Helen Woodward Animal Center proudly launched a global online program entitled I REMEMBER YOU.org – a website devoted to pet-lovers and to providing a place to memorialize lost, beloved, furry friends in 2013. The seed for this idea came from the throes of disaster.
“I Remember You” is a unique initiative to help pet owners heal after they lose their cat or other pet. They can do this by celebrating the special bond between themselves and their furry “best friend” online. They are even able to designate the cat’s name and a photo in the devoted memorial gallery.
I Remember You is a wonderful way that you can reach out to a loved one or a friend who is experiencing the difficulties associated with losing their beloved companion. You or they can light a candle in the pet’s memory and then share it with others that understand the grave loss that was experienced.
Once the candle is lit, owners of the honored pets will 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 Mike 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.
Mike was inspired to create the I REMEMBER YOU program earlier this year when HWAC united with animal lovers around the world during the first annual REMEMBER ME THURSDAY candle-lighting ceremony. The one-day event honored the millions of orphaned pets who lost their lives without the benefit of a loving home. It received global participation including 139 countries and over 94,000 individual contributors. Within the overwhelming response, Mike 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.
“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.
Jessica Gercke , HWAC’s Public Relations Manager, has also used the site; lighting a candle for her friend’s dog Son as a Christmas gift for her friend. This site will certainly grow to be an honored tradition.
As the New Year is upon us, why don’t we make it one of our resolutions to honor lost cats and dogs by visiting this bereavement site? Pet lovers who have participate in I REMEMBER YOU have honored the pets that have enhanced their lives and “paid it forward” with financial support for pet adoption programs that help orphaned animals. It is a great way to enhance your New Year!
All proceeds from the I REMEMBER YOU fundraising effort support life-changing programs for animals and people in need. The website provides options to purchase virtual candles and post pet photos with a variety of time-period displays.
For more information on I REMEMBER YOU, and to light a virtual candle in honor of a beloved pet, go to www.IRememberYou.org.