Ulster SPCA hosts Blessing of the Animals
TOWN OF ULSTER >> The Rev. Robert Bubel of St. Mary’sSt. Peter’s Catholic Church in Kingston blessed dozens of animals at the Ulster County SPCA Sunday.
A few dozen animal lovers showed up to the Blessing of the Animals, most of them dog owners, with the exception of one cat owner.
After a brief sermon, Bubel blessed each person’s pet by showering them with a small amount of holy water.
Bubel said he grew up with both cats and dogs in his home and that he loves both.
“I like to pet a cat,” he said. “But I like to play with dogs.”
After Bubel finished blessing pets outside in the shelter’s memorial garden and parking lot, he moved inside to bless cats, birds, rabbits and dogs. He then moved outside to the farm animal area to bless two goats that SPCA Office Manager Robert Miraldi said came from a recent humane law case in the Saugerties and Woodstock area, along with Edmund, a large pig.
Gina Carbonari, vice president of the SPCA’s board of directors, said St. Francis Assisi, a Catholic saint, is the patron saint of animals. While she said the blessing is a Catholic tradition, she noted that the SPCA’s event is non-denominational.
“It’s about providing a community service,” she said, noting that many of the people who come to the event have adopted animals at the shelter in the past.
“Today it’s all about the animals,” she said.
Carbonari takes pride in the fact the Ulster County SPCA is a “no-kill” shelter, and she said she enjoys talking to people who return with a pet they’ve adopted.
“They can stay as long as needed until they find a new home,” Carbonari said.
Among the dogs Bubel blessed at the shelter’s second annual event was Molly, a 5-year-old beagle.
Molly’s owner, Julie Ballou of Kingston, said Molly was a rescue from Tennessee.
“Down there they have a lot shelters who kill, so people up here try to rescue them,” Ballou said.
Ballou said she discovered Molly online a few weeks after her other beagle, also a rescue animal, passed away several years ago.
Ballou said she then drove to Nyack and picked up Molly from a large truck that was transporting rescue animals north.
“We’re here blessing Molly so she can have a happy, happy life,” Ballou said.
Stephanie and Albert Purdy brought the event’s only cat, Captain Jack, which they kept in a stroller.
Stephanie Purdy said they’ve had Captain Jack for about five years, but two years ago he became paralyzed.
“Two years ago he hopped off a foot stool and it just happened,” Albert Purdy said.
“But he’s happy otherwise,” Stephanie Purdy said.
As for being the one cat surrounded by so many dogs, Albert Purdy said, “He did as good as he could with 20 dogs around.”
Rev. Robert Bubel of St. Mary’s/St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Kingston presided over the second annual Blessing of the Animals at the Ulster County SPCA in the town of Ulster Sunday. Bubel blessed a few dozen dogs and one cat brought by their owners along with all of the animals who reside at the shelter and are awaiting adoption.
Molly a 5-year-old beagle owned by Julie Ballou, of Kingston, was among a few dozen dogs and one cat who were blessed by Rev. Robert Bubel of St. Mary’s/St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Kingston during the secondannual Blessing of the Pets ceremony at the Ulster County SPCA in the town of Ulster Sunday afternoon. Bubel also blessed animals inside the shelter who are awaiting adoption.