IFAW’s Special Week is World’s Largest Animal Event

Tuesday, October 4, 2005
Yarmouth Port, MA
Today IFAW announced the start of its annual Animal Action Week – the largest animal-focused educational event in the world. Now in its 13th year, the program involves more than a million participants in 14 countries. Local events take place, primarily, between October 2-8 and concentrate on educating children about animal welfare, wildlife conservation and anti-cruelty issues.
The theme of this year’s event – “Caring for Our Best Friends” – focuses on dogs and cats and the problems they face due to cruelty and overpopulation. All the materials, many interactive, are available for free at the IFAW web site (www.ifaw.org).

More than 1.1 million school children will participate in Animal Action Week programs in Australia, Canada, China, Dominica, Kenya, France, India, Germany, Netherlands, Russia, South Africa, South America, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. Internet-based activities bring in people from many other parts of the world.

Many schools use the free materials in their curriculum. In the U.S.A., 4,500 classrooms will participate. An additional 2,000 in the UK and 1,500 in Australia will also take part.

Materials include a special educational video made for children that examines the history of dogs and cats, their role as working animals and pets, and the problems they face.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of the program is the web-based “The Ultimate Pet Rescue Game.” Visitors can test their knowledge and skill to help “Scratch” and “Stretch” rescue cats and dogs.

The website also features a virtual “Adopt a Dog or Cat for Free” section designed to help potential pet owners understand how to care for companion animals and join in IFAW’s campaign to protect them. The site also offers a number of free downloads including a screen saver, email card and photos. Other activities include a pledge on treating pets with kindness and a competition to design an animal calendar.

IFAW’s Animal Action Awards, which now take place in many countries, acknowledge the incredible achievements of people who have done something special to help animals. The awards have become important national events; in the UK they are presented in the House of Lords. Visitors can nominate people for an Animal Action Award at www.ifaw.org.

“We have spread IFAW Animal Action Week around the world over the last thirteen years. It is a great way for people to become involved in IFAW’s work to protect animals -- particularly the younger generation which sees animal welfare as a real priority in their lives,” said Nick Jenkins, Animal Action Week Organizer.

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