Animal blessings

When Noah built the ark, along came “every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth,” according to the King James Bible.

It’ll look a bit that way Saturday and Sunday in Scottsdale, when the Franciscan Renewal Center holds its annual Blessing of the Animals and St. Francis Festival.

Thousands of pets great and small, from parakeets and teacup Chihuahuas to billy goats and brood mares, will be blessed at noon and 2 p.m. daily by the center’s brown-robed friars. The custom is in remembrance of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals.

Between blessings, there’s an outdoor grill serving burgers, sausage and veggie burgers, and more than 60 groups will display dogs, cats, rabbits, horses and other pets in a massive adopt-a-thon organized by Phoenix Animal Care Coalition. There’s also a dog wash, and the Arizona Animal Welfare League will offer low-cost vaccines and microchipping.

The annual event raises money for the PAC911 Emergency Medical Fund, which helps local nonprofit animal rescue groups with medical care costs.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-6818 or

DETAILS >> 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Franciscan Renewal Center, 5802 E. Lincoln Drive, Scottsdale. Free admission and blessings. Vendor and adoption fees vary. Donate a bag of pet food and get a free raffle ticket. (602) 228-1832 or

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