Rancho Santa Fe, CA – Monday, September 16, 2013 – Helen Woodward Animal Center is uniting with animal lovers and animal welfare organizations globally in a Remember Me Thursday candle-lighting ceremony. The candles, lit on the exact same day across the world, will honor the millions of pets who lost their lives over the past year without the benefit of a loving home. Word of the awareness campaign has spread like wildfire in the form of celebrity social media posts, and rescue facilities from New York City to Puerto Rico to Japan have joined the cause. Helen Woodward Animal Center invites the community to take part locally at the U.S. West Coast Remember Me Thursday candle-lighting ceremony, Thursday, September 26, 2013. This first annual global event will take place on the first day of Helen Woodward Animal Center’s International Animal Welfare Conference at the Hyatt La Jolla at 9:00 a.m.
The Remember Me Thursday global awareness campaign is championed by Mike Arms, President of Helen Woodward Animal Center, and creator of both the International Pet Adoptathon and International Home 4 The Holidays program which, in partnership with national animal organizations, has placed 8.3 million pets in homes since 1999. He is joined in partnership with the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, which represents over 150 animal welfare organizations in the New York City area, and by Maddie’s Corner, an animal welfare organization founded by Tony and Emmy Award Winning singer, actress, and animal advocate Kristin Chenoweth, dedicated to bringing attention and support to animals in need and groups working on their behalf. Bideawee, a participating organization of the Mayor’s Alliance, will host the U.S. East Coast Remember Me Thursday candle-lighting ceremony at the Bidawee facility in New York City.
Remember Me Thursday asks organizations and individuals to dedicate the fourth Thursday of September, annually, to remembering the millions of healthy homeless pets who lost their lives over the last year. (The Humane Society of the United States approximates this number at 3.4 million annually in the U.S.) By uniting in this way, on one very special day, the worldwide awareness campaign hopes to shine a light on the millions of orphan pets still awaiting adoption. Individuals can get involved by attending a candle-lighting ceremony at their local shelter, or assisting with organizing one; lighting a virtual candle online at www.RememberMeThursday.org; changing their Facebook profile pictures to the Remember Me Thursday icon all day, September 26; spreading the word about Remember Me Thursday on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media channels using #LightForPets; and most importantly, by always adopting and encouraging friends and family to do the same.
Celebrities are quickly getting behind the campaign with Remember Me Thursday Facebook and Twitter posts to encourage their followers to join the cause. Maddie’s Corner founder Kristin Chenoweth (Broadway’s Wicked, NBC’s The West Wing, and ABC’s Pushing Daisies); actress Kristin Bauer Van Straten (HBO’s True Blood); and comedian and actress Margaret Cho (Lifetime’s Drop Dead Diva) have all used their social media voice to champion homeless pets. Also onboard with support are cat behaviorist Jackson Galaxy (Animal Planet’s My Cat From Hell), recording artists Berlin and X, MUTTS cartoonist Patrick McDonnell, along with dog behaviorist Tamar Geller, MAZDASPEED race car driver Elliott Skeer, social media sensation Grumpy Cat, and the Ian Somerhalder Foundation. Broadway kitty celeb Vito Vincent (from the musical Breakfast at Tiffany’s) will be on hand at the NYC event hosted by Bideawee, the organization from which he was adopted.
Globally the movement has been adopted by such rescue facilities as Federación Protectora de Animales de Puerto Rico (under the translated title, Recuerdame este jueves), Care For Dogs Foundation in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and Animal Refuge Kansai (ARK) in Japan, all of which will hold their own candle-lighting ceremony on September 26. Helen Woodward Animal Center will hold the U.S. West Coast September 26 candle-lighting ceremony on the first day of its 2nd annual International Animal Welfare Conference at the Hyatt Regency in La Jolla. The ceremony fits perfectly with the mission of the conference, which provides an extensive line-up of some of the most cutting-edge speakers, thinkers, and activists in the animal welfare industry who aim to explore how to breathe life into adoptions programs that are outdated and killing millions of domestic animals annually. The Remember Me Thursday candle-lighting ceremony kicks off at 9:00 a.m. PT in the Aventine Ballroom at the Hyatt La Jolla.
“Only 30% of pets in U.S. homes come from rescue facilities,” said PR Manager Jessica Gercke. “Millions of beautiful, healthy orphan pets die every year without the benefit of a loving home. These pets can be purebred, well-behaved, loving animals, but they don’t get a second chance because there is so little awareness of the types of animals available at local rescue facilities.”
For more information on Remember Me Thursday and a full list of participating celebrities and animal welfare organizations, go to www.RememberMeThursday.org. For more information on the U.S. West Coast candle-lighting event, contact PR Manager Jessica Gercke at (858) 756-4117 x335 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Helen Woodward Animal Center
Helen Woodward Animal Center is a private, non-profit organization where “people help animals and animals help people.” Founded in 1972 in Rancho Santa Fe, California, the Center provides services for more than 57,000 people and thousands of animals annually through adoptions, educational and therapeutic programs, both onsite and throughout the community. Helen Woodward Animal Center is also the creator of the International Home 4 the Holidays pet adoption drive and the Animal Center Education Services program, teaching the business of saving lives to animal welfare leaders from around the world. www.animalcenter.org
About the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals®
The Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity that works with more than 150 partner rescue groups and no-kill shelters to offer important programs and services to save the lives of NYC’s homeless animals. Receiving no government funding, we are supported by donations from foundations, corporations, and individuals. As we mark our tenth anniversary in 2013, we are committed to transforming New York City into a no-kill community by 2015: where no dogs or cats of reasonable health and temperament will be killed merely because they do not have homes. www.AnimalAllianceNYC.org
About Maddie’s Corner
Maddie’s Corner was founded by actress/singer Kristin Chenoweth in honor of her beloved Maltese, Maddie. Our mission is to bring attention and support to animals in need and groups working on their behalf, as well as to highlight the many ways animals help people and enrich our lives. Our guiding vision is to foster a more humane, thoughtful, and tolerant society that will benefit the quality of life of both people and animals. www.maddiescorner.org
About Remember Me Thursday
Animal lovers and organizations across the globe unite on the 4th Thursday of September to light a candle in remembrance of the millions of orphan pets who lost their lives without the benefit of a loving home and to shine a light on the millions of orphan pets still waiting for their forever homes. The Remember Me Thursday global awareness campaign is championed by Mike Arms, President of Helen Woodward Animal Center, and creator of both the International Pet Adoptathon and International Home 4 The Holidays program which, in partnership with national animal organizations, has placed 8.3 million pets in homes since 1999. He is joined in partnership with the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, which represents over 150 animal welfare organizations in the New York City area, Maddie’s Corner, an organization founded to foster the quality of life of people and animals, and by animal organizations worldwide. www.RememberMeThursday.org
Jessica Gercke, Helen Woodward Animal Center
Phone: (858) 756-4117, x335