International Homeless Animals Day is observed on the third Saturday of August. This year it will be August 20, and there are many events to celebrate this day. The International Society for Animal Rights created the day in order to raise awareness about pet overpopulation. They have done significant work since then, including saving the lives of millions of animals.


Both shelters and animal rights have a long history. Animal protectionists started to recognize the vulnerability of animals and children in the 1870s. SPCAs were established and anti-cruelty laws were created. Although animals were considered property, cruelty was still an offense.

Housepets like cats and dogs were protected more in the 20th century than animals that were killed or used for work. The 1960s and 1970s saw more attention given to dogs and cats by social justice movements. Animal welfare groups such as the ASPCA emphasized adoption, fostering, and prevention of animal suffering.

These same goals and values are still guiding animal rights groups and animal shelters today. People continue to fight for better legal protections for furry friends. The Georgia Animal Protection Act was passed in 1986.

It allowed for licensing of animal shelters, pet shops, and kennels. This legislation was also the first to require a minimum standard for care for animals living in these facilities. This was a major victory for animal rights groups. The Humane Euthanasia Act of 90 and the Animal Rights Act of 2000 were other provisions and act that extended animal rights.

Though there is no governmental organization in the United States to oversee animal shelter regulation nationally, there are approximately 5,000 independently-operated animal shelters in the nation.

 In the 1990s, most shelters shifted their focus from being animal repositories to helping homeless pets and encouraging pet adoption. Shelters are often able to respond to cat overpopulation by recruiting volunteers to run TNR programs. This involves trapping, neutering, and returning cats to their original homes. This helps reduce both the overpopulation and the burden on shelters.

International Homeless Animals Day was created by the International Society for Animal Rights in 1992. It has grown in popularity year after year. ISAR organizes events, including dog walks and adopt-a-thons. Many volunteers also participate in IHAD animal blessings. We can all help to alleviate the suffering of homeless animals today and every day.


1824The First SPCA

In England, the first Society for the Prevention of Cruelty To Animals was established with the aim of preventing animal abuse.

1947Indoor Cats

Pet cats can now be confined indoors thanks to the invention of litter boxes.

1966Animal Welfare Law

This act provides protection for a wide range of animals by setting minimum standards for the handling, sale, and transportation of these creatures.

1986Georgia animal protection act

This act was passed to address the inhumane treatment that animals received in Atlanta’s pet stores chain. It also establishes minimum standards for animal shelters.

1992 The First International Homeless Animal Day

ISAR created the first IHAD in 1992. It was established to raise awareness about the suffering of homeless animals and to provide a voice to these often forgotten animals.


Is there an event to honor International Homeless Animals Day

Yes! Yes! You can find out more about ISAR by visiting their website.

What day is International Homeless Animals Day?

It is observed on the third Saturday in August, which falls on August 15, 2020.

What can I do to find out more about International Homeless Animals Day (IHAD)?

The International Society of Animal Rights website is a treasure trove of information about IHAD and offers opportunities to volunteer within the group.

Are there any other National holidays that honor animals?

Yes! Yes! For a complete list of National holidays related to pets, visit the National Today website.


  1. Donating to a shelter is much more than just a place to drop off and pick up animals. They have played an important role in helping homeless pets and animals, as well as reducing dog and cat overpopulation, and raising awareness about homeless animals. They could certainly use your help. Don’t worry if you don’t have the financial means to donate, but your time and talents can be used to help kittens and puppies!
  2. Neuter or spay your pet do some math. One year can see 16 puppies from a female dog that hasn’t been spayed. If each of the 16 puppies continues the line, it will produce 128 puppies within two years. This is why shelters can quickly become overcrowded after three years. IHAD is committed to ensuring that all pets are spayed/neutered. If you haven’t done so, please do your part.
  3. Foster or adopt. Fostering a shelter dog or cat for a few weeks is a great way to help reduce the burden of overpopulation. You are helping to prevent animal suffering and euthanization. Fostering is an option for those who can’t adopt permanently, but it can be a way to help shelters.


  1. Big operations are estimated that approximately 6.5 million companion animals are brought into U.S. shelters each year. This split is pretty even – 3.2 Million cats and 3.3 Million dogs.
  2. Spay and Neuter your PetsAbout 10% of animals brought to shelters are spayed/neutered. Unintentionally reproducing pets can lead to the death of many animals each year.
  3. Not All MuttsA quarter of all dogs who enter shelters are purebreds.
  4. The Lucky 10%Unfortunately, only 10% of all dogs that are born will find their forever homes. This can be changed by awareness, spaying, and neutering, as well as adoption.
  5. There is no shortage of stray catsThe United States has 70 million stray dogs.


  1. It raises money to support shelters that are great at helping homeless animals. But they need funds to feed, provide supplies, and have more room for the strays they bring in. You can help keep these shelters running by sharing information about International Homeless Animals Day or attending an event. These shelters are at the forefront of the homeless animal crisis and the financial support provided by IHAD is crucial.
  2. It gives animals a voiceIHAD’s guiding goal is to give homeless animals a voice. They are often left alone and unheard, making it essential to raise awareness about their suffering and how many other lovable animals experience homelessness each day.
  3. It celebrates pet adoption adopting is the best way to get rid of a shelter. The annual Adopt-a-thon is one of many events that IHAD organizes. It takes place in many places. We are proud of the hard work they put into placing strays with loving homes. This effort makes great strides in making shelters available for more strays, as well as mitigating their suffering.

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