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Celebs participate in Remember Me Thursday candle lighting ceremony

The Helen Woodward Animal Center in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., will participate in the global Remember Me Thursday candle-lighting ceremony on Thursday, Sept. 26. The candles, lit on the exact same day across the world, will honor the millions of homeless pets who lost their lives over the past year.

Celebrities are quickly getting behind the campaign with Remember Me Thursday Facebook and Twitter posts to encourage their followers to join the cause. Maddie’s Corner founder Kristin Chenoweth (Broadway’s Wicked, NBC’s The West Wing and ABC’s Pushing Daisies); actress Kristin Bauer Van Straten (HBO’s True Blood), comedian and actress Margaret Cho (Lifetime’s Drop Dead Diva), recording artists Berlin and X, MUTTS cartoonist Patrick McDonnell, along with dog behaviorist Tamar Geller, MAZDASPEED race car driver Elliott Skeer, social media sensation Grumpy Cat, and the Ian Somerhalder Foundation are all involved with this cause.

“Only 30 percent of pets in US homes come from rescue facilities,” said HWAC public relations manager Jessica Gercke. “Millions of beautiful, healthy orphan pets die every year without the benefit of a loving home. These pets can be purebred, well-behaved, loving animals but they don’t get a second chance because there is so little awareness of the types of animals available at local rescue facilities.”

According to Gercke, individuals can get involved by attending a candle-lighting ceremony at their local shelter, or assisting with organizing one; lighting a virtual candle on-line at www.remembermethursday.org; changing their Facebook profile pictures to the Remember Me Thursday icon all day Sept. 26; spreading the word about Remember Me Thursday on Facebook, Twitter and other social media channels using #LIGHTFORPETS; and most importantly by always adopting and encouraging friends and family to do the same.

For more information on Remember Me Thursday and a full list of participating celebrities and animal welfare organizations, go to www.remembermethursday.org.