Honor Animal Companions on Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day
For many, animal companions make the lives of their guardians complete, full of joy, and purposeful. When these companions pass on, they often leave a lasting paw, feather, hoof, or tail-shaped mark in the lives of those who loved them. August 29 is Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day — a day to honor and reflect upon the memories, lasting love, and legacy that animal companions leave behind when they cross the rainbow bridge.
Our team is paying tribute to those companions who have been loved and lost, and we’re sharing an opportunity for you to do the same. Below, we share some of our most beloved memories, as well as ways you can join us in honoring your companion’s legacy.
“Rudy was a pug beagle mix who spent his 17 and a half years sharing in adventures and spreading love to those most in need of it. Rudy was always busy — when he wasn’t taking care of me and my sister growing up, he was spending the day at the nursing home where my mom worked. He’d make his rounds snuggling with patients, putting smiles on their faces, and helping them finish their meals! He spent his weekends adventuring with our family — there wasn’t a sport he didn’t do, but his favorite activity was kayaking. Rudy touched countless lives and showed us what it means to love and be loved unconditionally.”
- Katie Nolan, General Campaigner, and Rudy
“It was love at first sight! When I peered into the box of kittens, Chico stretched his paw toward my face to play with my eyelashes. At that moment, we connected eye-to-eye and soul-to-soul.
As a kitten, Chico was so tiny that he could hide on the bookshelf without being seen. But he matured into a large, handsome, and majestic cat. Chico was a mountain lion in a cat's body. He leaped from the top of the closet door to the bedroom door with ease. He roared when ready for dinner. His paws landed with a thud when he jumped down from his closet perch. I felt privileged when he curled up next to me or let me rub his tummy.
At 18, when Chico's kidney disease progressed, his back legs failed him at times. He let me care for his ailing body until his time came. While lying on his deathbed on his side, his four legs suddenly moved as if he were running again. Chico was on a mission, running toward something greater. Then, with a roar, his soul left his body as if he literally jumped across a chasm to the other side. I will always adore Chico, who was the love of my life. May he be a cat in a mountain lion's body in some fantastic place.”
- Lisa Levinson, Campaigns Director, and Chico
"Tragically, tens of thousands of horses, both wild and domestic, are sent across U.S. borders every year to slaughterhouses in Mexico and Canada. Shadow was one of the few saved from the ‘kill pen’ before he was shipped. Shadow did not fit the usual criteria to be saved because he was very thin, bony, and lame due to hooves in terrible condition. However, as a woman walked through the kill pens looking for horses to save, Shadow followed her everywhere and she couldn't leave him there. He was about 12 years old at that time in 2005. I immediately realized his amazing potential and adopted him and brought him back to health and good condition. Shadow quickly became a favorite at our barn where kids and adults alike learned to understand and empathize with horses and "read" their behaviors for true bonding partnerships. The smallest toddlers, barely able to walk themselves, could hold Shadow's lead rope and he would gently follow them. Shadow had extraordinary patience and tolerance for people learning to understand horses. He was one-in-a-million and hundreds of people who had learned life lessons from him grieved when he died of a blockage at age 21. Please ask Congress to pass the SAFE Act to ban the transport of horses across U.S. borders for slaughter."
- Ginger Fedak, Wild Horse and Burro Campaign Project Director, and Shadow
“Maisie, lovingly called May Bug, was the first companion I ever rescued, but she tragically passed away within a week of us welcoming her into her forever home. She was quickly diagnosed with an incurable disease that caused her to suffer, and my family was heartbroken knowing we would need to help her over the rainbow bridge with our time together cut so short. A few hours after we said goodbye, I stood in the kitchen of my family’s home, and a ladybug landed on my arm. A symbol of a life well lived and good things to come, I now see ladybugs in the most unusual places, coming to me when my spirits need lifting, and a sign I take as Maisie keeping a watchful and loving eye on me. I’ve gone on to adopt companions in need since saying goodbye to Maisie and I know my Bug is always with me.”
- Erin Dobrzyn, Farmed Animals Campaigner, and Maisie
Jindo Love Rescue, Remembering 20 Dogs Lost as a Result of Devastating Fire
We recently experienced a heartbreaking tragedy when a fire destroyed our rescue partner Jindo Love Rescue’s foster center in South Korea. Devastatingly, 20 dogs were killed in the fire, and seven more passed away later, despite veterinary intervention.
Today we’ll be taking some time to remember Bentley, Edy, Dion, Tiki, Ivory, Tyler, Kitkat, Wicket, Taka, Bean, Reese, Pina, Pobee, Colada, Lasso, Puma, Lami, Lucky, Narae, and Thunder. They will never be forgotten and we’re grateful they experienced so much love before they crossed the rainbow bridge. You can help us rebuild and save more like them in their memory.
If you would like to share a story or photo of your companion who has crossed the rainbow bridge, tag us at @ida_international on Instagram or @idausa on Twitter, add your story in the comments section on our Facebook page, and add #RainbowBridge to your post.
You can also memorialize your companion with an “in memory” gift that will be used toward our mission of helping all animals.