World Animal Day is an international day of action for animal rights and welfare celebrated annually on October 4, the Feast Day of St Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals. It started in 1931 at a convention of ecologists in Florence, Italy who wished to highlight the plight of endangered species. Since then, World Animal Day has become a day for remembering and paying tribute to all animals and the people who love and respect them. It is celebrated in different ways in every country, with no regard to nationality, religion, faith or political ideology. In 2008 the actions devoted to this Day were held in 66 countries around the world.