October 2, 2003, TORONTO - 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 taking place on Saturday October 4 at The Cathedral Church of St. James (King and Church Streets) in Toronto and will be presided over by The Most Reverend Terence Finlay, Archbishop of the Diocese of Toronto and Metropolitan of the Province of Ontario.


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. According to tradition, animals responded to his kindness by attending his sermons.


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.

People are invited to bring their animal companions, rain or shine, to the grounds of The Cathedral Church of St. James. Dogs, cats, reptiles, fish, birds and other animal friends are welcome. If your pet cannot attend, you can bring a photograph of your animal companion. Toronto Police on horseback and the Governor General's Horse Guards will be in attendance and treats will be provided for dogs and cats. A scavenger hunt and art activities will be provided for adults and children.

CONTACT: Michael O'Sullivan by toll free 1-800-641-KIND or Michael on his cell phone (416) 876-9685 or at www.humanesociety.com via twitter at www.twitter.com/HSCanada and on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Humane-Society-of-Canada/211468055538280

[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.