Pandemic gives rise to drive-through pet blessings in The Philippines

Pet parents in the Philippines had their pets blessed via a drive-through ceremony this past Sunday to mark World Animal Day and the feast of Saint Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals.

Amid rising cases in the country, drivers brought their pets to a Catholic priest and from a safe distance inside their owners’ cars, the animals, which included cats, dogs, and birds, were sprinkled with holy water by the priest in Manila, reports Reuters.

The Philippines has recorded approximately 330,000 coronavirus infections as of this writing, the highest in Southeast Asia.
A bird is blessed in the Philippines via drive-through (image: Reuters)
World Animal Day which celebrated worldwide, aims to raise the status of animals in order to improve welfare standards around the globe.

Organizers and participants of the event in the Philippines said this year’s drive-through blessing ensured that social distancing was practiced.

Ritchie Pascual, one of the event organizers said, “We have to adapt to the new normal and the pandemic should never stop us from paying tribute to the furry animals that we have.”

Dog parent Arlene Pedron told Reuters that having her pet blessed is “very important…because we really feel like our pet is part of our family. We also want the best for his health,” Pedron added, while waiting in line with her two-year-old golden retriever.


A cat is receiving a blessing by car (image: Reuters)
Man’s best friend receiving a blessing from a Catholic priest in Manila (image: Reuters)
A tiny dog awaiting blessing for World Animal Day (images: Reuters)
A happy dog awaiting a blessing (image: Reuters)
A pair of dogs in the middle of a drive-through blessing in Manila (image: Reuters)

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