The Hawaii Animal Rescue Foundation (HARF) is participating in the Remember Me Thursday worldwide awareness campaign which shines a light on the numerous healthy pets awaiting adoption. HARF is uniting with animal-lovers and animal welfare organizations globally to participate in a 7 p.m. candle-lighting ceremony Thursday, Sept. 25 at Whole Foods Market in Kahului.
Candles will be lit at the exact same day across the world to honor the millions of pets who lost their lives because they did not have the benefit of a loving home. By participating in Remember Me Thursday, pet-lovers are uniting on one day in hopes of encouraging communities to adopt a pet, helping to reduce the number of orphan pets euthanized each year.
“Only 30 percent of pets in US households come from rescue facilities and animal welfare organizations. The rest come from pet stores, puppy mills and breeders,” said Dawn Hall, Co-Founder and Executive Director Hawaii Animal Rescue Foundation. “Millions of beautiful, healthy orphan pets die every year without the benefit of a loving home, simply because the public is not aware of how truly amazing these animals are.”
The Remember Me Thursday global awareness campaign was launched on Sept. 26, 2013. In its first year, 139 countries united to support the movement, with more than 100,000 individuals around the globe holding candle-lighting ceremonies, spreading the message through social media, visiting the Remember Me Thursday website and lighting a virtual candle. The program was championed by Mike Arms, President of Helen Woodward Animal Center, and creator of both the International Pet Adopt-a-thon and Home 4 the Holidays Pet Adoption Drive which, in partnership with national animal organizations, has placed more than nine million pets in homes since 1999.
Remember Me Thursday asks organizations and individuals to dedicate the fourth Thursday of September each year to remembering the millions of healthy orphan pets who lost their lives over the last year because they did not have a home; the Humane Society of the United States approximates this number at 3.4 million annually in the US.
Individuals can get involved by attending the candle-lighting ceremony or assisting with organizing one; lighting a virtual candle on-line at Remembermethursday.org; changing their Facebook profile pictures to the Remember Me Thursday icon all day, September 25; 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.
HARF invites the community to be a part this year’s special Remember Me Thursday candle-lighting ceremony. The Remember Me Thursday candle-lighting ceremony kicks off at 7pm with an opening address from the Founders of HARF.
“The team here at HARF sees so many wonderful pets that are simply abandoned because their owners had to move or didn’t understand the time and care that a pet requires,” said Hall. “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.”
HARF is a shelter “without boarders” and relies on a network of foster families to house and care for their pets until they find their forever home. The nonprofit organization is privately owned and receives no county, state or federal funding–relying on donations from individuals, corporations and foundations. In the past three years they have successfully rescued and re-homed more than 1,800 dogs and eight horses. These efforts reduced the euthanasia rate for dogs on Maui by more than 30 percent. The organization hold adoption events every Saturday from 10am-3pm and Sunday from 11am-3pm at Whole Foods Market in Kahului. For more information about the organization, please log on to Hawaiianimalrescue.org; for information on the Remember Me Thursday candle-lighting event call Hall at 808-446-4126 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo courtesy of Hawaii Animal Rescue Foundation