Dog bones, catnip and fish food aren’t the only ways to say thank you to your pets.The second annual Blessing of the Animals, starting at 5:15 p.m. today at the Robert Carr Chapel, will give students, faculty and staff the opportunity to do something special for their pets, said the Rev. Angela Kaufman, minister to the university.
The service will include songs, prayers, a message, snacks – for humans and pets – and blessings performed by campus ministers.
Along with the blessing, this year’s event will offer the TCU community a chance to help the world through the TCU Ark Project, a student-led fundraiser, Kaufman said.
The project has a goal of raising $5,000 during the month of October to provide impoverished families with livestock and agricultural training, Kaufman said.
The project, which is in partnership with Heifer International, a humanitarian assistance organization, will be passing out pledge cards and accepting donations at the event.
The funds raised will buy 15 pairs of work and food-providing animals, including oxen, camels, chickens and pigs, Kaufman said.
Nadia Lahutsky, an associate professor of religion, said Blessing of the Animals will help students recognize how animals provide for the world.
Lahutsky attended last year with her Chihuahua mix dog.
“This event is simply thanksgiving for the companionship and unconditional love that our pets offer,” she said. “It is a demonstration of the value we place on our animals.”
Lahutsky said it is important to remember everyone is a part of God’s creation, and no one should take animals for granted.
Kaufman charges students with the responsibility of caring for creation.
“All animals are creatures of God,” Kaufman said. “We have a biblical call to care for and be good stewards of creation.”
Bennett Waxse, a junior biology and chemistry major, said he will not be attending the event, but he understands the need to appreciate animals.
“We all share the Earth,” Waxse said. “They give us balance and help us see the bigger picture.