World Animal Day takes place every year on 4 October. Animal welfare groups, sanctuaries and individuals throughout the world hold special events to heighten public awareness of animal issues and to encourage people to think about how we as humans relate to animals.
World Animal Day was founded at an ecologist's convention in Florence, Italy in 1931 as a way of highlighting the plight of endangered species. October 4th was chosen as World Animal Day because it is also the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, a Catholic Church holiday which is often celebrated with an annual "blessing of the pets". Since then, it has grown to encompass all kinds of animal life and has been widely celebrated around the world. Churches and synagogues in many faiths traditions have adopted "Pet Blessing Day" or "World Animal Day" in increasing numbers every year.
Be part of something special and find out how you can get involved in World Animal Day 2011