Fall 2019 Newsletter

i November 1, 2019

Dear Friends,

For the twenty-eighth consecutive year ISAR’s International Homeless Animals’ Day®(IHAD®) was observed on Saturday, August 17, 2019.

Around the globe on International Homeless Animals’ Day, animal protection organizations, animal advocates, shelter personnel, humane officers, veterinarians, local celebrities, museum associations, librarians, business owners, retail stores, community associations, police officers, county executives, governors, mayors, and others, joined forces with ISAR to shed light on the overwhelming tragedy of dog and cat overpopulation and the solution: spay/neuter and adoption.

This year, over 100 observances took place throughout the United States and in more than 37 countries spanning six continents, including AUSTRALIA, BELARUS, BRAZIL, CANADA, CHILE, CROATIA, CUBA, FRANCE, GUATEMALA, HUNGARY, INDIA, INDONESIA, IRELAND, KUWAIT, LITHUANIA, MALAYSIA, MEXICO, NICARAGUA, PANAMA, PARAGUAY, PHILLIPINES, PERU, PORTUGAL, ROMANIA, RUSSIA, SAINT THOMAS, SCOTLAND, SERBIA, SINGAPORE, SOUTH AFRICA, SPAIN, SRI LANKA, SWITZERLAND, UKRAINE, UNITED KINGDOM, URUGUAY and VENEZUELA.

International Homeless Animals’ Day 2019 inspired events designed to educate and increase awareness on the tragedy of companion animal overpopulation and the urgent need for affordable spay/neuter and adoption programs. Activities included: pet adoptions; spay/neuter, microchip/vaccination clinics; candlelight vigils; dog walks, shelter open houses, live music, blessing of the animals’ ceremonies; award ceremonies; speeches by public officials, celebrities, local veterinarians and humane workers.

In honor of International Homeless Animals’ Day 2019, ISAR was pleased to sponsor our 18th annual virtual vigil as an option for those who could not attend an IHAD observance in person. ISAR’s computer-generated vigil allowed visitors to light virtual candles online in memory or in honor of a loved animal, thus expressing the importance of spaying/neutering and adopting from animal shelters and rescues. Many visitors to ISAR’s online vigil personalized their virtual candle with photos of their pets.

2019 International Homeless Animals’ Day Highlights

While ISAR encourages all International Homeless Animals’ Day coordinators to contact us with feedback, due to space constraints, we are not able to acknowledge in this newsletter the many observances that took place on August 17, 2019. All registered IHAD events have been published on ISAR’s website and posted to our social media networks. Hundreds of IHAD photos and many event videos can be viewed on ISAR’s Facebook and Instagram pages (@isaronline). We invite ISAR’s supporters and friends to take a look.

International Homeless Animals' Day In Panama and Venezuela, 2019Here are some representative examples of how IHAD-2019 appeared throughout the world. In commemoration of International Homeless Animals’ Day 2019, hundreds of formerly homeless dogs and cats found permanent loving homes, and more than 1,000 free spay/neuter surgeries and upwards of 300 low-cost surgeries were performed, thus preventing the birth of countless unwanted companion animals.

Free spay and neuter events took place in Croatia, Cuba, Panama, Russia, Uruguay, and Venezuela. In addition to the sterilization surgeries that took place on International Homeless Animals’ Day, many organizations provided vouchers to the public for subsidized and free spay and neuter surgeries.

As a result of a generous grant from ISAR, Red de Apoyo Canino organized a three-day spay and neuter campaign in Maracaibo, Zulia State, Venezuela. According to Nebraska Villapol, International Coordinator for Red de Apoyo Canino, “Thanks to the grant, we were able to achieve our objectives and were able to spay/neuter a total of 123 animals.”

A grant from ISAR helped SpayPanama organize a two-day spay/neuter clinic and sterilize 228 cats and 205 dogs in Arraijan, Panama, where many homeless animals survive desperate lives.

International Homeless Animals' Day In Rhode Island and Switzerland, 2019Along with the many spay and neuter clinics that occurred on IHAD-2019, other participants celebrated with observances that enlightened the public to theproblem of companion animal overpopulation and the solution: spay/neuter and adoption programs. This message was communicated through a variety of activities including candlelight vigils, adoption, and educational awareness events.

Defenders of Animals hosted its 23rd annual International Homeless Animals’ Day/Candlelight Vigil and awards ceremony at the Governor Sprague Mansion in Cranston, Rhode Island. Humane Heroes Awards were presented to several individuals for the significant impact they have made for animals throughout Rhode Island.

For the 14th successive year, SOS Chats Noiraigue staffed an information stall in Rue de l’Hôpital, Neuchâtel, Switzerland. SOS Chats president and co-founder Tomi Tomek uses International Homeless Animals’ Day to educate the public about the many abuses inflicted on animals with educational literature, speakers and petition drives.

Tri-County Animal Rescue Center, Pennsylvania, held its 7th annual International Homeless Animals’ Day observance at Veterans Memorial Park. The event spotlighted the plight of homeless animals with pinwheel memorials, a blessing of the animals, and several speakers, including veterinarians, who encouraged spaying and neutering of pets.

