Blessed are the pets


ABRAHAM GALVAN @destinlogabe

DESTIN — Pets were blessed with health and well-being Saturday during the Blessing of the Pets at Destin United Methodist Church.

Pet owners, friends and family members gathered as they prayed over their furry loved ones.

“This is our first Blessing of the Pets since 2001, and we hope to add it as part of the Week of Blessing again,” said Kim Parker, the church’s recreational director.

Lead Pastor Barry Carpenter and Assistant Pastor Kim Cannon prayed and blessed every pet that attended.

“We honor all creatures of God,” Carpenter said. “Animals bring people together, teach us how to love and heal us.”

Pet owners also received information on how to protect their pets from disasters, why a leash is important to have and how to handle their dogs amid fireworks on the Fourth of July. Doggie treats and scarfs also were given away.

“Our dogs are a huge blessing in our lives and we consider them family,” said Mary Lynn Hancock, who brought her dogs Belle and Charlie to receive a blessing.

“I believe dogs are a gift from God, and I can’t imagine heaven without my dogs,” she added.

Mona Traughber made sure to bring her three dogs, especially Mr. Gus, who is 14 years old.

“Mr. Gus can’t hear and see well and is getting older,” Traughber said. “He really needed to get blessed.”

Maria Ramos’ dog Mercy jumped around and made new friends.

“It’s important for me to bless her because she’s a creature of God and I wanted to pray for her health and well being.” Ramos said. “She just brings me joy.”