World Animal Day

Next Friday, 4 October 2024

World Animal Day is commemorated every year on October 4. The day aims to raise awareness about the abuse and illegal killing of animals around the world and highlight the importance of their welfare and protection.

It is our responsibility to make sure that both wild and domestic animals are kept safe in their habitats. Other campaigns include stopping the testing of products on animals, which is currently a widespread form of abuse. 

An elephant with tusks, orange sand floating around his background

World Animal Day Background

The day was founded by Heinrich Zimmerman in 1925. Zimmerman was a German journalist who wrote for a magazine 'Mensch und Hund' (Man and Dog) about animal welfare and how important it is to protect them. It was through his magazine that he advertised World Animal Day, which was initially observed on March 24. 

Heinrich Zimmerman celebrated World Animal Day for the first time on March 24, 1925, in Germany.

The date was changed to October 4 in 1929. However, the only countries to celebrate the day were Germany, Austria, the former Czechoslovakia, and Switzerland. The day was officially adopted by the International Animal Protection Congress in 1931, and it finally became an international holiday.

Why October 4

World Animal Day is observed on October 4 in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, who is the patron saint of animals and was thought to have a very special connection with animals, with claims that he was even able to communicate with them.

St Francis of Assisi

There are numerous tales about St. Francis's encounter with animals such as rabbits, wolves, lambs, donkeys, fishes, and birds. One such famous story narrates how he calmed down a starved wild fox who stopped hunting humans after the encounter with him. 

The aim of the organizations that organize World Animal Day is to elevate animals to the status they deserve. There has been a lot of progress regarding animal protection and habitat conservation since the first World Animal Day. However, there is still a long way to go.

There are many issues in the present-day scenario. For instance, species are endangered by poachers and illegal hunters, pets are still bred for profit with no compassion, and animals are still the victims of testing, among other issues that currently affect them. Animal lovers on World Animal Day raise awareness about these issues, and campaign for the improvement of animal welfare standards, advocating for better laws that protect animals. 

World Animal Day brings together people from all over the world who share their love for animals, regardless of nationality, politics, or faith. This day is all about the animals and how we can come together to ensure that they are protected from abuse. 

What to do on World Animal Day

If you are an animal lover there are many ways to get involved with World Animal Day.

  • If you have the time to do it, you can volunteer with an animal shelter or an animal rights group. Look up some in your area to see which ones you would like to be a part of. 
  • Many abused animals end up in shelters, so if you've been thinking about adopting an animal, there is nothing better than providing a warm home to an animal that has been abused and deserves a new, and happier chance in life. 
  • Some animal organizations host events on this day, such as peaceful protests, seminars, and awareness rallies. You can participate to learn more about animals. Zoos, shelters, and veterinary clinics may also organize events to raise funds and create awareness. Thus, participating in them is a great way to help the animals. 
  • Organizations such as PETA promote World Animal Day by launching actions that condemn animal-derived clothing such as fur and wool. You can show your solidarity by boycotting such clothing that harms animals. 

You might like to read about  National Pet Day.

World Animal Day
World Animal Day

World Animal Day - Next years

Saturday, 04 October 2025

Sunday, 04 October 2026

Monday, 04 October 2027

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