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Celebrating World Animal Day With The Stars

Dawn and the International Bird Rescue, with the help of actors Adrian Grenier and Keegan Allen, honored World Animal Day by releasing rehabilitated birds.

Jessica Pineda

October 4 is World Animal Day, a day I like to think we, the bird lovers of the world, should all celebrate.  

According to the World Animal Day website, "World Animal Day was started in 1931 at a convention of ecologists in Florence as a way of highlighting the plight of endangered species. October 4 was chosen as World Animal Day as it is the Feast Day of St Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals.

Since then, World Animal Day has become a day for remembering and paying tribute to all animals and the people who love and respect them. It's celebrated in different ways in every country, with no regard to nationality, religion, faith or political ideology.”

To celebrate World Animal Day, I was invited to the "Dawn Day In The Wildlife” event on October 2, 2014, at the International Bird Rescue center in San Pedro, Calif.

Outside the Dawn Day in the Wildlife Event

Outside the "Dawn Day in the Wildlife" event in San Pedro, Calif., Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014.

As you might know, Dawn dish soap is often used to clean up birds that have been in oil spills. According to their website, they’ve helped thousands of birds by supporting organizations such as International Bird Rescue. As part of their "Bigger Picture” campaign, Dawn is encouraging people to volunteer with organizations such as the bird rescue.

And what an organization International Bird Rescue is. According to their website, "International Bird Rescue (Bird Rescue) has been saving seabirds and other aquatic birds around the world since 1971. Bird Rescue's team of specialists operates two year-round aquatic bird rescue centers in California, which care for over 5,000 birds every year, and has led oiled wildlife rescue efforts in over 200 oil spills in more than a dozen countries.”

Dawn Day in the Wildlife Event
Courtesy Dawn, Susan Goldman
Volunteers pose for a photo with actors Adrian Grenier and Keegan Allen during Dawn's celebration of World Animal Day at International Bird Rescue in San Pedro, Calif., Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014.

When they’re doing such great work, it was no wonder the organization attracted the attention of two celebrities, Adrian Grenier ("Entourage”) and Keegan Allen ("Pretty Little Liars”). The two stars came to our event as well, and chatted with us press about how their views on bird conservation and humanity’s impact on the world.

"I care very deeply about the well-being of our planet’s wildlife and strive to educate and encourage others to do their part as well,” Allen told the press. "When Dawn invited me to join them in shining a light on the great work done by International Bird Rescue and The Marine Mammal Center volunteers in recognition of World Animal Day, it was my absolute pleasure to participate.”

Dawn Day in the Wildlife Event

Adrian Grenier working with a grebe at the Dawn Day in the Wildlife event at the International Bird Rescue in San Pedro, Calif., Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014.

Grenier felt much the same way. "The well-being of animals and wildlife is a deep passion of mine and I spend a lot of time advocating their health and safety through various projects,” Grenier said. "World Animal Day is the ideal time to honor the volunteers at International Bird Rescue and The Marine Mammal Center who selflessly help rescue and rehabilitate marine birds and mammals from around the world.”

They also had a chance to work with birds, starting with a giant pelican and going down to a tiny little grebe. Both stars lit up when working the animals, especially Allen. I had a chance to ask Allen what his favorite bird was, and while he said he loved all wildlife, "pelicans are cool,” too.

Dawn Day in the Wildlife Event
Keegan Allen and an International Bird Rescue volunteer working with a pelican in San Pedro, Calif., Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014.

I think what really made this event so special for everyone in attendance was watching the rehabilitated birds get released. Us humans so often are the cause of wildlife’s problems … So it’s nice to see we can be part of the solution as well. There were big cheers all around as we watched the birds fly free.


Video courtesy Bill Steinkamp

Dawn Day in the Wildlife Event

Actors Adrian Grenier (left) and Keegan Allen release rehabilitated birds that the International Bird Rescue had helped at the Dawn Day in the Wildlife event in San Pedro, Calif., Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014.

Dawn Day in the Wildlife Event

Left to right: Actors Adrian Grenier and Keegan Allen with Public Relations Direction of International Bird Rescue at the Dawn Day in the Wildlife event in San Pedro, Calif., Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014.

What are you doing for World Animal Day? Give your bird a skritch, thank your local wildlife and animal volunteers, and think about volunteering at your local rescue too. We can all celebrate and help animals together.

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Posted: October 4, 2014, 7:00 a.m. PDT

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