Ul­ster SPCA hosts Bless­ing of the An­i­mals

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By Brian Hu­bert bhu­bert@free­manon­line.com @bri­anat­free­man on Twit­ter

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.”

BRIAN HU­BERT—DAILY FREE­MAN

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.

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