World Animal Day 2019

For this year’s World Animal Day, we are raising awareness about the positive effects animals can have on our mental health and wellbeing.

In the UK, 83 per cent of pet owners believe their animals help reduce stress. But, few people are aware that working animals overseas are also vital in supporting the physical and mental health of people in the world’s poorest communities – helping provide impoverished families with a basic income for food, transport to hospital, security, and other necessities for survival, such as water and firewood.

Just like pet owners, the owners of working animals in developing countries would be lost without their animals. And, in turn, SPANA is ensuring that the health and welfare of working animals is protected.

This World Animal Day, SPANA is asking everyone to recognise the value and importance of every single animal – including working animals throughout the world.

Our celebrity supporters say…

 ‘We love our pets dearly and the thought of them in pain or distress is hard to bear. Just like our pets at home, the working animals of the world deserve lives that are free from suffering. SPANA works tirelessly to improve the welfare of these animals – and that is why Arfur and I are showing them our support this World Animal Day.’

Paul O’Grady

 ‘Every day should be World Animal Day! In the UK, pets provide their owners – and everybody they meet – with unconditional love. The joy they give all year round is immeasurable and should never be taken for granted. Working animals are incredibly important to the families they support in the world’s poorest countries – and these animals deserve the same care and compassion as our precious pets. Please join me in supporting SPANA’s work to ensure these hardworking animals can live a life free from pain and suffering.’

Dame Twiggy Lawson

‘Our pets play such a big part in our lives, and we’d do anything for them. It’s often a different story for working animals overseas, but thankfully SPANA charity is working incredibly hard to improve their welfare. That’s why Toto, Socks and I are showing them our support on World Animal Day.’

Dermot O’Leary

‘Animals bring me so much joy – I couldn’t imagine my life without my dog Scratchy. It’s easy to forget however, how they bring so much more than just companionship to millions of people around the world. Working animals in developing countries are relied on to help desperately poor families survive. That’s why I’m supporting SPANA and their work to build a better future for working animals on World Animal Day.’

‘Scratchy sleeps on my bed. I like that, I like listening to him snoring or shifting about in the dark, then I know he’s safe. The trouble is that when it’s really cold he wants to get in the bed… and have it all to himself. I get kicked out of the way and end up with a crick in my neck and an aching back. Still, he’s worth it, his happiness means more to me than my own!’

Chris Packham

‘On World Animal Day, I am supporting SPANA in their work to improve the lives of working animals worldwide. These hardworking horses, donkeys and camels support the livelihoods of the world’s poorest people but their reward is often a short, painful life in terrible conditions. They deserve so much more and it is vital that they get the food, water, shelter, rest and access to veterinary care that they need. As well as their owners receiving support and the knowledge that a healthy, happy animal will work better, live longer and be a greater economic asset.’

Pam St Clement

‘All animals deserve our compassion and care. In the UK, most people see their pets as treasured members of the family. But it’s a different story for many working animals in developing countries. These hardworking animals contribute so much, but they are often forgotten and neglected. On World Animal Day, please support SPANA and help ensure that working animals get the respect and the essential veterinary treatment they so urgently need.’

Louis Smith

‘Every day in our house seems to be World Animal Day! From our chickens and guinea pigs, to Belle our lovely Lab. My children, Flo and Seb, have learned so much from the unconditional love they get back from all our pets. I understand that working animals are incredibly important to the families they support in the world’s poorest countries – but these animals deserve the same care and compassion as our precious pets. Please join me in supporting SPANA’s work to ensure these hardworking animals can live a life free from pain and suffering.’

Jake Humphrey

‘This World Animal Day, please support SPANA and help ensure that working animals in developing countries receive the same kindness and care as our own much-loved family pets.’

Gemma Atkinson

JB Gill

Former member of JLS turned TV presenter and farmer talks about the reciprocal benefits of living with animals and the positive affect it can have on our mental health.

Marc Abraham

TV vet and campaigner, Marc Abraham, explains why interacting with pets and other animals is scientifically proven to improve our health.

Your pet photos

We love seeing photos of you and your pets, and learning how their companionship helps you on a daily basis. To be featured in our gallery, please share your photo on our Facebook page.

Did you know…?

Playing with a dog or cat can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine, which calm and relax you

Pet owners over the age of 65 make 30 per cent fewer visits to the doctor

People with pets have lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels (a common indicator of heart disease)

Pet owners are less likely to suffer from depression

The benefits aren’t confined to dog and cat owners – even watching fish in an aquarium can help lower pulse rate and reduce muscle tension.

Previous World Animal Day campaigns

Mules walking on mountain

World Animal Day 2018

For World Animal Day 2018, we're raising awareness of overlooked animals – the working horses, donkeys, mules, camels and elephants that help globally.

Donkey and foal in field

World Animal Day 2017

To mark World Animal Day on 4 October, we are raising awareness about the essential role working animals play around the world, supporting the livelihoods...

Mules walking on mountain

World Animal Day 2018

For World Animal Day 2018, we're raising awareness of overlooked animals – the working horses, donkeys, mules, camels and elephants that help globally.

Donkey and foal in field

World Animal Day 2017

To mark World Animal Day on 4 October, we are raising awareness about the essential role working animals play around the world, supporting the livelihoods...

Donate to SPANA to help the world’s working animals