Interfaith Blessing of the Animals will host pet fair and contests

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(Photographer: Christina Cronin-Vejar. Courtesy of Long Beach Modern.)

The second largest Pet Blessing in the United States will take place in Long Beach on St. Francis Day, Saturday, October 3 at noon. The Interfaith Blessing of the Animals presented by Haute Dogs, Justin Rudd and Councilman Gary DeLong is free to the public and their pets.

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. Some exotic pets are being brought from a professional wildlife education organization, and the Aquarium of the Pacific is bringing some other unusual animals.

The event will include 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.

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.

The Blessing of the Animals begins at noon and lasts about 45 minutes. The religious leaders will talk or pray briefly on the connections among all living beings.

Preceding the Blessing, enter your pooch in the Ugly Dog, Cute Dog contests at 11:00 a.m. All breeds and sizes are welcome.

The pet blessing will be followed by the Chihuahua Beauty Contest at 1 p.m. All ages and types of Chihuahuas are welcome to enter. Mixes are welcome, too.

Real life beauty queens will select an overall male and female to reign supreme and win the BIG gift certificates to local pet shops. The Chihuahuas will be evaluated on personality, charm, face, figure, and first impression. This is a contest where gender is no limitation. Clothing is optional.

The quadrupeds will parade down a 100-ft. red carpet runway, flanked by hundreds of gawkers.

The Blessing of the Animals takes place Saturday, October 3 at Marine Stadium in Long Beach. Pet adoptions and fair is from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; Ugly Dog and Cute Dog contests at 11:00 a.m.; Interfaith Blessing at noon; and Chihuahua Beauty contest at 1:00 p.m. Most events are free, the contests cost $10 each in advance or $20 on Saturday.

For more information visit Justin Rudd’s website

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