The Richmond Register

September 22, 2012

Blessing of the Animals, Saturday, Sept. 29, in Irvine-McDowell Park

Special to the Register

RICHMOND — All animal lovers are invited to a Blessing of the Animals on Saturday, Sept. 29, at 2 p.m. in Richmond’s Irvine-McDowell Park, 345 Lancaster Ave.

Richmond’s First Christian Church and the Humane Society of Madison County will be hosting the event.

“Bring your pets — dogs, cats, hamsters, horses, llamas, lizards, birds, you name it,” said Dr. Betsy Goehrig, First Christian’s pastor.

A brief prayer service for all of God’s creatures will be conducted at 2:15 p.m., followed by individual blessings upon each pet by the ministers from 2:20-4 p.m. Animal contests will begin at 3 p.m., a K-9 demonstration at 3:30 p.m. and an impromptu art contest for children and youth at 4 p.m.

Certificates will be given to each participant. Special certificates will be given to those who lost their pets in the past year.  Blessing Tags will be made available for pet collars for $5.

“We will celebrate service animals, such as Paws to Read from the Madison County Library, Hospice therapy dog Coco and K-9 dog Justice with handler Officer Chip Gray of the Richmond Police Department,” Goehrig said. “The Madison County Sheriff’s Office also will have a booth with legal and animal safety information.”

Pet nail clipping will be provided, with donations going to the Humane Society. Other animal-related booths will be at the event.

Animal contests at 3 p.m. will include prizes for: Oldest Pet, Largest Pet, Smallest Pet, Most Unusual Pet, Best Costumed Cat, Best Costumed Dog, Best Costumed Other, Most Recently Rescued, Best Pet Trick, Cat with Most UK Spirit and Dog with Most EKU Col. Spirit.

There also will be inflatables, a petting zoo, people snacks, pet snacks and adoptable pets from the Humane Society. A drawing for UK basketball tickets will be conducted, with proceeds going to the Humane Society and toward the event. Door prizes also will be given away. Parking is available behind the park, across Lancaster Avenue behind Alumni House and on the side streets.

The Blessing of the Animals custom goes back to St. Francis of Assisi who had a deep love for all creatures, Goehrig said.

Call First Christian Church at 623-4383 for more details.