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Thursday, Jun 21, 2018
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Fox, goats, dogs receive blessing at Calvary Lutheran Church

— About 50 people with an assortment of animals turned out for Calvary Lutheran Church’s recent Blessing of the Animals.

The Rev. Derek Hovan officiated the ceremony, which included organizer Alice Boose; Jeff Daignault, director of music and arts; Calvary youth group members; representatives from Elmira’s Wildlife Sanctuary, the Critter Adoption and Rescue Effort (CARE) no-kill animal shelter and the Greyhound Rescue & Adoption Tampa Bay (GREAT); Apollo Beach veterinarian Jack Burrington; and the Hodel family.

Besides family pets of all sizes, other animals included a fully grown fennel fox, the smallest fox in the world; a couple of pygmy goats; a Jack Russell-mix puppy from CARE; and a trio of greyhounds from GREAT.

Several Bible readings from Psalms and Genesis punctuated the ceremony between brief talks by shelter and rescue group members.

Boose, 77, a longtime parishioner and volunteer for the Southeastern Guide Dogs, said she was pleased with the turnout and how well-behaved the animals were. She hopes to organize another pet blessing next year.

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