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From Ilkley Gazette, June 19th, 2019

ST John’s Church, Ben Rhydding, held its second Animal Blessing Service on Sunday, June 16. In attendance was a selection of lovely dogs, a hamster called Timmy, and included prayer and blessing for several cats, represented by their human carers and by pictures. The congregation prayed for all those who work to care for animals such as vets and farmers and those working in animal protection and welfare organisations throughout the world such as WWF. Each animal present received a blessing and after the service both animals and their humans enjoyed some treats. Donations given for the human cake treats, raised over £46 for three chosen charities - WWF, RSPCA and CIWF (Compassion in World Farming).

Ilkley’s MP John Grogan was present. He spoke about animal welfare issues currently under scrutiny by the government. These include adding to the responsibility of councils to try and trace owners of injured and fatally injured cats and live animal transport.

Mr Grogan said his mailbag includes more letters about animal welfare than any other issue, apart from Brexit.