Bless the Pets!
It is a popular and enjoyable event for many pet lovers. The “blessing of the pets” service has become an increasingly well-attended and appreciated service for many congregations. It is a unique opportunity to recognize the value of our pets and the important role they play in our lives. When planning such an event, please consider the extra needs of a service like this.
Take advantage of the great summer weather by choosing an onsite and outdoor location. This obviously takes the risk of an indoor “accident” and neatly moves it outdoors where clean-up is easier. Ask participants to bring lawn chairs or blankets for use during the service. Supply specially designated waste depositories and additional waste baggies for participants to use.
Depending on your location, you may get requests for different types of animals. Consider if you are going to be able to accommodate every request. You may need to provide examples of pets best suited for your location, and then establish a signup sheet to get a participant count and provide a way to vet the pets hoping to attend. Perhaps a creative alternative can be provided for animals which are beyond your limits.
Develop a statement requiring all pets be controlled by a leash, harness, carrier or crate. It may be wise to separate different species that are natural foes. Remind everyone that this service is not intended to be a petting zoo, so please encourage participants to limit contact and seek approval from owners before approaching animals.
In lieu of a traditional offering, consider a request for a donation to be given to a specified local non-profit focused on animals.