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Animal Lovers Unite for St. Anthony Foundation’s Blessing of the Animals Event


Media Contact:
Sally Haims | Chief Marketing and Communications Officer
(415) 254-5884 | SHaims@stanthonysf.org

In celebration of the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the annual event invites the public to have their pets blessed by a Franciscan Friar

WHAT: St. Anthony Foundation is hosting its annual Blessing of the Animals event on Wednesday, October 4 from 10 am – 1 pm outside of St. Boniface Church along the Golden Gate Greenway, the 100 block of Golden Gate Avenue. The public is invited to bring their pets – whether four-legged, scaled, or winged – for a special benediction from a Franciscan Friar. Photos and stuffed animals are gladly welcome, and no signups are needed; all services will be walk-up.

WHO: St. Anthony’s Chief Executive Officer Nils Behnke, St. Anthony’s staff, volunteers, Franciscan Friars, San Francisco residents and members of the community, animals from all walks of life.

WHEN: Wednesday, October 4, 2023, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

WHERE: St. Boniface Church, 133 Golden Gate Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94102

WHY: The event honors St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and the environment, who lived in the 12th century. Blessing of the Animals has become a San Francisco tradition and allows people to celebrate their animal loved ones.

“Our great city is named after St. Francis of Assisi, and he preached about the beauty of God’s creation, including nature and our animals,” said St. Anthony’s CEO Nils Behnke. “On this day of October 4, we honor his feast day and extend love and blessings to our pets who are our family members.”

Essential services for pets will be provided throughout the event, and partners include: San Francisco Animal Care & Control, Full Belly Bus, St. Boniface Church, and SF Puppy Love. Animal Care and Control will be offering vaccinations, microchipping, information and resources, and freebies; Full Belly Bus will be giving away free cat and dog food and will host a chew-toy craft table; SF Puppy Love, an affordable local doggy hotel service, will be raffling free night and weekend stays. Live music entertainment will be provided by Bread & Roses.

MEDIA CONTACT: Sally Haims, 415-254-5884

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Please contact Sally Haims and the St. Anthony’s Communications Department.

Run of Show

Opening Remarks: 10:00 am – 10:30 am

Blessing of the Animals: 10:30 am – 11:30 am

Lunch break: 12:00 pm – 12:30 pm

Raffle winners are announced: 12:30 pm – 12:40 pm

Blessing of the Animals continues: 12:40 pm – 1:00 pm

About St. Anthony Foundation

In the Tenderloin’s struggle with poverty, addiction, and mental illness, St. Anthony Foundation has been a beacon of consistency, companionship, and caring for more than 70 years. We provide our guests with a range of services—from a place to rest or take a shower, clothing, and addiction recovery, to meals, medical care, and workforce development. At St. Anthony’s, we take a different approach, one that delivers meaningful results — Hope. Stability. Renewal.


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