Fall 2020 Newsletter

i November 15, 2020

International Homeless Animals’ Day 2020

In 1992, ISAR conceived and commemorated International Homeless Animals’ Day. Always observed on the third Saturday in August, it is the first and only international Day of action that sheds light on the tragedy of dog and cat overpopulation and promotes spay/neuter and adoption programs to save animals’ lives.

The twenty-ninth annual International Homeless Animals’ Day® (IHAD)® was commemorated around the world on Saturday, August 15, 2020.

On International Homeless Animals’ Day, animal protection organizations, veterinarians, county executives, police officers, emergency responders, governors, mayors, local celebrities, librarians, business owners, retail stores, community organizations, sports teams, schoolchildren and more united to shed light on dog and cat overpopulation through various activities including free and low- cost spay/neuter clinics, adoption events, and educational/awareness activities.


The text and photos below are some representative examples of how IHAD-2020 appeared throughout the world. ISAR’s supporters and friends can view hundreds of IHAD photos and many event videos on ISAR’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages.

As a direct result of IHAD more than 1,000 free spay/neuter surgeries were performed, thus preventing the birth of uncountable unwanted companion animals.

Free spay and neuter events took place in Brazil, Moldova, Finland, Panama, Trinidad, and Venezuela. Together with the sterilization surgeries that took place on International Homeless Animals’ Day, organizations, veterinarians, and municipal government officials provided vouchers to the public for subsidized and free spay and neuter surgeries.

Homeless Animals Day 2020 in Panama, Trinidad and Venezuela.

A grant from ISAR, helped SpayPanama organized a four-day IHAD spay/neuter clinic in Bethania, Panama. A total of 693 dogs and cats were sterilized.

Animals 360 Foundation was the recipient of an ISAR grant that assisted in the spaying and neutering of dogs and cats of the Maracas and Las Cuevas bay regions of Trinidad.

According to Roger Marshall, founder of Animals 360 Foundation, “We are pleased to report that we had a very successful IHAD event sterilizing 52 animals in total. We appreciate the assistance from the International Society for Animal Rights in making this event a reality for IHAD and for the communities of Maracas, Las Cuevas that do not have easy access to veterinary care.”

According to Roger Marshall, founder of Animals 360 Foundation, “We are pleased to report that we had a very successful IHAD event sterilizing 52 animals in total. We appreciate the assistance from the International Society for Animal Rights in making this event a reality for IHAD and for the communities of Maracas, Las Cuevas that do not have easy access to veterinary care.”

Red de Apoyo Canino commemorated IHAD for the fourth consecutive year with a series of sterilization days in Maracaibo, Zuila State of Venezuela. Thanks to an ISAR grant they were able to spay and neuter over 200 dogs and cats of low-income families.

Free vaccination clinic in Sevastopol, Crimea
Free vaccination clinic in Sevastopol, Crimea

Many veterinarians participated in the Day with vaccination clinics, for example, in the Republic of Crimea, sixty-six dogs and cats received free rabies vaccinations provided by the State Veterinary Service and the city of Sevastopol.

In addition to the spay/neuter and vaccination clinics that occurred on IHAD, others marked the Day by feeding homeless street animals and donating food and supplies to local animal shelters.

Pawsome Animal Protection celebrated IHAD in Agartala, India with a massive feeding event. More than 400 street dogs were fed, and 60 dogs received medical care.

Pawsome Animal Protection, Agartala, India
Pawsome Animal Protection, Agartala, India

Mayor Carlos Ulivarri López and the Municipal Río Bravo Youth Team provided food to homeless dogs and cats in the Río Bravo community of Mexico.

The Río Bravo Youth Director took the opportunity to invite more young people to join the activities, he stated, “On International Homeless Animals’ Day we carry out these actions as an example of what we can all do to help homeless animals that are a part of our community.”

In Kyrenia, Cyprus, Mayor Nidai Güngördü and the municipality’s Children Council visited the city animal shelter to distribute food and supplies to the homeless dogs.

Homeless Animals Day 2020 in Cyprus and Kazakhstan.

Mayor Güngördü said in a statement, “Every year in August, International Homeless Animals’ Day is observed around the world. Awareness works are being carried out to attract attention to homeless animals. I am calling on all citizens to help the shelter with food donations. Animals here need attention, citizens who want to have dogs don’t buy you can adopt dogs from the shelter.”

The Department of Education of the city of Balkhash, Kazakhstan organized a charity event on IHAD in which all schools of the city took part. The Balkhash schoolchildren together with their parents collected a four-day supply of food and water for the local animal shelter.

International Homeless Animals’ Day adoption events took place throughout the United States and abroad. Adoption fairs and photo exhibits were hosted by animal shelters while government officials, retail businesses, and others found truly innovative approaches to increase visibility and help facilitate the adoption of companion animals.

Homeless Animals Day 2020 in Tambov, Russia.
Sochi Park — Tambov, Russia

Sochi Park in Tambov, Russia was the venue for an exhibition of photographs of pets from the Kind Heart Animal Shelter.

Svetlana Korosteleva, spokesperson for the shelter stated “On International Homeless Animals’ Day we support animals in our region. We hope that they will find homes in the people of our city.”

State Emergency worker visits Pavlograd Animal Shelter
State Emergency worker visits Pavlograd Animal Shelter

The Budapest Police Force, in Hungary arranged for a photo shoot with the dogs and cats from REX Animal Shelter in an effort to help them find homes.  Photos were published on the police force and shelter’s social media pages.

