Helen Woodward Animal Center Launches Global Program to Provide Comfort and Healing to Pet Lovers on One Year Anniversary of Loss
RANCHO SANTA FE, Calif., Nov. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Helen Woodward Animal Center today announced the launch of an online program that honors pets through dedicated virtual candles and personalized pet photos posted at the I REMEMBER YOU.org website.
On the one year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, Helen Woodward Animal Center has placed a lifetime memorial candle on the site in memory of the pets that lost their lives to the devastation. Last year the Center assisted with the rescue and transport of 47 orphaned dogs and cats affected by the storm. The candle placed in the gallery at I REMEMBER YOU.org will provide Hurricane Sandy pet owners a place to visit and honor their lost pets. The available message board will give these individuals a place to share their memories and process their grief, while the undying light of their pets' love and spirit glows in remembrance (see the candle here: http://www.animalcenter.org/IRememberYou/gallery.aspx).
"The loss of homes, businesses and personal items that came with this tragedy was challenging enough to overcome," stated Mike Arms, President and CEO of Helen Woodward Animal Center. "The loss of a pet that provides unconditional love and comfort at a time like that is too much to imagine. These pet owners deserve a comforting place to find closure, process their grief and unite with others who suffered the same loss."
Whether struggling with the loss of one's own devoted pet or the pet of a friend or family member, the website also provides participants a way to pay the love forward by helping save the lives of orphaned pets and supporting humane education and therapeutic programs that unite animals and people. The candles are available for purchase with a variety of time period displays from as short as one week to a lifetime, with an option that allows friends to contribute towards the extended life of the candle. 100% of the proceeds support life-changing programs for animals and people in need.
"I know from my own experiences how painful the loss of a pet can be," said Mr. Arms. "I lit a virtual candle for my own dog, Trouble. I think about him every day and it's comforting to have a place and go and look at his face and know his legacy is being honored."
Owners of honored pets receive an instant email notification with a link to see their pets' candle, followed by a mailed copy of the original "I REMEMBER YOU" keepsake poem card penned by Mr. Arms, a world-renowned animal advocate. Arms championed the I REMEMBER YOU.org site, and created the International REMEMBER ME THURSDAY global awareness campaign, the International PET ADOPTATHON and the International HOME 4 THE HOLIDAYS program. These initiatives, in partnership with over 3,800 animal welfare organizations around the world, have assisted with the placement of approximately 8.3 million pets in homes since 1999.
Arms was inspired to create the I REMEMBER YOU program earlier this year when Helen Woodward Animal Center united with animal lovers around the world during the first annual REMEMBER ME THURSDAY candle-lighting ceremony. The one-day event, honoring the millions of orphan pets who lost their lives without the benefit of a loving home, received global participation including 139 countries and over 94,000 individual contributors. Within the overwhelming response, Arms noticed a unique common thread. While supporting orphaned animals, a large majority of the participants lit candles which included the name of one or more of their own beloved pets who had passed away. The moving gesture exposed an untapped universal need – a way for pet lovers to memorialize their lost friends and gain closure on their grief.
For more information on I Remember You and to light your own virtual candle in honor of a beloved pet, go to www.IRememberYou.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, Calif., 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 Animal Center Education Services (ACES), a program that teaches the business of saving lives to animal welfare leaders from around the world. For more information, go to www.animalcenter.org
SOURCE Helen Woodward Animal Center