The second largest pet blessing in the United States takes place tomorrow at noon in Long Beach and is sponsored by the Haute Dogs organization and community activist Justin Rudd of Long Beach. Numerous faith leaders from different faiths will be on hand to issue blessings on all of the animals brought to this free event, held at Marine Stadium. In addition to the blessing, dog beauty contests, dog photo contests, a “National Mutt Show” and ugly/cute dog contests are also scheduled to be part of the festivities.
There will be a moment of silence at the beginning of the service for pets that are involved with sport dog fighting and other inhumane, unethical treatment. In addition, a moment of silence will also take place to honor those pets no longer here.
Participants will line up to be blessed by one or all of the clergy. The blessing is scheduled to take approximately 45 minutes. Olive branches and holy water will be available.
Some exotic pets are being brought from a professional wildlife education organization this year to be blessed. They include:
– a red-tailed hawk
– a red tegu
– an albino Burmese python
– a bobcat
– a fennec
– a porcupine
– a two-toed sloth
This year’s faith leaders include:
– Bishop Brian Delvaux
Good Shepherd Church, Lakewood
– Rev. Msgr. Sean Flanagan
St. Bartholomew Catholic Church, Belmont Shore
– Lacey Kruger
Children’s Pastor, Parkcrest Church
– Rev. Suzanne Shipp
Ordained with the Universal Life Church, Long Beach
– Rev. Susan Bjork
Associate Minister at Bay Shore Church, Belmont Shore
– A trio of priestesses
Goddess Temple of Orange County
– Rev. Msgr. Chris Carpenter
pastor of the Reformed Catholic Church Community of the Resurrection
– Rev. Angela Butts-Chester
Blessings All Around; Non-denominational Minister, Downtown Long Beach
– Rev. Lorie Adams
Ordained minister. United Centers for Spiritual Living practitioner.
Throughout the day, dogs can participate in various beauty contests. Entry fees can be paid in cash at the event at least 10 minutes before each contest. Dogs are encouraged to enter more than one contest. For the contests, dogs will walk down a 100-foot red carpet flanked by event spectators who can bring a chair or rent one for $5. Awards follow each contest and they include ribbons and gift certificates. Clothing—for the dogs—is optional.
A new event this year is the “Dog Photo Contest” at 1:45 p.m. For $20, participants can enter two 4×6 images of their dogs. Winners do not have to be present. Arrive any time after 10 a.m. and hang the photos on the clothesline set up for judging and viewing. Make sure names, contact info and photographer’s name is on the back of each picture. Winners receive gift cards and rosettes. Proceeds benefit Justin Rudd’s Haute Dogs organization – part of the nonprofit Community Action Team. There is no limit to the number of photos participants can submit. Cost is still $20 for every two images.
SCHEDULE for Sat., Oct. 2
– Pet adoptions and vendors: 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
– Ugly Dog & Cute Dog contests, 11 a.m.
– Interfaith Blessing of the Animals, noon; FREE
– Chihuahua Beauty Contest, 1:15 p.m.
– Haute Dog Photo Contest; bring 2 photos, 1:45 p.m.
– National Mutt Show, 2 p.m.
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