World Animal Day is a social movement to raise the status of animals and improve welfare standards around the globe. 


The celebration of World Animal Day unites the animal welfare movement mobilising it into a global force for change.

Throughout history, social movements like World Animal Day have been key in fighting for social justice and reform, with ground-breaking laws being passed in response.

The lives of animals are profoundly affected by the actions of individuals, businesses, and nations. It’s therefore essential that, as sentient beings, their rightful status as recipients of social justice is established and translated into effective animal protection.

There are other days linked to animals such as World Farm Animals Day, World Day for Laboratory Animals, World Wildlife Day, etc., and these are important too.  However, World Animal Day is the one day of the year that embraces all animals and the unique concerns of each, in every country.

Many countries recognise that planting seeds of compassion in the hearts of the younger generation is their main hope for a brighter future for the animals. Increased awareness of animal issues and education is slowly swaying attitudes towards treating animals in a humane and compassionate way. 


Our global Ambassador programme enlists the help and support of key animal advocates around the world, all keen to be part of this global movement to bring about change for animals. 

Today we have over 90 Ambassadors raising awareness of, and encouraging participation in, World Animal Day in more than 70 countries, which is a strong endorsement of the fact that the power held by World Animal Day is widely recognised.

MEET the Ambassadors (scroll down page to country flags)

READ what some Ambasssadors say about World Animal Day 


The celebration of World Animal Day is bringing about a significant and lasting contribution towards advancing animal welfare standards and its influence will continue to grow.

Government departments, city authorities, animal welfare organisations, community groups, youth and children’s clubs, businesses and individuals organise events in celebration of this special day to draw attention to animal issues and make them front page news around the globe – a vital catalyst for change.  Through increased awareness and education, we can help create a new culture of respect and sensitivity to make this world a fairer place for all animals.

Involvement is growing at an astonishing rate and it’s now widely accepted and celebrated in a variety of ways in many countries, with no regard to nationality, religion, faith or political ideology.  

Participation, large or small, helps make this world a fairer place for animals. A world where animals are ALWAYS recognised as sentient beings and full regard is ALWAYS paid to their welfare.

The types of events that are held each year around the globe include: 

  • awareness and educational events
  • shelter open days
  • pet adoption events
  • conferences and workshops
  • animal blessing services
  • fundraising events such as concerts, sponsored walks, shelter open days, and gala balls
  • workshops to educate the owners of working animals
  • school events such as animal-related competitions, concerts and film shows 
  • spay and neuter marathons
  • veterinary treatment camps
  • rabies prevention awareness and vaccination
  • radio and TV interviews
  • peaceful protest marches

View some of the inspiring events that are taking place around the world to celebrate World Animal Day 2018

Image at top of page: Spay Panama sterilized, dewormed, vaccinated and gave vitamin injections to more than 80% of the dogs and cats belonging to the Emberá Purú Indians, a native tribe who live in the rainforests of Panama (old logo in image).


The idea was originated by Heinrich Zimmerman, a German writer and publisher of the magazine Mensch und Hund/Man and Dog. He organised the first World Animal Day celebration on 24 March 1925 in Berlin and moved it to 4 October in 1929. Initially he found a following only in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Czechoslovakia. Every year Zimmerman promoted World Animal Day and finally, in May 1931 at a congress of the world’s animal protection organisations in Florence Italy, his proposal to make 4 October World Animal Day universal was unanimously accepted.

Every one of us can make a difference for animals – together we make change happen!

Last year, World Animal Day trended on social media in 25 countries

Rohit Sharma, Indian cricketer, used his massive social reach to promote World Animal Day

Photos are available upon request or can be downloaded from the website provided they are credit to

Download the World Animal Day logo