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Annually in October in Longbeach, California, there's an Interfaith Blessing of the Animals, exceedingly well attended each year, with blessings not only for cats and dogs, but foxes, horses, parrots, porcupine, lizards, pot-bellied pigs, kinkajous, coati mundis, monkeys, tortoise, and all sorts of beasties pet-owners bring (some of which are illegal to keep as pets in California, but what the hey).

The services begin with a moment of silence, blessing, and vigil for animals who cannot be present but are trapped in inhumane conditions. Ministers of numerous faiths participate, each priest or preacher in their traditional garb.

There were seven faiths represented in 2009, ranging from Reverand Monsignor Sean Flanagan of St. Bartholomew Catholic Church of Longbeach; to Reverand Monsignor Chris Carpenter, pastor of the Reformed Catholic Church Community of the Resurrection; to Reverand Ava (in the topmost photo) of the Goddess Temple of Orange County. Here are some of the chihuahuas blessed in 2008 and 2009.


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