Thursday, August 9, 2007

Animal Chaplains Teach Us To Love Animals On World Animal Day

Animal Chaplains Teach Us To Love Animals On World Animal Day
From the Interfaith Association of Animal Chaplains

In what will look like a scene from the popular family movie, "Evan Almighty", dozens of Animal Chaplains around the world will bless hundreds, perhaps thousands of animals in many different settings on October 4 2007. At a pet cemetery on the east coast, to a city park in the desert, to a sandy beach on the west coast, they will walk in on four paws, fly in on a harness, and slither in on their bellies.

That day is World Animal Day, a day dedicated to honoring, blessing, and protecting animals all over the world. World Animal Day was founded at an ecologist's convention in Florence, Italy in 1931 as a way of highlighting the plight of endangered species. Since then, it has grown to encompass all kinds of animal life and has been widely celebrated around the world. October 4th was chosen as World Animal Day because it is also the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, a Catholic Church holiday which is often celebrated with an annual "blessing of the pets". Churches and synagogues in many faiths traditions have adopted "Pet Blessing Day" or "World Animal Day" in increasing numbers every year.

The Interfaith Association of Animal Chaplains prepares for World Animal Day by referring its members and visitors to the official World Animal Day website. The site provides ideas and resources to individuals, families, community groups and congregations everywhere. People can post their pledge for volunteering at a World Animal Day event. In addition to blessing pets, volunteers will work at animal shelters, zoos, rescues, and other nonprofit organizations. Dogs will be walked, cats will be brushed, horses will be groomed, and fish will enjoy freshly cleaned tanks. Donations will be given to animal welfare agencies, and pets will be adopted. School children will collect pet food to be donated to charities, and bake sales and car washes will be held as fundraising events. Veterinary clinics will hold free spay and neuter days, or may offer to vaccinate pets at no charge. All over the world, on the very same day, the well-being of animals will be on the minds of millions of people.

Founder and Chair of Animal, Chaplain Nancy Cronk, feels a day honoring animals is very important at a time when the headlines speak of animal cruelty such as athlete Michael Vick's alleged ties to illegal dog fighting. Animal Chaplains would like everyone to know that every major faith endorses the responsible stewardship of the earth and all of its creatures. "Deliberate harming of animals is in direct opposition to teachings in all of the major world faiths. Caring for animals is our global spiritual responsibility."

For more information about The Interfaith Association of Animal Chaplains, go to To get involved on World Animal Day, go to

(Permission is granted by Animal and the Interfaith Association of Animal Chaplains to post this article in full, or to use the information to write your own.)


Joy said...

I cannot say how much grief I have felt for my poodle. We had to put her to sleep on 7-18-07. I still cry everyday for her. I feel like I lost a child. She loved me unconditionally. Suzy followed me all over my house. She was 13-1/2. I wish I could hold her again.I took her to the bank drive-thru, and when I go now, I get so depressed.I know she is out of pain and misery but I loved her so much. I am crying as I write this.
Thanks for reading

Animal Chaplain said...

Joy, I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your poodle. All of us at know what it is like to lose a furry companion we loved very deeply. On behalf of all of the Chaplains, our hearts go out to you. Please feel free to post stories about her on this blog or on our site. The more you talk about it, the more you will heal. Also, if therer is a Chaplain close to you (check the clergy list), you can call them, too, if you need help getting through this. You can also send us her picture (go to the memorial page on Animal

Please know you are loved, Joy, and others care about you.

Chaplain Nancy

Scott said...

Keep up the good work. I get emails everyday from someone who has either lost a pet or they are looking for a companion to fill the void in their lives.

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