Bless your pets

Bay News - - FRONT PAGE - By Re­becca Mauger news@baynews.co.nz

PETS are part of the fam­ily. Even if they are snails, mice or a don­key.

An­i­mals great and small are wel­come at the SPCA Pet Bless­ing Ser­vice at St Ge­orge’s Angli­can Church in Gate Pa this week­end.

The bless­ing of the an­i­mals has been held ev­ery year for more than a decade and Rev­erend John Heben­ton has been bless­ing the an­i­mals for seven years.

He’s blessed ev­ery­thing from horses to snails. The ser­vice at­tracts pet lovers of ev­ery kind — with their cats, dogs, rab­bits and guinea pigs, mice, don­keys.

John says he does it in part to hon­our cel­e­brate St. Fran­cis of As­sisi and his love of an­i­mals. The other part is to help the SPCA and ac­knowl­edge the an­i­mals.

“The day is also to hon­our and sup­port the work of the SPCA and to re­mind peo­ple that an­i­mals live in our world and our world is God’s, and we should treat ev­ery­thing with care and re­spect.”

St Fran­cis was born in Italy in 1181. He aban­doned a life of par­ty­ing and drink­ing when he found Chris­tian­ity. He is known as the pa­tron saint of the en­vi­ron­ment and an­i­mals. Each Oc­to­ber, an­i­mals all over the world are blessed.

The church asks that dogs are on a lead, cats in car­ri­ers and birds in cages. The SPCA Pet Bless­ing Ser­vice is a fundraiser for the SPCA. There will also be a morn­ing tea, and peo­ple may bring along a plate and/or a do­na­tion for the SPCA.

* Bless­ing Ser­vice on Sun­day, Oc­to­ber 21 from 10-11am.

Rab­bits and other an­i­mals are blessed at the an­nual pet bless­ing.

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