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Get your pets blessed

A dog getting blessed at a Blessing of the Animals event. Image: Jo Moore/Supplied.

Your average Sunday church service isn’t normally attended by pets in all shapes and sizes.

But SPCA is encouraging humans and their pets to fill up church pews and attend their annual Blessing of the Animals ceremony in Tauranga, and to show their communal appreciated for all creatures, great and small.

The Blessing of the Animals celebration will take place on Sunday October 13 at St George’s Church.

It is part of a global commemoration of the life of St Francis of Assisi, the patron of animals. This annual event is held to coincide with World Animal Day, on October 4.

The day will see the Gate Pa church filled with animals attending the service and their owners.

Encouraged to ‘sing’ along to the hymns and listen to readings, animals will also be able to receive a special blessing from the minister after the service.

SPCA CEO Andrea Midgen says SPCA’s Blessing of the Animals ceremonies have seen their fair share of different animals over the years, with all pets welcome to attend.

“In past ceremonies we’ve see a bull, miniature ponies, turtles, mice, cats, llamas, dogs and rabbits attend,” she says.

“Some people cannot always bring their pet, so they can bring a picture of an animal they love instead. This isn’t just an event for pet owners, it’s for animals and animal-lovers across Tauranga.

“It’s a lovely day with a great community feel. And the animals behave beautifully – most of the time!”

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