All creatures great and small are cherished family members and on Sunday they were recognised at the annual Good Shepherd Anglican Blessing of the Pets.
The annual Blessing of the Pets raises money and gathers food donations for Red Collar Rescue.
Reverend Andrew Schmidt welcomed four-legged family members with the help of his rescue pet Skittles in attendance at the full mass.
Rev Schmidt said he had held the Blessing of the Pets service for four years, and it was always well attended.
“When we worship it is normally just people, but we think of ourselves as part of all of God’s creation, and it’s great to be able to bring all the animals to be blessed today,” he said.
“This is an opportunity for all creations to worship together, and at the same time we give thanks for the roles of pets in our lives.”
Rev Schmidt said Skittle joined his family at the first Blessing of the Pets service and he was adopted from Red Collar Rescue.
“We always support Red Collar Rescue, it’s an important service that takes care of hundreds of animals locally each year,” he said.
“They were looking for a home for him, and we were looking for a dog, so he joined our family.”
Good Shepherd Anglican members Noel Pettit and Claire Eborall took their beloved Bud along to be blessed for the first time.
Noel said as Bud was part of his family it was only fitting that he joined in the annual affair.
“We are excited to be here, especially sharing because we are sharing the service with Bud,” Noel said.
“Dogs are man’s best friend and they also play a huge part in so many families. So, it’s nice to bless them too.”
Rev Schmidt said although this year’s Blessing of the Pets attracted mostly dogs, in previous years they had welcomed a variety of animals.
“We have had turtles, chickens, rats and mice, which I’ve learnt are two very different things,” he said.
“All we ask is for the community to look after their animals, it shouldn’t be that tricky.”