Haute Dogs’ “Interfaith Blessing of the Animals” Saturday, October 6

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More than 300 animals are expected to attend the 11th annual “Interfaith Blessing of the Animals” at sunset on Sat., Oct. 6, 2012, on the concrete boat launch ramp at 1 Granada Ave. in Belmont Shore, next to Rosie’s Dog Beach. Beachfront parking is free at 1 Granada Ave. after 6 p.m. daily.

It’s one of the largest blessings of pets in the world. The Blessing in Long Beach is typically held on St. Francis Day weekend. St. Francis is the patron saint of animals. The Blessing is hosted by Justin Rudd’s nonprofit Community Action Team (CAT) which includes Haute Dogs.

The event is always free to the public and their pets. Special guests this year will include horses, ponies, an alpaca, a llama, a donkey, goats, sheep, rabbits, and chickens. Seniors, families, singles, and children, are encouraged to bring their dogs, cats, birds, lizards, rabbits, pot-bellied pigs, fish, tortoises and turtles and other well-behaved pets.

The procession of animals down a 100’ red carpet starts at 6:15 p.m. and the approx. 30-minute ceremony takes place as the sun sets over the Pacific Ocean – quite a picturesque site this time of year. As with years past, clergy include a variety of faiths, including a Roman Catholic priest from St. Bart’s in Belmont Shore, a representative from the Baha’I Faith, the pastor from Pueblo de Dios Lutheran Church in Compton, the pastor from Bixby Knolls Christian Church, a reverend from Centers for Spiritual Living and a reverend from the Universal Life Church. Other faith leaders are expected to be added as the event approaches.

There will be a moment of blessing, silence and vigil at the beginning of the service for pets who are unfortunately involved with sport dog fighting and other inhumane, unethical treatment. The religious leaders will talk and pray briefly on the interconnections among all living beings.

After brief words from each of the faith leaders, the menagerie of participants will have the opportunity to line up single-file to be blessed by the faith leaders who will be dressed in traditional garb. Olive branches and holy water will be available. Those with pets can choose to get “blessed” by one or all of the clergy.

The events founder/organizer Justin Rudd says, “It’s important to recognize and honor the great bond and relationship between pets and their people.”

The other upcoming Haute Dogs event is the wildly popular Haute Dog Howl’oween Parade in Belmont Shore on Sun., Oct. 28.

Web: www.BlessThePets.com.

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