All creatures great and small blessed at service
MAN'S best friend – and other pets – were blessed during a special service at a Devon church.
Dozens of domestic pets including dogs, cats, rats and a tortoise attended the pet blessing service at St Mary's Church, Lympstone.
Team rector Reverend James Hutchings led the service, which was attended by 72 people and additional pets at the East Devon church on Saturday.
Every pet and their owners were blessed at the service.
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Veterinary surgeon Chris Ridge, from Raddenstiles Veterinary Practice in Exmouth, gave a talk during the service.
A joint collection was taken for the RSPCA Little Animal Shelter in Exeter and Hounds for Heroes, which provides specially trained assistance dogs to injured and disabled men and women of both the UK armed forces and civilian emergency services.
Rev Hutchings said: "I was very pleased with the service. It is important for us to consider all of creation, especially pets which are vital in many people's lives.
"The crowd were very well behaved, but I was hoping to have the odd horse or pony attend the service.
"We could certainly do more to help people with animals, especially being there to help them grieve after their pets pass away."