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Sunday, October 25, 2020

In Philippines, a drive-through blessing for pets on World Animal Day

From a safe distance inside their owners’ cars, cats, dogs, and birds were sprinkled with holy water by a Catholic priest in Manila, as the nation’s coronavirus cases continued to surge.

By: Reuters | Manila (phillipines) | Updated: October 7, 2020 12:43:12 pm
Philippines, COVID-19, Pet blessing, Drive through pet blessings, pet blessing  Philippines, Philippines coronavirus updates, trending news, Indian Express newsA Catholic priest sprinkles holy water on dogs at a drive through pet blessings ceremony. (Picture credit: Reuters)

Coronavirus-wary animal owners in the Philippines had their pets blessed via a drive-through ceremony on Sunday to mark World Animal Day and the feast of Saint Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals.

From a safe distance inside their owners’ cars, cats, dogs, and birds were sprinkled with holy water by a Catholic priest in Manila, as the nation’s coronavirus cases continued to surge.

Philippines, COVID-19, Pet blessing, Drive through pet blessings, pet blessing  Philippines, Philippines coronavirus updates, trending news, Indian Express news A Catholic priest sprinkles holy water on a cat at a drive-thru pet blessing amid the coronavirus disease. (Picture credit: Reuters)

The Philippines has recorded a total of 322,497 coronavirus infections, the highest in Southeast Asia.

Organisers and participants said this year’s unusual way of blessing pets for World Animal Day, celebrated worldwide to recognise animal rights and welfare, ensured social distancing.

Philippines, COVID-19, Pet blessing, Drive through pet blessings, pet blessing  Philippines, Philippines coronavirus updates, trending news, Indian Express news A Catholic priest sprinkles holy water on birds aboard a vehicle at a drive-thru pet blessing amid the coronavirus disease. (Picture credit: Reuters)

“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,” said Ritchie Pascual, one of the event organisers.

For dog-owner Arlene Pedron, having her pet blessed is “very important…because we really feel like our pet is part of our family”.

Philippines, COVID-19, Pet blessing, Drive through pet blessings, pet blessing  Philippines, Philippines coronavirus updates, trending news, Indian Express news A Catholic priest sprinkles holy water on a dog aboard a vehicle at a drive-thru pet blessing amid the coronavirus disease. (Picture credit: Reuters)

“We also want the best for his health,” Pedron said while waiting in line with her two-year-old golden retriever.

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