Helen Woodward Animal Center is uniting with animal-lovers and animal welfare organizations globally in a Remember Me Thursday candle-lighting ceremony.

Remember Me Thursday
Remember Me Thursday

The candles, lit on the exact same day across the world, will honor the millions of pets who lost their lives over the past year without the benefit of a loving home. Word of the awareness campaign has spread in the form of celebrity social media posts and rescue facilities from New York City to Puerto Rico to Japan have joined the cause.

Helen Woodward Animal Center invites the community to take part at the US west coast Remember Me Thursday candle-lighting ceremony, Thursday, September 26th, 2013 on the first day of Helen Woodward Animal Center’s International Animal Welfare Conference at the Hyatt La Jolla at 9:00am.

The Remember Me Thursday global awareness campaign is championed by Mike Arms, President of Helen Woodward Animal Center, and creator of both the International Pet Adoptathon and International Home 4 The Holidays program which has placed 8.3 million pets in homes since 1999.

He is joined in partnership with the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, which represents over 150 animal welfare organizations in the New York area and by Maddie’s Corner, an animal welfare organization, founded by actress, singer and animal advocate Kristin Chenoweth, dedicated to bringing attention and support to animals in need and groups working on their behalf. Bideawee, a participating organization of the Mayor’s Alliance, will host the US east coast Remember Me Thursday candle-lighting ceremony at the Bideawee facility in New York City.

Remember Me Thursday asks organizations and individuals to dedicate the fourth Thursday of September, annually, to remembering the millions of homeless pets who lost their lives over the last year. (The Humane Society of the United States approximates this number at 3.4 million annually in the US.) By uniting in this way, the worldwide awareness campaign hopes to shine a light on the millions of orphan pets still awaiting adoption.

Individuals can get involved by attending a candle-lighting ceremony at their local shelter; lighting a virtual candle on-line at www.remembermethursday.org; changing their Facebook profile pictures to the Remember Me Thursday icon on September 26th; spreading the word about Remember Me Thursday on Facebook, Twitter and other social media channels using #LIGHTFORPETS; and most importantly by always adopting.

Celebrities are getting behind the campaign with Remember Me Thursday Facebook and Twitter posts to encourage their followers to join the cause. Maddie’s Corner founder Kristin Chenoweth (Broadway’s Wicked, NBC’s The West Wing and ABC’s Pushing Daisies); actress Kristin Bauer Van Straten (HBO’s True Blood); and comedian and actress Margaret Cho (Lifetime’s Drop Dead Diva) have all used their social media voice to champion homeless pets. Also onboard with support are cat behaviorist Jackson Galaxy (Animal Planet’s My Cat From Hell), recording artists Berlin and X, MUTTS cartoonist Patrick McDonnell, along with dog behaviorist Tamar Geller, MAZDASPEED race car driver Elliott Skeer, social media sensation Grumpy Cat, and the Ian Somerhalder Foundation. Broadway kitty celeb Vito Vincent (from the musical Breakfast at Tiffany’s) will be on hand at the NYC event hosted by Bideawee, the organization from which he was adopted.

Globally the movement has been adopted by such rescue facilities as FederaciĆ³n Protectora de Animales de Puerto Rico, Inc., Care For Dogs Foundation in Chiang Mai, Thailand and ARK (Animal Refuge Kansai) in Japan, all of which will hold their own candle-lighting ceremony on September 26th. Helen Woodward Animal Center will hold the US west-coast September 26th candle-lighting ceremony at the first day of its 2nd annual International Animal Welfare Conference. The ceremony fits perfectly with the mission of the conference, which provides an extensive line-up of some of the most cutting-edge speakers, thinkers and activists in the animal welfare industry who aim to explore how to breathe life into adoptions programs that are outdated and killing millions of domestic animals annually.

For more information on Remember Me Thursday and a full list of participating celebrities and animal welfare organizations, go to www.remembermethursday.org.

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