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Bless The Animals This Sunday

Royal New Zealand Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To Animals

For Release: 4 October 2006

Bless The Animals This Sunday

The Royal New Zealand SPCA is expecting a huge variety of animals to converge on churches across New Zealand for ‘Blessing of the Animals’ services, this coming Sunday, 8th October.

The services, held with assistance from the SPCA’s branches and member societies, form part of the celebrations for World Animal Week and will be taking place on the first Sunday after the Feast of St Francis of Assisi, Patron Saint of Animals.

“Working for the SPCA provides you with constant reminders of how much pleasure animals give to people of all ages. Blessing Services celebrate the joy of these relationships and are great family occasions,” says Robyn Kippenberger, National Chief Executive of the Royal New Zealand SPCA.

“Animal Blessings are increasingly popular around the world and have become an annual fixture for a great many New Zealanders and their animal friends. They are wonderful occasions and give us the opportunity to recognise the love and companionship we receive from the creatures who share our homes and lives.

“In recent years, people have brought not just dogs and cats but donkeys, goats, sheep, rabbits, alpacas, mice, gerbils, guinea pigs, chickens, parakeets and, last year, a prize Hereford bull. We expect a similarly varied turnout this year.

“A big ‘thank you’ must go to the clergy and others who will be officiating on Sunday. It’s also a privilege to be able to hold these services in some of the most beautiful and historic cathedrals and churches in New Zealand,” Robyn Kippenberger adds.

The SPCA advises owners that dogs and larger animals should be on leads when attending services, whilst cats and other animals should be brought in cages unless they are not stressed by other species. Companions of dogs and larger animals are also asked to bring along a ‘pooper-scooper’ or some other means of tidying up in case of ‘accidents’.

For times, venues and local contact people, see attached list of ‘Blessing of the Animals’ services.


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