Andrea Mamaux is a member of Leavenworth Animal Welfare Society. In this Q5, she talks about the upcoming LAWS Blessing of the Animals.

Andrea Mamaux is a member of Leavenworth Animal Welfare Society. In this Q5, she talks about the upcoming LAWS Blessing of the Animals.

1. Andrea, what is the LAWS Blessing of the Animals and how long has it been going on? When and where will it be?
The Reverend Machrina Blasdell, a wonderful woman who really has a love for God's creatures, offers personalized individual blessings to all of the pets, whose owners bring them to the LAWS sponsored event, Blessing of the Animals.
Each pet will receive a Saint Francis of Assisi medal after the blessing.
Saint Francis is the patron of the animals , and his feast day is Oct. 4.
The blessing is always as close as possible to this day, always on a Sunday, and LAWS has been offering the blessing for more than 25 years.
This year it will take place on Oct. 1, at 2 p.m., in the parking area of the Exchange  Bank, at 7th and Delaware streets.

2. Where do the proceeds from the event go and what are they used for?
There is no charge for the blessing or the medal, but the pet owners can leave a donation if they wish, which will be used for the LAWS free spay/ neuter program and also for the animal medical fund.

3. How many animals do you estimate have been blessed over the years and what types of animals have attended the blessing in the past? Do they seem to enjoy it?
I cannot give you an exact number. We usually have between 30 -60 pets participate . I would guess that at least 1,500 pets have been blessed.
Most of the animals that come to the blessing are dogs and cats . We also had horses, exotic birds, rabbits, guinea pigs, rats, mice and hamsters visit. We always enjoy the variety of the animals, and it seems that the animals enjoy being there, too. They really do behave, and knock on wood, in all these years we never had a bad experience — no fights or bites.
I credit this also to the Rev. Machrina, who truly has a special way with animals.

4. What do you say to people who don’t think animals have souls and shouldn’t be blessed?
There is no point to get into a discussion with people who don't think that animals have souls.
Maybe I would only say to them, ‘it does not hurt to get blessed.’

5. What are some of the great accomplishments of LAWS and what goals does the group have for the future?
Our biggest accomplishment is the success of the LAWS free spay/neuter program, and that we were able to just recently provide the 10,000th dog/cat to receive that service.
Our organization is small, but blessed with incredibly dedicated volunteers, who sincerely care about animals, their welfare and well being, and are always willing to step up and help.
We work hard to keep our programs going, and our goal is to get the cat population under control, too.
Too many homeless kittens are showing up at Animal Control, and we want and need to tackle that problem. We believe that this will be possible with the support of our community.

— Rimsie McConiga