A procession of animals ranging from dogs and cats to hamsters and even horses is being held this weekend.
The annual blessing of the pets ceremony is being held in the St. Andrews Anglican Church at 4 p.m. on Sunday.
Last year the event pulled in nearly $100—its average—with just over 20 dogs and cats (and a fish and a teddy bear) coming through the doors to be blessed.
Most people see their pets as part of their families, said Elliot.
“So they want them to be blessed as well,” he said.
In return, the church asks for a cash donation at the door which they, in turn, forward to the Trail and District SPCA office.
The event is open to all pet owners, not just those with paws and fur.
However, Elliot did not comment and only smiled when asked about whether the church confines could accommodate livestock.
This custom is conducted in remembrance of St. Francis of Assisi’s love for all creatures. Francis, whose feast day is Oct. 4, loved the larks flying about his hilltop town.
He and his early brothers, staying in a small hovel, allowed themselves to be displaced by a donkey.
Francis wrote a Canticle of the Creatures, an ode to God’s living things.
“All praise to you, Oh Lord, for all these brother and sister creatures.”
And there was testimony in the cause for St. Clare of Assisi’s canonization that referred to her little cat.
The blessing runs Sunday at 4 p.m. in the St. Andrews Anglican Church.