Home Christian News National Dog Day 2021: Meet Petey the Beagle, Associate Pastor and Greeter

National Dog Day 2021: Meet Petey the Beagle, Associate Pastor and Greeter

Fiser and Snyder are writing a book together called “New Tricks” to show other communities why they should consider pet ministries; they’ve already helped start pet ministries at four other churches in Arkansas.

“It seems a little strange, but (pet ministry) is mission, it’s evangelism, it’s education, it’s hunger relief, it’s pastoral care. All those things are part of the church,” said Snyder. “We are the church, we don’t go to church. And I’ve got a neighborhood full of people who walk dogs, and if that’s an introduction to talking about love and grace, we need to get on that.”

A new ministry, Operation Saint Francis, was recently founded by members of Woodlawn United Methodist Church in Derby, Kansas, who were concerned about how pets were being impacted by the pandemic.

“With COVID, everyone was excited to get pets, but when financial strain hit everyone, it took a toll,” said Carla Stroot. “Some of the elderly are trying to figure out, do I pay for my medicine? Or do I feed my dog?”

Stroot pulled together what she calls her “A Team” of vet techs, dog trainers and other professionals to try to address the problem of pets being returned to shelters. In June, Operation Saint Francis held its first event at Woodlawn UMC — an open-air market for pets and families. The market provided low-cost microchipping, baths and nail cutting for pets. The local Petco did free pet exams, and volunteers handed out treats, leashes and food bowls.

Operation Saint Francis will be hosting another event in the fall that will offer the same services, this time as part of a PAWlooza Trunk or Treat event.

“What we believe is what St. Francis believed,” said Stroot. “And that is to be the hearts and hands of those who have no voice. And that’s our pets. We want to be those disciples to help those pet owners in need.”

This article originally appeared here.