September 30, 2004, TORONTO - Once again The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) will be participating in the annual The Blessing of Animals, celebrating the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi.


The event is taking place on Saturday, October 2 at 1 pm on the grounds of The Cathedral Church of St. James in Toronto (King and Church Streets).

The Bishop of Toronto will be blessing animals and people are invited to bring their pets. If an animal companion cannot attend, people are encouraged to bring a photograph of their "best friend." HSC Executive Director Michael O'Sullivan will provide a reading from the book of Genesis. Other participants include the Mounted Police on horseback, guide & therapy dogs.

The Blessing of Animals takes place each year around the world in honour of St. Francis of Assisi, Founder of the Franciscan Order and Patron Saint of animals and the environment. St. Francis preached about gentleness and poverty and had a love of animals and nature.

This celebration of the animals who share our lives provides people with an opportunity to pause and be reminded of the importance of every living creature.

For more information call The Humane Society of Canada at: (416) 368-0405, (800) 641-KIND (5463) or visit our website at or The Cathedral Church of St. James' website at

CONTACT: Michael O'Sullivan by toll free 1-800-641-KIND or Michael on his cell phone (416) 876-9685 or at via twitter at and on Facebook at:

[For more than 17 years, Al Hickey was the Chief Executive of the BC SPCA and before that headed up the Alberta and BC Chambers of Commerce, and was the Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Vancouver. He has been The HSC Western Regional Director for over 12 years. He has 4 children and 6 grandchildren. For his lifetime of achievement dedicated to helping people, animals and the environment, we have bestowed upon him our prestigious Heroes for Animals Award, shared by only a handful of people and organizations.

A father with two children, and a houseful of dogs and cats, Michael O'Sullivan has worked across Canada and in over 110 countries during the last 40 years helping people, animals and nature.]

The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) works to protect dogs, cats, horses, birds, rabbits and small animals, livestock, lab animals, wildlife and the environment. We carry out hands on programs to help animals and nature, mount rescue operations, expose cruelty through hard hitting undercover investigations, work to pass laws to protect animals, use a multidisciplinary approach, support animal shelters and wildlife rehabilitation centres, and spread the word about how to help animals and nature through humane education.

The only organization of its kind, seven days a week, The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) works across the street, across Canada and around the world helping people, animals and the environment.

The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) depends entirely on donations to support our programs to help animals and the environment. All donations are gratefully acknowledged with a receipt for income tax purposes. If you would like to support our educational campaigns that protect animals and the environment please make a donation here. Because when it comes to fighting cruelty and violence, we don’t give up. Ever.