Firefighters of the 37th State Fire Unit in Pavlograd and State Emergency Services (SES) of Kamianske, Ukraine, united to hold a photo session with homeless animals from the Pavlograd City Animal Shelter.  

 “On the occasion of International Homeless Animals’ Day, we want to raise awareness of the homeless animals, and convey to the maximum number of people information about their tragic fate. We want to emphasize that all animals deserve support and homes,” said the SES.

Hong Kong Saving Cats & Dogs and Deliveroo publicize adoption on IHAD
Hong Kong Saving Cats & Dogs and Deliveroo publicize adoption on IHAD

In commemoration of IHAD, The Reus City Council in Tarragona, Spain launched a platform on its municipal website with photos of dogs and cats available for adoption from local municipal animal shelters.  The Council expects the additional exposure it is providing to shelter animals will result in increased adoptions.

The New Taipei City Government Animal Protection Department, Taiwan, promoted the importance of companion animal adoption and sterilization to its more than 4 million residents on IHAD through press releases and on the government website.

Candlelight Vigil —Tbilisi, Georgia
Candlelight Vigil —Tbilisi, Georgia

Hu Jianan, Director of New Taipei City Government noted, “The International Society for Animal Rights has designated the third Saturday in August as “International Homeless Animals’ Day. The problem of stray animals comes from management at the source. On International Homeless Animals’ Day, we promote the responsibility of owners to continue to devote their efforts to homeless animals. Through loving adoption and pet sterilization all parties one day will be able to achieve zero abandonment so that every cat and dog born will have a home.”

To increase exposure of animals available for adoption in Hong Kong, Deliveroo, an online food delivery service for households, partnered with Hong Kong Saving Cats and Dogs Association   (HKSCDA) to produce eye-catching stickers with photos and information about dogs and cats available for adoption. The photos were affixed to food delivery bags that more than 200 delivery staff carried throughout Hong Kong during the food delivery process for the entire month of August.  The QR code on the sticker allowed potential adopters the ability to scan the code and go directly to the HKSCDA adoption page to learn more about the animals available for adoption.

Poignant candlelight vigils and large-scale educational events both online and in-person enlightened and informed audiences of the most effective and humane way to save animals’ lives: spay/neuter and adopt.

The Georgian Society for the Protection of Animals (GSPSA) marked International Homeless Animals’ Day with a candlelight vigil at the Animal Monitoring Agency in Tbilisi, Georgia. Taso Losaberidze,  a spokesperson for the organization stated, “On this Day we shed light on the truth about the problems of homeless animals, illuminate forgotten souls (homeless animals), and emphasize the vital importance to manage excess animal populations through sterilization.” 

Homeless Animals Day 2020 in Neuchatel, Switzerland.
Place Pury — Neuchatel, Switzerland

Protección Animal Ecuador (PAE) hosted a day long webinar using Facebook Live and Zoom to educate viewers on the importance of dog and cat sterilization and the care and protection of  animals. Speakers included veterinarians, animal care staff, and others.  The event concluded with a virtual candlelight vigil.

For the 15th successive year, Sos Chats Noiraigueparticipated in the Day with an information stall promoting spay/neuter atPlace Pury in Neuchatel, Switzerland.  Several animal protection organizations, local celebrities, politicians, and journalists gathered to show solidarity for animals abused and killed throughout the world.

Humane-minded government and elected officials used the occasion of International Homeless Animals’ Day to effective positive changes for animals in their local communities through declarations and other activities.  

Homeless Animals Day 2020 in Brazil
Congressman Donizet greets stray dog in Brazil.

For example, Congressman Daniel Donizet of the Federal District of Brazil used the occasion of International Homeless Animals’ Day to file eleven bills at the Legislative Chamber of the Federal District.  The proposed measures address free castration, combating ill-treatment of  animals and support for institutions that care for abandoned animals.

 In St. Petersburg, Russia, Governor Alexander Beglov, stated “On International Homeless Animals’ Day, I visited one of the city’s shelters.  I have also met with members of the city government and instructed them to create two additional state shelters for stray pets. We will support the shelters at the city level with subsidies, and social advertising.”

In sum, there is no doubt that as a direct result of our International Homeless Animals’ Day countless shelter animals have found permanent loving homes, and thousands of pets are now spayed and neutered. All saving millions of animals’ lives.

ISAR is extremely grateful to all who participated in the Day and to the many media outlets, individuals and others who helped ISAR promote its 29th annual International Homeless Animals’ Day and convey the important message of spay/neuter and adoption through radio and television, newspaper articles, blogs, social networking, websites, and in other ways.

ISAR will next commemorate our 30th annual International Homeless Animals’ Day on August 21, 2021. 

We look forward to welcoming back all of our veteran IHAD event coordinators and many new ones. Together we will shine a light on the importance of spay/neuter and adoption to alleviate the suffering endured by homeless animals around the world.

As our supporters know, International Homeless Animals’ Day is just one of the many valuable programs conceived and executed annually by ISAR. Since ISAR’s founding in 1959 our organization has not wavered in our commitment, dedicating all our efforts and resources to improving the lives of all animals through legal, legislative, and educational programs. 

With your commitment and financial support ISAR will continue our battle against dog and cat overpopulation, through International Homeless Animals ‘Day and our other programs.


Susan Dapsis

Susan Dapsis
ISAR President