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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

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Blessing of the adopted pets

Photo by Anna Lee Hoffman.
The photo wall at the Blessing of the Pets 2021 ceremony help on Oct. 13.
Photo by Anna Lee Hoffman. The photo wall at the Blessing of the Pets 2021 ceremony help on Oct. 13.

 Article by Tristian Lewis, a contributing writer.

October is a time full of bringing awareness. From breast cancer, to bullying prevention and almost everything in between, it serves as a time to draw attention to important topics of discussion. 

One of these topics being “National Adopt a Shelter Dog” month. 

Since 1981, The American Humane Society has sponsored and celebrated adopt a shelter dog month as a way to encourage the public to help dogs find forever homes.

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According to The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), there are, on average, 3.1 million dogs that enter animal shelters annually nationwide. 

While this number has significantly decreased from the 3.9 million entering shelters annually in 2011, there is still a dire need to continue the decline even further.

There are a variety of reasons that adopting dogs from shelters can be far more beneficial than buying from breeders for both the pet and owner. 

Wofford’s Paws for a Cause campaign strives to bring awareness to the reality of the number of animals that live in shelters and destigmatizing adopting from a shelter. 

“Adopting from a shelter helps save an animal’s life,” said Madison Sinclair ‘22, co-president of Paws for a Cause. “Even ‘no-kill’ shelters euthanize animals, even though they try their hardest to save the lives of 9 out of 10 animals.”

By adopting a shelter pet, the likelihood of that animal having a better life increases significantly.

But why the Blessing of the Pets? 

The Blessing of the Pets ceremony is a tradition that allows the Wofford community to come together and celebrate the special animals that hold a near and dear place in our hearts.

“In our world, animals mean so much to so many of us,” said Rev. Ron Robinson, Wofford chaplain and professor of religion, at the Blessing of the Pets 2021 ceremony. “My wife and I got through the pandemic because of our dog, and it is important that we give back that love they give to us.”

The tradition arises from Saint Francis of Assissi, the patron saint of animals, and is typically held annually in October near this day. 

The Blessing of the Pets is a tradition loved by all of Wofford. 

Marisa Barrera ‘22 has had both of her dogs, Dolly and Miley, blessed each year. 

“I just think that our pets and animals hold a special place in our lives and in our hearts, and letting them be recognized each year by Rev. Ron is special,” said Barrera. “It reminds us how special they are and how much of a gift animals are to us.” 

While some choose to have their pets blessed by Rev. Ron each school year, the Blessing of the Pets is an event that encourages the celebration of all pets each year. 

“For me, getting mine blessed by Rev. Ron was a bit of a whim, since I had meant to do so in years past and just forgot.” said Chalmers Rogland ‘22. “I think it’s cool that the college has an event like this, since animals, especially pets, play such an important role in our lives.” 

As October comes to a close, it is crucial that shelter animals, no matter their species, do not fade from our minds, and we celebrate our pets each and every day. 

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