World Animal Day by Debbie Dawson of Naturewatch

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Hello everyone,

My name is Debbie Dawson and I work for Naturewatch – which is an animal welfare organisation based in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. We are a small team, which campaigns against animal cruelty, both here and in Eastern Europe.

Part of my work for Naturewatch includes being the Assistant Project Manager for World Animal Day. I have to confess that this is first ‘Blog’ I’ve ever written so please bear with me on my maiden voyage!

World Animal Day was started in 1931 at a convention of ecologists in Florence as a way of highlighting the plight of endangered species. Since then it has grown to encompass all kinds of animal life and is widely celebrated in countries throughout the world. October 4 was chosen as World Animal Day as it is the Feast Day of St Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals.

Wolf pups watching visitors to the UK Wolf Conservation Trusts Open Day in 2008.

In 2003 Naturewatch launched the official World Animal Day website and since then, World Animal Day has gained in strength and popularity year upon year, with 2008 being the best year yet!

With World Animal Day 2009 fast approaching, (4th October) things here at World Animal Day HQ have become increasingly manic – especially when you consider that there are just two of us that work on the campaign! Add to that the fact that both of us have other duties to perform for Naturewatch alongside of World Animal Day, and you will begin to form an image of two frazzled colleagues, heads down, steam coming out of computers and running at 200 mph to make sure that 2009 exceeds even the record number of events held worldwide in 2008!

World Animal Day Malaysia 2008 Poster

World Animal day is intended as a day of celebration for anyone in the world who cares about animals. It is not restricted to any one nationality, creed, religion, political belief or ideology. The aim of the website is to encourage everybody to use this special day to commemorate their love and respect for animals by doing something special to highlight the importance of animals in the world.

Giverlia E-Pet, Nigeria visit a zoo in 2008 to check at welfare standards.
In 2008 Giverlia E-Pet Awareness, Nigeria visit a zoo to check welfare standards.

I’m sure you will agree that, building the World Animal Day initiative is a wonderful way to unite the animal welfare movement and something that everyone can join in with whether they are part of an organisation, group, or as an individual.

It’s a little late to organise your own events for World Animal Day this year, but why not take a look at the Events Diary on the World Animal Day website to see if there is a local event that you could go along to and support.

I hope you will visit the World Animal Day website at and see how you can become involved in this special day for the animals.

Happy World Animal Day to everyone.


(You can see more photos of events that took place in 2008 here)

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