Helen Woodward Animal Center’s ‘Remember Me Thursday’ nears


In the two years since I adopted my rescue dog Jack, the goofy mutt has changed me. “Motherhood” ( yes we have our parental struggles too ) has taught me so much in just a short time. I have learned just how much love my heart is capable of holding. It’s mind boggling the lessons you can learn from a dog such as: When someone is having a bad day be silent sit close by and nuzzle them gently. Take naps and always stretch before rising. Let others know when they invade your territory. When a loved one comes home always greet them. Thrive on attention and let people touch you. Eat with gusto and enthusiasm. If you want want lies buried, dig until you find it – To think how much one animal can change your life, in even just the most simple ways, is miraculous.

These comments lead me to feel anxious over the future of losing Jack ( which won’t be for some time however ) but it more so reminds me of all the amazing animals, like Jack, available to make the lives of other humans better, but cannot because they’re voiceless, and orphaned in shelters.

However my anxiety on this situation can ease a little less as the Helen Woodward Animal Center Remember Me Thursday nears. The Rancho Sante Fe animal shelter is gearing up for its second annual Remember Me Thursday global event, founded by its president and CEO Mike Arms. On September 25th, either traditional candles or virtual candles will be lit in memory of beloved pets that have passed away and also spur awareness about the millions of orphaned animals awaiting adoption. Public relations manager of HWAC Jessica Gercke said the number of pets which are euthanized each year in the United States is staggering. “About 3.4 million orphaned animals are put down every year and only 30 percent of pets in homes are from adoptable facilities” Gercke pointed out that these numbers reflect that nearly 70 percent of animals are purchased from breeders.

This sad reality is very much alive. Millions of beautiful pets are dying every year and that includes purebreds. It was these numbers which triggered Arms to bring worldwide awareness to the issue. The candle light ceremony and lighting a candle in honor of the memory of all the pets that have passed away will also shine light on all the orphaned animals that are awaiting adoption. With so many healthy orphaned pets that are euthanized every year and so many healthy pets waiting adoption and world wide, an event like this can make a huge impact in the lives of these voiceless animals.

The ‘Remember Me Thursday’ will be marked on the 4th Thursday of every September. In it’s first year, last year, 139 countries participated. Participants either lit a virtual candle on remembermethursday.org, or a traditional candle at an event or in the privacy of their own home. Last year, nearly 5,000 virtual candles were lit all over the world including Mexico, Australia, Europe, Great Britain, Japan and beyond. And this year celebrity support is begining to emerge with high profile names to be released in the days ahead.

Pulbic events in San Diego area include:
Padres Game at Petco Park September 24th
San Diego Film Festival September 25th
Pop Star Puppy Red Carpet Premiere at Ultra Star Cinemas September 25th.

To learn more about this emotional and spectacular event log onto RememberMeThursday.org and use the hashtag #LIGHTSFORPETS. If people want to bring a new pet into their home, going to a rescue facility is always the place to start.

The Remember Me Thursday event was created by Mike Arms, President and CEO of the Helen Woodward Animal Center, and creator of both the International Pet Adoption and successful Home4 The Holidays program which, in partnership with international animal organizations, has placed over nine million pets in homes since 1999. To learn more about this incredible man click here.


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