After more than a quarter century of an annual Leavenworth Animal Welfare Society (LAWS) event in the Leavenworth community, there are many 'blessed' pets walking among us.

By RIMSIE MCCONIGA
rmcconiga@leavenworthtimes.com

After more than a quarter century of an annual Leavenworth Animal Welfare Society (LAWS) event in the Leavenworth community, there are many ‘blessed’ pets walking among us.
LAWS will host the Community Blessing of the Animals at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Exchange Bank, 7th and Delaware streets under the awning.


LAWS and St. Paul Episcopal Church have joined forces for more than 25 years to host the blessing.
Saint Francis is the patron saint of animals and his feast day is today. LAWS ensures that the event is always held as close as possible to the feast day.


Each animal will be individually blessed and they will all receive St. Francis medals to wear after they are blessed. The annual event is open to all types of animals and individuals of all faiths.
About 1,600 animals have attended the pet blessings and most have been dogs and cats, but horses, exotic birds, rabbits, guinea pigs, rats, mice and hamsters have also taken part in the event.
“We always enjoy the variety of the animals, and it seems that the animals enjoy being there, too,” says LAWS member Andrea Mamaux. “They really do behave, and knock on wood, in all these years we never had a bad experience – no fights or bites.”


There is no charge for the pet blessing. Pet owners can leave a donation if they choose, which will be used for the LAWS free spay/neuter program and also for the animal medical fund.
More than 12,000 dogs and cats have been spayed and neutered with the free service and LAWS members consider it to be their biggest accomplishment.
This year will be the last time that the Rev. Machrina Blasdell will bless the animals at the event. She has retired and has moved to the Southwest, but she is making a special trip back to Leavenworth this weekend for a family visit and will officiate at the blessing.


“She is such a wonderful and generous woman and has a special way with the animals,” says Andrea. “She certainly will be missed.”
The Leavenworth Animal Control Shelter houses many homeless kittens, cats and dogs and LAWS members want to tackle the problem with the free spay/neuter option. But they need the community’s support.
“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,” says Andrea.