Holly Help Spay and Neuter Fund participated in International Homeless Animals’ Day for the 10th successive year with a month-long window display in the organizations store front window in Bristol, Virginia, promoting spaying and neutering. According to Sue Williams, the organizations Founder/Operator, “Our downtown window display was viewed by thousands of NASCAR race fans visiting the area.” Ms. Williams was also a guest on a local news station where she emphasized the importance of International Homeless Animals’ Day and the pet overpopulation problem and spay/neuter solution.

Paw Pawssion Project, Cubao, PhilippinesCelebrities, animal welfare advocates, veterinarians and local government officials celebrated the Philippines’ first International Homeless Animals Day at the Novotel Manila Araneta Center.

The historic celebration hosted by Pawssion Project brought animal advocates and public officials together with a unified aim to continue efforts to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome street animals.

Probinsyano Partylist Rep. Ronnie Ong was present at the event and later stated: “I attended the first-ever International Homeless Animals’ Day in the Philippines and learned a lot. We’ll do the best we can on our end here at Congress. Better days ahead for homeless animals.” Representative Ong plans to call for a committee hearing to strengthen animal welfare laws in the Philippines.

International Homeless Animals' Day in Russia, 2019The Laska Barnaul Shelter celebrated their first International Homeless Animals’ Day at the Drama Regional Theater located in the Altai Krai region of Siberia, Russia.

According to Sofya Kulikova, event director,
“We believe we have achieved the main goal of International Homeless Animals’ Day – we drew attention to the city residents for the main reason for the stray animals: the irresponsibility of dog and cat owners in allowing the uncontrolled breeding of their pets.”

More than 100 people attended the event that included an educational program to provide guidance on the humane care of animals and the importance of spaying and neutering. The most popular part of the program, according to the organizers, was a photo shoot with the shelter’s pets though the lenses of professional photographers and airbrush paintings of shelter dogs and cats performed by local artists.

Carmen Faulín further stated: “International Homeless Animals Day is a time for reflection, to recall the thousands of animals that are slaughtered in the kennels due to lack of birth control and purchase instead of adoption, resulting in a death sentence for many animals.” Mr. Faulín noted that drastic measures are needed to educate the public on the importance of spay/neuter and adoption.

International Homeless Animals' Day in Spain, 2019The Asociación Protectora de Animales (APA) in La Rioja, Spain commemorated the Day by lighting candles at dusk in front of its headquarters. According to the president of APA, Carmen Faulín, “We light candles for all the animals that are abandoned and die in the street. This year especially we light candles for the litters of puppies that people leave in boxes on the street, or are thrown into a well, a river or a dumpster. And candles will be lit with the names of animals from our shelter and the animals that each of us we have saved or adopted.”

Carmen Faulín further stated: “International Homeless Animals Day is a time for reflection, to recall the thousands of animals that are slaughtered in the kennels due to lack of birth control and purchase instead of adoption, resulting in a death sentence for many animals.” Mr. Faulín noted that drastic measures are needed to educate the public on the importance of spay/neuter and adoption.

TRC Galleria located in Minsk, Belarus hosted a “Shelter of Happiness” photo exhibition in conjunction with the Cat’s House Shelter and displayed 35 photos of cats and dogs available for adoption. Shelter volunteers provided potential adopters with information about each animal and collected food, medical supplies and toys for the homeless dogs and cats in their care.

For the second year, Linksmosios Pedutes celebrated International Homeless Animals’ Day with a symbolic dog hike for homeless dogs that took them through winding trails and paths that led to the beach in Klaipe da, Lithuania. The dogs attending the hike were outfitted in brightly colored harness and leash adorned with the words “Adopt Me.” According to the organization, “It’s a way to get the dog noticed on a trail or in public.”

ISAR is extremely grateful to all government and humane-minded elected officials who have taken the initiative to recognize International Homeless Animals’ Day through declarations and other activities.

A proclamation signed by U.S. Virgin Islands Governor Albert Bryan declaring August 17, 2019 as International Homeless Animals’ Day was read at the Lucky Paws Foundation event in St. Thomas.

Mayor Dalton Narváez feeds homeless dog in Ecuador

Mayor Dalton Narváez and government ministers of the Decentralized Autonomous Government of Canton Durán located in the Guayas Providence of Ecuador commemorated International Homeless Animals’ Day by providing food to homeless animals throughout various sectors of Duran.

Alexandre Gaudentius, Mayor of Ribeira Grande, Azores, Portugal highlighted the importance of dog and cat adoption on a visit to the local animal shelter on International Homeless Animals’ Day. He stated: “Today, we honor International Homeless Animals Day and call for a greater awareness of the need for adoption of animals that are removed from the streets.”

The Mayor and City Council of San Cristóbal de La Laguna, Tenerife, on the Canary Islands of Spain, alerted the public to the reality of dog and cat overpopulation and the need to prioritize adoption of animals. Mayor José Luis Hernández stated: “Taking advantage of the importance and transcendence of this international day, from the City Council we call for an increase in public awareness about the problem of abandonment of animals, supporting adoption before purchase and making known the complicated situation we have at the Valle Colino Shelter, where great work has been done.”

