Dog and cat owners flock to Venice for 'Blessing of the Pets' day

Updated: 

Dog and cat owners flock to Venice to have their pets blessedGetty


Yesterday dog and cat owners flocked to Venice to have their pets blessed at a special service at the Church of S. Francesco da Paola.

The ceremony is held in honour of St Francis of Assisi, the 13th Century Italian friar renowned for his love of animals.

Dog and cat owners flock to Venice to have their pets blessedGetty


The congregation and their pets were blessed by Don Filippo Chiafoni.

Many of the dogs were wrapped up in winter coats to protect them from the chill, while some pampered pooches even travelled by buggy.

One member of the congregation held up a sign urging people to protect the pigeons.

Pigeons are the unofficial mascot of Venice and can be seen in great numbers in St Mark's Square. However officials banned people from feeding the birds in the square in 2008 in a bid to control the population and minimise the damage caused by their droppings.

Love your pet so much you can't bear to be parted? Check out these great doggie-friendly establishments!

Britain for dog-lovers

Britain for dog-lovers


Sign up to our weekly newsletter | Follow us on Twitter | Become a fan on Facebook