RANCHO SANTA FE – The Helen Woodward Animal Center is preparing to unite with animal lovers worldwide on Sept. 28 for the 11th annual Remember Me Thursday, a global campaign held in honor of the pets who never knew a forever home.
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 online voice advocating for orphan pets. Actresses and humanitarians Andie MacDowell and daughter, Rainey Qualley, have taken the lead as this year’s spokespeople for the campaign.
Andie MacDowell is a renowned actress who received critical acclaim for her role in “Sex, Lies and Videotape.” She has appeared in several notable films, including “Groundhog Day,” “St. Elmo’s Fire,” “Four Weddings and a Funeral” and “Magic Mike XXL.”
In addition to being a Loreal spokesperson, she recently starred in the Hallmark Channel drama series “Cedar Cove” and starred in the action film, “Granite Mountain.” Off-screen, MacDowell enjoys time with her family, horses and pets including rescue dog, Ava, and is a supporter of many charitable causes.
“We’ve always had some kind of pet. We had cats or dogs, and the love that my children received from them I understood deep to my core,” MacDowell stated. “I also loved watching my children return that love, understanding and the responsibility of having a pet.”
Rainey Qualley is an American actress and music artist working under the name Rainsford. She is a lifelong lover of animals and is very active in the community in Los Angeles, volunteering to help foster kittens and helping get the word out about different animals that need to be adopted.
She currently has three cats named Jesus, Myrtle and Wizard, one dog she adopted from Helen Woodward Animal Center named Arlo and five backyard chickens.
“I lived in Montana as a young child where we had horses, cows, chickens, pigs, bunnies, dogs and plenty of cats, which I’ve always had a particularly soft spot for,” Qualley stated. “Loving animals as much as I do, I’ve been vegetarian for 17 years now. It brings me so much joy to take care of animals.”
Helen Woodward Animal Center representatives met both celebrities at the Hollywood Beauty Awards last March. The Center was there as the beneficiary of the prestigious event and brought orphan puppies as Red Carpet “CorresPAWndents.” Qualley immediately fell in love with a furry orphan Schnauzer-blend and has since adopted the dog, which she named Arlo.
While there, both Qualley and MacDowell took time to discuss their devotion to rescue and animal welfare and a friendship was born.
Last Friday, Qualley visited Helen Woodward Animal Center to record a PSA for the upcoming campaign and to tour the facility. Both MacDowell and Qualley will champion social media posts to encourage their many followers to echo their posts of support for animal adoption on Remember Me Thursday.
“This day was started to be a voice for the voiceless,” explained Mike Arms, president and CEO of Helen Woodward Animal Center and creator of Remember Me Thursday. “If we can get the whole world talking about rescue on this one day each year, we can create quite a noise. When we have the support of incredible celebrities like Andie MacDowell and Rainey Qualley, we can grow that voice even louder and send it even further. There is no way to accurately express the gratitude we have to these incredible individuals whose celebrity power is truly saving lives.”
Now in its 11th year, Remember Me Thursday has been supported in 190 countries with hundreds of thousands of individuals participating and more than 1,000 separate animal welfare organizations around the globe holding candle-lighting ceremonies of their own, spreading the message on social media or lighting a virtual candle. The enormous swell of celebrity support has resulted in the topic trending each year on both Facebook and Twitter, garnering more than two billion social media impressions since its start.
For more information on Remember Me Thursday and a full list of participating celebrities and animal welfare organizations, go to www.remembermethursday.org.