Blessing of Animals sheds grace on long-suffering companions

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Horses, dogs and a willing mule were blessed Saturday by the Rev. Jeremy Winter of the Mount Olivet Lutheran Church in Perry in a Blessing of the Animals ceremony at 2223 Fourth St., the stables of Dirk and Carol Cavanaugh.

The Rev. Don Keeler of St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Perry also blessed the beasts, whether two- or four-legged.

And animal blessings were in order as a 2015 study by the national nonprofit Animal Legal Defense Fund ranked Iowa 49th nationwide in the strength of its animal welfare laws, followed only by Kentucky, which has the weakest animal-protection laws.

There are no felony provisions in Iowa for animal neglect or abandonment, and the state does not stop people previously convicted of animal cruelty from getting new pets.

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