First-Ever Animal Blessing Phone Hotline for St. Francis of Assisi Feast Day

LAMBS' Audio Blessing to Spare Cats, Dogs, and Other Animals a Stressful Trip to a Crowded Church

For Immediate Release:
September 23, 2019

David Perle 202-483-7382

Norfolk, Va. – Ahead of the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi (October 4), PETA’s Christian outreach division, LAMBS—which stands for “Least Among My Brothers and Sisters” from Matthew 25:40—has set up a “Blessing of the Animals” phone line featuring a recorded blessing from Father John Dear of the Diocese of Monterey, a Nobel Peace Prize nominee and staff member of Pace e Bene Nonviolence Service, a Franciscan-founded organization that promotes nonviolence. The phone line offers a safe, easy, and humane way for guardians to deliver a blessing to a sick, elderly, or timid companion animal without subjecting them to stressful travel, an unfamiliar environment, a service, and sometimes even exposure to uncomfortable temperatures—and it helps guardians who can’t make the trip, too. The phone number is 1-833-Assisi-1 (277-4741).

“LAMBS’ unique audio blessing allows guardians to bless beloved animal companions from the comfort and safety of their own homes,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “The feast day of the patron saint of animals is the perfect time to spare a thought for all the wonderful animals who deserve our compassion and respect.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat or wear” and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview—notes that St. Francis loved all creatures, furred or finned, and the group is appealing to those who wish to honor his legacy to extend their compassion to all animals and go vegan in every way. Animals are not included in Genesis 1:29, which states that God intended “every seed-bearing plant” and “every tree whose fruit contains seed” as food for humans.

Father John Dear is the author of more than 35 books on peace and nonviolence.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind