2018 Honoree Is a Living Example of the Importance of Saving Orphan Pets…

Rancho Santa Fe, California

Rancho Santa Fe, Sept. 07, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- With the kick-off of September, Helen Woodward Animal Center, in partnership with Blue Buffalo, is deep into preparation to unite with animal-lovers worldwide for the 6th Annual Remember Me Thursday®.  Observed, each year, on the fourth Thursday in September, the campaign has garnered an esteemed group of celebrities who join with animal welfare organizations and other animal-proponents to become an unstoppable, integrated on-line voice advocating for orphan pets.  This year, however, a special name will be added to the group of celebs, despite being relatively unknown.  Helen Woodward Animal Center is proud to announce the very first honoree in a new Remember Me Thursday® tradition, the 2018 Rescue Pet Hero, Yeti.

Yeti is a remarkable pit bull blend from Verde Valley, Arizona, who started his adoption journey in late 2016. Like many orphan pets, his path to finding a forever home was not an easy one. Yeti dealt with two unsuccessful adoptions, and was eventually returned to the shelter with a serious leg injury that required surgery. 

“A dog with this type of history, and new medical challenges, is often labeled ‘unadoptable’ by shelters around the world,” explained Center Operations Director Jennifer Shorey.  “It is a credit to the Verde Valley shelter that they saw his amazing potential and tried again and again.”

Yeti patiently waited at the Verde Valley Humane Society for nearly 80 days until the Lennox family saw in him what many others did not.  The family had been looking to add a new four-legged family member and knew they wanted a rescue dog.  Bella Lennox, Yeti’s human mom, confessed that she hadn’t planned on taking home such a large dog but that Yeti’s goofy and outgoing personality won over the entire family including his new 6-year-old human brother, Fallon.

Not long after adopting Yeti, the family headed to the Verde River to enjoy an April Sunday picnic. Being so early in the season the water was too cold for swimming and young Fallon, who was still learning to swim, was enjoying playing on the rocks.  But in a frightening twist of fate, Fallon slipped and fell into the chilly water and was swept downstream. Yeti jumped into action and went in after Fallon working to save him. In a panic, the adults recognized what was happening and rushed down the river yelling for Fallon to grab hold of Yeti and accept his help. A family member was able to pull Fallon from the river once Yeti pushed him back up to the rocks.

The Lennox family, who had wanted to rescue a dog, says they are now in awe of how selflessly that very same dog was there to rescue Fallon.  This type of incredible devotion can be seen in the eyes of homeless animals across the world and Yeti’s story serves as a fitting reminder of the Remember Me Thursday® campaign message -- Unite to share the stories of these amazing orphan pets to stop them from dying in shelters before they can find their forever homes. 

“Yeti has brought so much joy into our lives and continues to amaze us,” stated Bella Lennox.  “We’re forever grateful of his actions to protect Fallon. On Remember Me Thursday we’re honored that Yeti’s story can help shine a light on the plight of orphan pets.”

Yeti will receive an honorary trophy, along with a generous supply of Blue Buffalo dog food as a thank you for his heroism and loyalty.  He will be celebrated at the 6th Annual Remember Me Thursday® Candle-Lighting Ceremony in Balboa Park on Thursday, September 27th, 2018 between 5:45 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. (6th Avenue, between El Prado & Juniper; near Nate’s Point Dog Park). The public is invited to join Helen Woodward Animal Center staff, volunteers, friends, and therapy animals as we shine a light on orphan pets on this global pet adoption awareness day.

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

For more information on the US west coast candle-lighting events contact PR Director Jessica Gercke at (858) 756-4117 x 335 or jessicag@animalcenter.org or PR and Communications Manager Fernanda Lopez at (858) 756-4117 x 379 or fernandal@animalcenter.org.


About Helen Woodward Animal Center

Helen Woodward Animal Center is a private, non-profit organization where “people help animals and animals help people.” Founded in 1972 in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., the Center provides services for more than 90,000 people and more than 10,000 animals annually through adoptions, educational and therapeutic programs both onsite and throughout the community. Helen Woodward Animal Center is also the creator of the International Home 4 the Holidays pet adoption drive, the International Remember Me Thursday® campaign and The Business of Saving Lives Workshops, teaching the business of saving lives to animal welfare leaders from around the world.  For more information, go to:  www.animalcenter.org.

About Remember Me Thursday®

Animal lovers and organizations across the globe unite on the fourth Thursday in September to light a candle in remembrance of the millions of orphan pets who lost their lives without the benefit of a loving home and to shine a light via social media on the millions of orphan pets still waiting for their forever homes.   The Remember Me Thursday® global awareness campaign is championed by Mike Arms, President of Helen Woodward Animal Center, and creator of both the International Pet Adoptathon and successful Home 4 The Holidays program which, in partnership with national animal organizations, has placed over 14 million pets in homes since 1999.  For more information, please visit www.remembermethursday.org or via hashtag #RememberMeThursday @hwac on social media.

About Blue Buffalo
Blue Buffalo, based in Wilton, CT, is the nation's leading natural pet food company, providing natural foods and treats for dogs and cats under its BLUE Life Protection Formula, BLUE Wilderness, BLUE Basics, BLUE Freedom and BLUE Natural Veterinary Diet lines. Paying tribute to its founding mission, the Company, through the Blue Buffalo Foundation, is a leading sponsor of pet cancer awareness and of critical research studies of pet cancer, including causes, treatments and the role of nutrition, at leading veterinary medical schools and clinics across the United States. For more information about Blue Buffalo, visit the Company’s website at www.BlueBuffalo.com.


Congratulations to Yeti on being named the 2018 Remember Me Thursday® Rescue Pet Hero – seen here with his brother Fallon. Yeti, a rescue dog from Arizona, showed his loyalty and love for his new family during a day at the river that changed all of their lives.

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