This month, Helen Woodward Animal Center will once again unite with animal welfare proponents and organizations worldwide for the 4th Annual Remember Me Thursday.

2016 Remember Me Thursday Official Spokesperson Pauley Perrette with rescue pups, Rosie, Grace and Bug
2016 Remember Me Thursday Official Spokesperson Pauley Perrette with rescue pups, Rosie, Grace and Bug

Honored on the fourth Thursday of September, the campaign asks pet lovers and animal rescue groups to create an unstoppable, integrated voice advocating for orphan pets to live in forever homes, not die waiting for them. Grassroots candle-lighting ceremonies and a global avalanche of social media buzz will shine a light on the millions of homeless animals still awaiting adoption and encourage communities to opt to adopt and reduce the millions of orphan pets euthanized each year. Now some very big names are stepping forward to lend their support to the cause, including CBS’ NCIS star, Pauley Perrette, who has been named the 2016 Official Spokesperson for the campaign. Helen Woodward Animal Center encourages the world to join with these philanthropic celebrities and to be a part of this very special day, Thursday, September 22nd, 2016.

Video: Remember Me Thursday 2016 Spokesperson - Pauley Perrette

As the campaign’s 2016 Official Spokesperson, Pauley Perrette is best known for her role as the brilliant but offbeat forensic scientist “Abby Sciuto” on CBS’ NCIS (2003), the #1-rated drama in the world. She is also a published writer, singer and civil rights advocate, in addition to co-owner of the “Donna Bell’s Bake Shop” in Manhattan, which is named after her late mother. But it is Perrette’s passion for rescue pets that drew her to the campaign.

“It is so important that we give homeless animals loving forever homes,” stated the star. “We save them, but they end up saving us. The greatest joys I’ve experienced in my life have been from my rescued pets. As Official Spokesperson of the Remember Me Thursday campaign I have the opportunity to give a voice to these beautiful creatures.”

Perrette leads an impressive list of celebrity supporters also aligning themselves with Remember Me Thursday. Notable personalities, professional athletes, pet behaviorists and social media pet stars have signed on as “luminaries,” committing to share their thoughts on pet adoption in videos and via their social media accounts throughout the campaign. At press time, 50+ influential luminaries have joined the cause, including:

Notable Film, TV and Stage Personalities: Alan Cumming, Adam Gaynor, Andie MacDowell, Ashley Bell, Bellamy Young, Beth Stern, Bonnie-Jill Laflin, Carrie Ann Inaba (2015 Official Spokesperson), Christian Siriano, Coco Austin, Courtney Lopez, Diane Keaton, Elaine Hendrix, Emmy Perry, Eric Roberts, Holly Madison, Ian Somerhalder & Nikki Reed, J.R. Martinez, Katherine Heigl (2014 Official Spokesperson), Kathy Najimy, Kristin Bauer van Straten, Kristin Chenoweth, Lou Wegner, Mark Steines, Pauley Perrette (2016 Official Spokesperson), Stephen Kramer Glickman, Wil Wheaton, Wynonna Judd, and Zach Ward.

Professional Athletes: Anze Kopitar (LA Kings), Bryan Bickell (Chicago Blackhawks), David Backes (Boston Bruins), Evan Longoria (Tampa Bay Rays), Jeff Carter (LA Kings), Joey Logano (NASCAR), Kevin Kiermaier (Tampa Bay Rays), Liam Hendriks (Oakland A’s), Mark Buehrle, Ryan Newman (NASCAR).

Animal Specialty Celebrities: Jackson Galaxy, Dr. Marty Becker, Tamar Geller, and Victoria Stilwell.

Animal Celebrities: Alien Cat Matilda, Choupette Lagerfeld, Cole and Marmalade, Justin Fire Survivor, Lil BUB, Norbert, Paddington, Pumpkin the Raccoon, Sauerkraut Kitty, Tuna, Vito Vincent, Wolfgang2242, and Worried Cat.

Remember Me Thursday was established in 2013 by Helen Woodward Animal Center President and CEO Mike Arms. Moved by the staggering statistic of the 3.4 million homeless pets who lose their lives each year in the U.S., Arms put out a call to rescue organizations in an attempt to create a global awareness campaign. As creator of the International Pet Adoptathon and the International Home 4 the Holidays program (placing over 12 million pets in homes since 1999), he was able to send out an expansive request and the response was significant.

Now in its fourth year, Remember Me Thursday has been supported by 164 countries with hundreds of thousands of individuals and more than 500 separate animal welfare organizations around the globe holding candle-lighting ceremonies of their own, spreading the message on social media, or lighting a virtual candle. The enormous swell of celebrity support has resulted in the topic trending on both Facebook and Twitter, garnering more than 500 million social media impressions.

To be a part of the 2016 Remember Me Thursday campaign, individuals and animal welfare organizations are encouraged to get the entire world talking about pet adoption on Thursday, September 22nd, by tweeting, tagging, posting and sharing the beauty and life-saving significance of pet adoption using the hashtags #RememberTheRescue and #RememberMeThursday.

NEW THIS YEAR: Animal-lovers can win life-saving funds, toys and food for adoptable pets looking for forever families at their favorite non-profit, pet adoption organization. To enter the Remember Me Thursday Social Media Contest, simply upload your rescue pet’s photo and story to the #RememberTheRescue Photo Wall for a chance to win!

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