St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and the environment, passed away on October 4, 1226, but his message of mercy toward all creatures great and small lives on in the hearts of animal lovers around the globe.
Since 1931, World Animal Day (held each October 4th, the Feast Day of Francis of Assisi) has been a time to celebrate all of our friends with fur, fins and feathers and to contemplate ways to create a better tomorrow for every being on the planet.
Although created to raise awareness of species that are in danger of disappearing off the face of the earth, the holiday also includes an array of events which pay tribute to our tail-wagging chums, including pet blessings, fundraisers for paws causes, and gatherings to show support for our brother and sister companion animals who are suffering (such as the Stop Yulin Forever march, which will take place in Los Angeles.)
Regardless of whether you are able to attend one of the many functions scheduled around the globe, dog devotees and fans of felines can take part in World Animal Day in a variety of ways, such as teaching others about the option of pet adoption, making a donation to a rescue organization or giving the valuable gift of your time to your local animal shelter.
Although a world free from animal abuse, neglect and abandonment may seem unattainable, remember that each act of kindness, no matter how small, leads us all one step closer to turning that dream from reverie into reality. In the words of St. Francis, "Start by doing what is necessary, then what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible."
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