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Duo Duo Project’s Animal Welfare Rally Ignites Passion in Union Square, Kicking Off International Pet Appreciation Month

Duo Duo Project Animal Welfare Rally Ignites Passion
Photo Courtesy: Duo Duo Project

By: Maria Williams

Union Square in San Francisco became a vibrant hub of compassion and activism on Saturday, June 1st, as the Duo Duo Project hosted the International Pet Appreciation Rally. This heartfelt event brought together a diverse crowd of pet lovers, animal welfare advocates, and compassionate citizens, all united by a common cause: to honor furry family members and protest the Yulin Dog Meat “Festival.”

From the early morning hours, Union Square buzzed with energy and excitement. The rally kicked off at 10:30 AM, and attendees were greeted with a variety of activities designed to celebrate pets and raise awareness about animal cruelty. The atmosphere was electric as people gathered, many accompanied by their beloved pets, ready to make their voices heard.

A March of Unity and Compassion

One of the event’s highlights was the spirited dog march around Union Square. Proud pet parents held signs denouncing animal cruelty and celebrating the joy and companionship pets bring. Dogs of all shapes and sizes paraded around the square, many wearing orange “Family Not Food” bandanas, symbolizing the rally’s core message. Seeing these loyal companions marching alongside their human counterparts was uplifting and powerful, a testament to the deep bond between humans and their pets.

Inspiring Voices and Moving Stories

The rally featured a series of inspiring presentations from prominent figures in the animal welfare community. Andrea Gung, the passionate Founder and Executive Director of the Duo Duo Project, captivated the audience with her dedication to animal welfare and her efforts to end the consumption of dogs and cats. “Today marks the beginning of a worldwide movement, a collective outpouring of love and compassion for dogs and cats,” Gung declared. “This rally is not just a celebration of our pets but a loud, unified protest against the horrific cruelty of the Yulin Dog Meat’ Festival.'”

Howard Finkelstein, Co-founder of the Foundation for Animal Care and Education (FACE), and Sherri Franklin, Founder and CEO of Muttville, shared moving stories of rescue and rehabilitation, underscoring the vital bond between humans and their pets. Their heartfelt speeches highlighted the importance of compassion and the impact of their work in rescuing and rehabilitating animals in need.

Special guests, including Miss Sunnyvale Jane Casupanan and Sunnyvale Mayor Larry Klein, brought local pride to the event. They celebrated Andrea Gung’s accomplishments and unwavering commitment to animal welfare, emphasizing the significance of community support in driving meaningful change.

Activities and Entertainment for All

In addition to the impactful speeches, the rally provided a variety of engaging activities for both pets and their guardians. Attendees were moved by a pet appreciation photo display showcasing the special bond between pets and their guardians. Families captured joyous moments at a themed photo booth, where they could take pictures with their furry friends, creating lasting memories.

A captivating drag show and a DJ spinning great tunes further enlivened the atmosphere, uniquely and memorably blending entertainment with advocacy. These performances added a festive touch to the event, making it a platform for activism and celebrating the love and joy pets bring into people’s lives.

A Global Movement for Change

The International Pet Appreciation Rally in San Francisco is just the beginning. Andrea Gung emphasized that this event marks the start of a global movement, with similar rallies planned in over 20 cities worldwide throughout June. “Our goal is to create a ripple effect, starting here in San Francisco and spreading across the globe,” Gung said. “We want to send a clear message to Yulin city and the world: it’s time to recognize and appreciate dogs and cats as family, not food.”

Since its inception, the Duo Duo Project has been at the forefront of the fight against consuming dogs and cats. Their ongoing efforts and the widespread support they garner demonstrate a growing global movement toward animal welfare and protection. The rally highlighted the power of collective action and the importance of raising awareness about animal cruelty.

Join the Cause

For those who couldn’t attend the rally in person, the Duo Duo Project is hosting a virtual rally and fundraising campaign throughout June. This virtual event will allow supporters worldwide to join the cause, amplifying the message of compassion and advocating for the end of the Yulin Dog Meat “Festival.”

The organization’s dedication to ending the consumption of dogs and cats and fostering a more compassionate world continues to inspire and mobilize people globally.

Looking Ahead

The San Francisco International Pet Appreciation Rally was a heartening reminder of the powerful bond between humans and their pets and a bold statement against animal cruelty. The community’s spirit of unity and compassion shone brightly, setting the stage for continued global advocacy. As similar events occur worldwide, the message of love, respect, and protection for all animals will grow louder, driving meaningful change and fostering a more compassionate world for future generations.

Photos from the rally can be viewed here. Visit the Duo Duo Project website to join a virtual rally and to support its mission.

Published by: Martin De Juan

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