PRNewswire - Helen Woodward Animal Center has announced the launch of an online program that honors pets through dedicated virtual candles and personalized pet photos posted at the IRememberYou.org website.
On the one year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, Helen Woodward Animal Center has placed a lifetime memorial candle on the site in memory of the pets that lost their lives to the devastation.
The candle placed in the gallery at IRememberYou.org will provide Hurricane Sandy pet owners a place to visit and honor their lost pets. The available message board will give these individuals a place to share their memories and process their grief, while the undying light of their pets' love and spirit glows in remembrance.
"The loss of homes, businesses and personal items that came with this tragedy was challenging enough to overcome," stated Mike Arms, president and CEO of Helen Woodward Animal Center. "The loss of a pet that provides unconditional love and comfort at a time like that is too much to imagine. These pet owners deserve a comforting place to find closure, process their grief and unite with others who suffered the same loss."
Whether struggling with the loss of one's own devoted pet or the pet of a friend or family member, the website also provides participants a way to pay the love forward by helping save the lives of orphaned pets and supporting humane education and therapeutic programs that unite animals and people.
The candles are available for purchase with a variety of time period displays from as short as one week to a lifetime, with an option that allows friends to contribute towards the extended life of the candle. 100% of the proceeds support life-changing programs for animals and people in need.
"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."
Owners of honored pets 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 Mr. Arms, a world-renowned animal advocate.
Arms was inspired to create the I Remember You program earlier this year when Helen Woodward Animal Center united with animal lovers around the world during the first annual Remember Me Thursday candle-lighting ceremony. The one-day event, honoring the millions of orphan pets who lost their lives without the benefit of a loving home, received global participation including 139 countries and over 94,000 individual contributors.
Within the overwhelming response, Arms 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.
For more information on I Remember You and to light your own virtual candle in honor of a beloved pet, go to www.IRememberYou.org.