Blessing of Animals service to raise awareness for pets

All dogs go to heaven, but first they must be blessed.Members of the TCU community can bring their animals to the 3rd Annual Blessing of the Animals service Wednesday.

The Rev. Angela Kaufman, minister to the university, said the Blessing of the Animals is a service that goes on at schools and churches as well as many other places of worship all over the world.

Kaufman said this service usually takes place around the Feast Day of St. Francis, the saint of animals. All animals are welcome from dogs, rabbits, chickens, even lizards have been known to attend.

“This service started as a way for us to know how to give blessings to our pets,” Kaufman said. “It touches on the idea that everything in this world is connected, that the world is God’s creation and it is good.”

Kaufman said the service will start off with prayer and music, followed by the reading of scripture and passages that relate to the care of animals and a short reflection.

“The most notable part of the service is that a couple of pastors will give blessings on animals present and those who are not able to be present at the service,” Kaufman said.

In association with the blessing service, “Horned Frogs and Dogs” will also take place Wednesday.

Ericka Strickland, who is heading up this event with Kaufman, said the event is more geared toward animal awareness and information.

“We hope this event will get TCU students more aware of animal rights,” Strickland said. “The humane society and an adoption group will be there with information, as well as other animal groups on TCU’s campus.”

One of these organizations is People for Animal Welfare, a TCU student group that deals with every aspect of animal well-being.

Veronika Terrian, president of P.A.W., said the group was started four years ago but has been dormant for a few years and is beginning again this year.

“We are going to focus on whatever the members of the group are most concerned with,” Terrian said. “Tomorrow we will be handing out literature on the group and we will hopefully get our name out there so that more people can get involved.”

Kaufman said there will be animals there for people to adopt.

“Our focus is not to get them all into homes, but into responsible homes,” Kaufman said.

Strickland said there will be a PetSmart raffle at the event, information on animal adoptions, dog and cat goodie bags with treats, music, food and much more.