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updated 5/10/01
'Blue Cross to hold its first ever
London blessing of pets

CALLING animal lovers - The Blue Cross, one of the UK's oldest animal welfare charities, will be holding its first ever London based animal service and blessing of pets of Sunday 7 October 2001 at 9.45am. The event will take place at St Paul's Covent Gardens, Bedford Street, London WC.

The animal service - held on the Sunday closest to the feast day of the patron saint of animals, St Francis of Assisi - promises to be a howl as a variety of animals will be turning up on the day including cats, dogs and rabbits.

Animal - themed hymns and prayers will be included in the service, which is to be held in the presence of the Lord Mayor of Westminster, Councillor Harvey Marshall and Lady Mayoress, Hazel Marshall QC.

All animal lovers are invited to attend the service, which will last approximately 30 minutes with refreshments served afterwards.

All donations received from the event will go towards helping the animals in the care of the Blue Cross and the Victoria Animal Hospital Appeal.

The hospital, the oldest of its kind in the UK is being rebuilt thanks entirely to voluntary donations. A further 200,000 is still needed to help fund the hospital's transformation.

At over 100 years old The Blue Cross is one of Britain's oldest animal welfare charities. It rehomes unwanted and rescued animals and provides veterinary care for the pets of people who cannot afford private vets' fees.