With the Feast of St. Francis approaching this weekend, officials at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church are preparing for the annual Blessing of the Animals celebration Sunday, Oct. 6.

The church’s Rev. Whitney Altopp has blessed animals ranging from birds to turtles to dogs over the past several years.

All pets receive a blessing and a small gift.

The Blessing of the Animals at St. Stephen’s starts at noon.

Down the road on Catoonah Street, St. Mary’s Church will also host a Feast of St. Francis celebration with a Blessing of the Animals at the end of the service. That event begins at 3:30 p.m. in the St. Mary School parking lot on Sunday, Oct. 6.

For more information, visit the church’s website.