Pet Blessing set for Saturday at Crosslin Park

The Rev. John Toles, pastor at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, says a blessing over Molly during the Blessing of the Animals and benefit for the Enid SPCA at The Cat Resort in Enid on Oct. 6, 2018. (Bonnie Vculek / Enid News & Eagle)

St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church and Enid SPCA are teaming up for the annual St. Francis Day Blessing of the Animals, 10:30-11:30 a.m. at the dog park in Crosslin Park.

The Rev. John Toles, pastor at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, said the church commemorates St. Francis with the blessing ceremony each year because “God made them, and we like to bless them.”

“The animals are our pets, and more than that, they are a very important part of our lives,” Toles said.

With COVID-19 continuing to leave many people isolated in their homes, Toles said animals have taken on increased importance for companionship.

“Our animals are truly our family members,” Toles said, “especially for those who live alone — they are the one living thing around you, and they can be a great comfort.

“God made the animals,” Toles said, “he said they are good, and we firmly believe they need a blessing, just like we do.”

Donations of dog and cat food, or monetary donations, to support Enid SPCA will be collected during the event, and Enid SPCA will have some of its adoptable animals there to meet the public.

Enid SPCA Executive Director Vickie Grantz said the event is “really an amazing thing for the community, year after year.”

“I see so many people come out to have their pets blessed, where it is really meaningful for them, and it brings them comfort,” Grantz said. “And this year, I think people need a little more comfort than in years in past. I think it is a great thing the church does, to bring peace and reassurance to pet owners in our community.”

Grantz said donations of dog and cat food “is always something we need,” and supports both the animals at the Enid SPCA shelter and the community pet food pantry, for low-income pet owners.

Monetary donations help with medical expenses for animals waiting for adoption, she said.

Volunteers also are needed, though currently, due to COVID-19 restrictions, only adult volunteers are being allowed to work at Enid SPCA.

Donations can be sent to Enid SPCA, 1116 Overland Trail, Enid OK 73703. More information on adopting and volunteering, and a donation tab, are available at https://enidspca.org.

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