeless Animals’ Day hosted by the Professional National Soccer League, Os Belenenses.
With more than three-thousand spectators watching, the soccer team entered the field wearing jerseys with the message: “This t-shirt saves animals,” accompanied by dogs from the União Zoófila animal shelter.
In the days leading up to the game, both the soccer team and União Zoófila promoted the importance of adopting and sponsoring homeless animals on their social media pages along with photos of dogs from the shelter.
“We mark the occasion of International Homeless Animals’ Day with the dogs of União Zoofila to raise awareness of adoption and the fight against animal abandonment,” stated a spokesperson from the Os Belenenses league.
During the last three decades, there has been a steady growth in the number of businesses that participate in the Day with activities that increase visibility and facilitate the adoption of companion animals.
For example, Oreo cookies launched their ‘Oreo & Friends’ campaign in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on International Homeless Animals’ Day to encourage pet adoption.
According to Ilona Morozova, Marketing Manager at Mondelez International, the parent company of Oreo, “When we realized Oreo is the sixth most popular name for black and white pets, and in honor of International Homeless Animals’ Day on August 20th, Oreo changed its iconic packaging on social media to images of three kennel-style boxes to resemble cat, dog and bunny houses for the cause of raising awareness of the many adoptable animals in the region.”
The limited-edition collection sold on InstaShop, an online shopping app. A QR code on each cookie package linked to the website https://bringhomeoreo.com/, where people could view cats, dogs and rabbits from two local shelters that are available for adoption.
Baiterek National Holding Company, a key financial institution in Astana, Kazakhstan and its subsidiaries organized a food collection drive for the Nika Animal Shelter. Representatives of Baiterek also posted photos of dogs available for adoption to their social media pages.
Chief of staff for Baiterek Holdings, Dina Akrachkova reported: “To mark International Homeless Animals’ Day, and to promote the adoption of abandoned animals and help some of our furry friends from our local shelter we delivered donations of dog food and shared photos of the dogs on our website.”
Asociación Protectora de Animales en La Rioja (APA) commemorated the Day by lighting candles at dusk in front of its headquarters in Logroño, Spain.
According to the president of APA, Carmen Faulín, “International Homeless Animals’ Day is a day for reflection on the abuse and abandonment of animals. There will be a symbolic lighting of candles for each abandoned animal that died in the street of hunger or illness. As part of the day of reflection we invite those in attendance to speak about the causes and solutions to animal abandonment and their experience fostering, adopting and rescuing animals, or to read a poem. We encourage children to bring drawings, essays or recount their experience with their animals.”
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.