Starting in 1931 at a convention of ecologists in Florence, Italy, World Animal Day was initiated as a way of highlighting the plight of the world's endangered species. World Animal Day took place on the 4th October as it is the Feast Day of St Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals, and has grown rapidly since then being widely celebrated in countries around the globe and encompassing the need to think about all kinds of animal life.
Not restricted to any one nationality, creed, religion, political belief or ideology, World Animal Day is intended as a day of celebration for anyone in the world who cares about animals. The launch in the UK on 4th October 2003 meant that organisations, groups, animal shelters, places of worship, schools, clubs and individuals participated in what was to become an annual event and, quite simply, helped make history!
Since the official World Animal Day website was launched in 2003, the number of World Animal Day events taking place throughout the world has increased year upon year, with the aim of the website being 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.