Some of them pets had been rescued from shelters.

Sunday for the 8th annual Blessing of the Animals. The event, held at St. Marks United Methodist Church in Kittery, creatures of all sorts were welcomed. According to Seacoast Online, Pastor Bill Humphrey said the idea was the brainchild of parishioner Katherine Davis. Modeled after a similar Catholic tradition done in honor of St. Francis of Assisi. Animals who were blessed yesterday had to be accompanied by their owner or guardian. However, they didn't necessarily have to be alive. Pastor Humphrey blessed the ashes of deceased pets. In addition, for those with animals who don't do well with crowds, a collar or other significant item could be blessed as a substitute.

The event continues to grow. Pastor Humphrey told Seacoast Online “It started small, but somehow the word out out and now participants are growing,” said Humphrey. “We are trying to do what God would want us to do, for all his creatures.”