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Church to Bless Pets in Special Service

Round Hill Road Community Church will honor our four-legged friends in a special blessing of the animals' service Sunday.

"We welcome all species, big or small," said Shannon White, associate minister at the church. "The animals will be with us throughout the worship service. There is a strange holy hush over the animals and in previous years, they have been very well behaved."

Blessing of pet services are performed in memory of St. Francis of Assisi's love for all creatures. Parishioners may bring their pets to give thanks for what animals do in their lives. A candle lighting will be dedicated to pets that have died. Guests are encouraged to bring a portrait, photo or stuffed animal in their honor.

The service will be held at the Round Hill Community House at 10 a.m., next door to the church, to avoid overcrowding. Guests with aggressive or unruly animals are advised to bring a photo instead or remain in the back of the room. Animals must be kept in crates, carriers or on leashes during the service. Larger animals, such as horses, must be led and remain in the holding area outside. Water and cleaning aids will be provided.

Animals play a big role in our lives, White said. "Pets show us God's love," she said.

Treats and refreshments for pets and their owners will be available after the service. For more information, call 203-869-1091.

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