Pet weddings highlight animal blessing ceremony in the Philippines

October 3, 2022 - 9:25 AM
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Pet owners carry their dogs during a pet wedding, ahead of World Animal Day, at a mall in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines, October 2, 2022. (Reuters/Lisa Marie David)

 Pomeranians Michi and Mochi were among 15 four-legged couples that tied the knot at a pet wedding ceremony in the Philippines on Sunday that was held along with a special blessing of pets to mark World Animal Day.

Owners Ianne De Guia and Bryan Largo, who joined hundreds of other pet lovers for the animal blessing, said Michi and Mochi — dressed in a gown and tuxedo for the occasion — were able to cement their union after recently having puppies.

The canine couples took the plunge at a park by a shopping mall where hundreds of animals, including cats, rabbits and guinea pigs, also received blessings in a drive-through and in-person ceremony from a priest who sprinkled them with holy water.

It was the first in-person ceremony since the pandemic to mark World Animal day – celebrated worldwide to recognize animal rights and welfare – which falls on October 4, also the feast of Saint Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals.

“The reason why pet blessings are important for us is for their protection, guidance from (the) Lord, especially good health and long life, and hopefully they won’t get sick,” said Paula Pacis, who had her five Shih Tzus blessed.

—Reporting by Adrian Portugal; additional reporting by Lisa Marie David; editing by Richard Pullin