In this interview, we sit down with Selin Songur, the Senior Manager of People and Talent at AVOW, to delve into her passionate involvement in International Pet Day. With a heart firmly rooted in animal welfare, Selin shares her inspirations for advocating pet adoption and support, sheds light on her vision for the future of International Pet Day, and emphasizes the importance of community involvement and awareness in making a difference.


What sparked your interest in celebrating International Pet Day, and how do you plan to contribute to its significance?


My interest in celebrating International Pet Day was sparked by a strong desire to support animal sheltering efforts in Gaza amidst the war. I plan to contribute by highlighting the critical work of animal shelters in the region, advocating for the welfare of animals in conflict zones, and encouraging support and donations to these essential organizations.

Can you share a memorable experience you’ve had with a pet that inspired you to advocate for pets and be a part of this global celebration?


Yes, the loss of one of my cats deeply inspired me. She was the most loving and sweetest creature I’ve ever known. Her anticipated presence and affection were a source of immense comfort. Knowing she would always be there to greet me, yet tragically passing away in another’s lap and not mine, left a profound impact on me.

This loss, however, paved the way for a remarkable act of rescue and survival. During a visit to a shelter in Turkey, I encountered a kitten on the brink of death. Despite initial rejections by the first 2 veterinarians due to its dire condition, perseverance led me to a 3rd vet and to a diagnosis of flu, saving the kitten’s life. This little survivor, mistaken for a female and later discovered to be male, not only recovered but became a vibrant addition to my family, embodying the spirit of resilience and joy. His addition now makes it 2 cats and a dog for us. This combined experience is what fuelled my passion for advocating animal welfare and the global celebration of pets.

How do you envision International Pet Day evolving in the coming years, and what role do you see yourself playing in its development?


I envision International Pet Day growing into a more inclusive and globally impactful event, emphasizing the importance of rescuing and adopting animals from shelters, including those in other countries. The process can be challenging but incredibly rewarding. I hope to inspire and encourage people worldwide to open their homes to street animals and those in need, playing a role in spreading awareness and facilitating these connections.

How can businesses and organizations leverage International Pet Day to promote responsible pet ownership and support animal shelters or rescue initiatives?


Businesses and organizations can play a significant role by giving voice to individuals working in animal welfare and supporting shelters both visibly and financially. They can use their platforms to raise awareness about the responsibilities of pet ownership and the importance of supporting animal shelters. While the decision to help should ultimately come from the individual, raising awareness and understanding the commitment involved are crucial steps towards a more responsible and empathetic society.