In honor of International Homeless Animals’ Day, government officials of the Municipality of Cuauhtémoc located in Chihuahua, Mexico, published a statement on their website encouraging citizens to act responsibility by adopting a homeless animal.

International Homeless Animals’ Day banner on display at the Nemishaevo Train Station.

Many events took place throughout Ukraine including an online pet photo contest and adoption festival organized by the Mariupol City Council in the Donetsk region of Ukraine. According to the acting chief specialist of the Department of Cultural Projects of the Mariupol City Council, Alina Kozitskaya, “The purpose of the event is to promote the idea of adopting animals as pets. We hope that the festival will help draw attention to the problem of homeless animals and the need to act responsibly.”

In the Borodyansk region of Ukraine, the Nemishaivka Town Council hosted a charity fair.

Photos of adoptable animals adorned the walls of the Nemishaiv Culture House. Veterinarians spoke about humane care of animals including the importance of spay and neuter; and local authorities gave a presentation on the services they provide to homeless animals in the village.

Ukraine police officer holding homeless shelter dog.

According to event coordinators, International Homeless Animals’ Day banners were posted at the train station in the days leading up to and following the event to alert as many people as possible to the most effective method of controlling the number of street animals: spay and neuter.

Ukraine police brigades training with the organizations Naturewatch and Hidden-In-Sight to learn how to prevent and prosecute animal cruelty, celebrated International Homeless Animals’ Day by working with animal shelters across the country. Police officers assisted with the daily care of shelter animals, building enclosures and cleaning shelter premises.

Free vaccination and microchip clinic Belgrade, Serbia

The Itapevi City Hall located in São Paulo, Brazil held a dog and cat adoption fair Take Me Home, where more than 200 animals found new homes. According to the Secretariat of Environment and Animal Protection, the action aims to provide a home for the animals housed in the kennel maintained by the administration. During the fair, civil servants of the city distributed a green ribbon to the attendees symbolizing the need to raise awareness of the plight of abandoned animals.

In cooperation with Veterinaria Belgrade, the Municipality of Surcˇin, located in Belgrade, Serbia, organized a free rabies vaccination and microchip clinic in observance of International Homeless Animals’ Day.

In addition to the free clinic, participants were encouraged to register their pets for free spay/neuter surgery sponsored by the municipality.

Homeless animals photo exhibition, Yakutska, Russia

Mayor Stevan Susa called on all pet owners to become responsible and stated, “the aim is to reduce the population of abandoned dogs and cats in our territory.”

In eastern Siberia, Supporters of “United Russia” together with the Center for Support of Civil Initiatives (CSCI) of the Irkutsk Regional Branch of the Party celebrated International Homeless Animals’ Day in Yakutsk, Russia with a photo exhibition of homeless animals and an exhibition of children’s drawings about them. According to Vasilina Lukina of the CSCI, “The main objective of the action is to raise awareness about the problem of street animals and the importance of adoption.” Food and medical supplies were collected at the event and distributed to the local shelter.

The First Deputy Chairman of the State Committee for Veterinary Medicine of the Republic of Crimea, Anastasia Lisovskaya-Chudinovich, held a press conference dedicated to International Homeless Animals’ Day. Deputy chairman Lisovskaya- Chudinovich spoke about implementation of trap, neuter and release programs, and the situation of homeless animals on the peninsula. The hour-long news conference was broadcast on television station RIA Novosti Crimea.

Special Thanks

Movies are powerful tools to disseminate a message and ISAR is grateful to Universal Pictures for acknowledging International Homeless Animals’ Day with a short clip from their movie “A Dog’s Journey” via social media while encouraging the spaying and neutering and adoption of companion animals.

The role and influence of mass media is one of the most significant forces in modern culture and we’re thankful to all the television, radio, print, and Internet sources that communicated and disseminated the spay/ neuter and adoption message to large, geographically and demographically diverse audiences around the globe through promotion of ISAR’s International Homeless Animals’ Day.

ISAR is extremely grateful to all International Homeless Animals’ Day event coordinators who generously gave their time and resources to educate communities and encourage others to work for positive change for unwanted animals by adopting from shelters and promoting spay/neuter.

Join us for International Homeless Animals’ Day 2020

ISAR’s 29th annual International Homeless Animals’ Day will be officially observed on Saturday, August 15, 2020.

We look forward to welcoming back all previous International Homeless Animals’ Day coordinators along with a host of new ones. Together we will once again orchestrate a heightened awareness of the plague of pet overpopulation and on a global scale promote the importance of spay/neuter and pet adoption.

ISAR offers a complimentary downloadable International Homeless Animals’ Day planning packet to all who are interested in coordinating an event, whether it is a small modest observance or a large public gathering.

We’re very pleased with the worldwide success and direct spay/neuter and adoption influence International Homeless Animals’ Day 2019 has had for communities around the globe. We could not have achieved our goal without you, our dedicated friends and supporters.

Sincerely,

Susan Dapsis
ISAR President