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Updated: 10/09/2013 08:00:01AM

Blessing of the Animals Oct. 11

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SPCA Florida and First United Methodist Church are getting together for a Blessing of the Animals at SPCA Florida’s campus, 5850 Brannen Road South, Lakeland at 11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 11.

The day honors Saint Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and the environment.

Lakeland Police Department Chaplain Lee Lallance and other FUMC ministers will conduct the ceremony and offer blessings to SPCA Florida’s adoptable animals and any public animals in attendance.

Polk County Sheriff’s Office Animal Services will participate in the ceremony and other local law enforcement K-9 teams and animal agencies have been invited.

Pet-related vendors will be on hand for this free event, which is open to the public. Pet guardians are requested to have their animals safely secured on a leash or in a carrier.

Chaplain Lallance offers opening remarks, he and his fellow ministers will bless all animals in attendance, and attendees will receive a certificate of blessing.

“This ceremony is just one of the ways we can acknowledge the essential role animals play in our community and all they do for us whether as service animals, protectors on the police force, or our companions at home,” SPCA Florida Director of Philanthropy and Community Involvement Donna Stiteler said in a press release.

For information visit www.spca or call 863-646-4607.

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