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To celebrate the Feast of Saint Francis and to continue a much-loved tradition, the United Methodist Church of Port Washington hosted its annual Animal Blessing one recent warm October Sunday afternoon.

Pastor Eldon Simpson was on hand to bless a parade of dogs of all sizes, cats, fish, a tarantula and a cute little corn snake named Maizy. After an initial photo op (it's hard to get such a group to smile at the same time!) all creatures lined up for an individual blessing and a special certificate. No one wanted to leave afterward, so for the good part of the afternoon a peaceful group sat under the trees chatting and sniffing.

The Shelter Connection, the volunteer arm of the North Hempstead Animal Shelter, also welcomed everyone at its special table loaded with handouts, doggie treats and a large photo display of the great dogs who are currently living at the shelter. Shelter alums Murray and Ringo, now adopted, were there to tell everyone what a great shelter the NHAS is and what a good idea it is to always try and rescue rather than buy a pet.

The United Methodist Church is located at 35 Middle Neck Road and can be reached at 883-1430. The North Hempstead Animal Shelter is located at 75 Marino Avenue (also in Port) and can be reached at 767-4615.


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