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Drive-through for safe pet blessings

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Krystle Smith with the Roswell Humane Society is seen here holding RC, a 14-week-old gray domestic shorthair cat, while Rev. Dale Plummer of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church is holding Aladdin, a Chihuahua/dachshund mix. The puppy and the kitten represent Roswell Humane Society’s inhabitants — all looking for a forever home — who will benefit from donations made at the annual Blessing of the Animals event on Sunday. (Christina Stock Photo)

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Annual Blessing of the Animals event to be held Sunday

This year, the annual Blessing of the Animals at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church will take place in a different way to keep people and animals safe and avoid spreading COVID-19, Rev. Dale Plummer said.

“My plan is to do a livestream service on our Facebook page at 1:30 p.m. (Oct. 4.)

“My intent is not to have a public service,” Plummer said. “I am going to surround myself with stuffed animals and do it, just sitting there on the steps in front of the altar. We’ll have the service just as we do every year, but there won’t be people. People can tune in while they are at home or from wherever they are.”

The Blessing of the Animals will follow 30 minutes after the service, outside St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 505 N. Pennsylvania Ave., at 2 p.m.

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“People pull into the parking lot and use the drive. I will be out here, in front of the church office, and do the blessing with everybody remaining in the car. And then, as we have done in the past, there will be a certificate given to everybody that’s having their pet blessed. I have never participated, but when they have blessings of boats, the priest stands at the dock, so they are blessing as they go by. People will have the opportunity to make donations to the Roswell Humane Society and receive the certificate and little medallion,” Plummer said.

Krystle Smith of the Humane Society said she is receiving updates from veterinarians on findings connected to animals and COVID-19. She said that cats may get infected by their owners, but she had not heard about cases where cats infect people.

Smith said that animals should be secured, on a leash or in a carrier. Owners of pets that have passed in the last year may bring a photo of them to be blessed.

Plummer said he would not reach into the cars because some pets may react territorially, and with him wearing a mask, dogs may become “snippy.”

For more information, visit standrewsroswell.com and click on Blessing of the Animals 2020, find them on Facebook, visit roswellhumane.org or call St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church at 575-622-1353 or the Humane Society at 575-622-8950.

Christina Stock may be contacted at 622-7710, ext. 309, or at vision@rdrnews.com.