Animal Parade and Blessing
Motorists and cyclists will take second place to the animals on some city streets this weekend.
SPCA Auckland is encouraging animal lovers to celebrate their pets by taking part in the Great Animal Walk and Blessing of the Animals on October 2. Owners and their pets will parade through the city streets, escorted by the police and a group of SPCA inspectors. The parade starts at 12.45pm from Victoria Park and finishes at St Matthew-in-the-City in time for the Blessing of the Animals service.
SPCA Auckland executive director Bob Kerridge has organised the event for the past 32 years. ‘‘The Blessing of the Animals service is a wonderful way to celebrate animals and the joy they bring to our lives,’’ he says. ‘‘Animals line the church aisle and pews and ‘sing’ along to the hymns with great enthusiasm.’’.
The service, which is held in many countries in the world, is held on the nearest Sunday to the Feast of St Francis, the recognised Patron Saint of Animals. All animals are welcome inside the church for the service. In past years animal guests have included dogs ranging from Chihuahuas to Great Danes, turtles, birds, goldfish, miniature horses, cats, and even a bull.
‘‘The event finishes with the blessing for each animal from the ministers, which gives spiritual comfort to many,’’ Kerridge says.
Pets and their owners will parade through Auckland city streets escorted by the police and SPCA inspectors.