HONESDALE—Grace Episcopal Church will present its annual Blessing of the Animals Service at 5 p.m. Saturday, October 7.
The service for “All God’s Critters” and their pet parents will be held in the Grace Church Parish Hall, 827 Church Street.

Led by the Rev. Edward K. Erb, rector of Grace Church, the service is held each year in observance of the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals. Also assisting this year will be St. John’s Lutheran Church.

The annual animal blessing holds a special place in the hearts of Father Erb and his wife, Susan, as does the local Dessin Animal Shelter.

“During our 19 years in Wayne County, we have been blessed with five wonderful pets from Dessin Animal Shelter--two senior dogs with special needs, two puppies, and a cat,” Susan Erb said. “We have seen firsthand the fabulous work that the staff and volunteers of Dessin do in this area every day. So, we would like to expand the animal blessing service to include a funds and supplies raiser for Dessin.”

Organizers suggest that participants donate supplies, cash, or gift cards to benefit the animal shelter. In addition, to monetary donations and gift cards, the Dessin Animal Shelter wish list includes kitten chow, canned cat food, clumping cat litter, dog toys, garbage bags, bleach, cleaning wipes, spray cleaners, laundry detergent, can openers, poop scoopers, postage stamps, and office supplies, including printer paper.

Donations can be dropped off at the service. In addition, there is a box to collect supplies for Dessin in the Grace Church Parish Hall hallway. There also will be basket raffles to benefit Dessin.

Dessin representatives will be at the animal blessing service to provide information. All animals participating in the service must be on leash or crated, and must be up to date on vaccinations. For information about the service, leave a message at the church at 570-253-2760 or email suerb@aol.com.

Founded in 1968 by mother and daughter Olga and Dorothea Dessin, Dessin Animal Shelter, 138 Miller Dr., Honesdale, is a private, nonprofit organization that assists in the placement of many animals each year into loving homes. Shelter employees are committed to offering comfort to the animals in their care and ensuring that, before adoption, each pet is tested for disease, spayed or neutered, and receives vaccinations. The shelter provides many important services to the surrounding area, including shelter for lost, abandoned, or displaced animals, community education, adoption services, a spay and neuter program, cruelty prevention, and humane education. For information about the shelter, call 570-253-4037.