All pets go to heaven — at least those that got blessed in Long Beach over the weekend.
The annual Interfaith Blessing of the Animals once again took place on Sunday evening, Oct. 2, at Granada Beach, an annual event timed for the week of St. Francis of Assisi’s feast day. St. Francis, whose feast day is celebrated on Oct. 4 each year, is the patron saint of animals.
Long Beach organizer Justin Rudd and his Community Action Team — yes, the acronym coincidentally spells “CAT — put on the interfaith blessing on the beach each year.
The event featured reverends, priests, pastors and rabbis blessing scores of pets, mostly dogs — but also birds, cata and other animals.
Some of the pets that were blessed are older or sick, including Riley, a 10-year-old poodle mix who has cancer; Riley was blessed by Rev. Ava Park of the Goddess Temple of Orange County.
And Gesselle Garcia, of Long Beach, brought Gizmo, a 15-year-old shih tzu, to the blessing after he underwent surgery earlier in the day. Pastor Samuel Nieva, of Pueblo de Dios Lutheran Church, in Compton, blessed Gizmo.
Photographer Howard Freshman contributed to this report.