Animals from burly bulls to minuscule mice and everything in between were honoured in downtown Auckland yesterday during the annual day of blessing for the animal kingdom.

Auckland pets and their owners paraded up Queen St as part of the celebrations for the SPCA Auckland Blessing of the Animals.

The pet procession began at Queen Elizabeth Square and ended at St Matthew-in-the-City in Hobson St, where the service was held.

It included "amusing prayers for the animals" led by Deacon Wilf Holt, and a candle ceremony.


"The result is sheer pandemonium," said SPCA Auckland executive director Bob Kerridge, who has organised the event for 27 years.

"Each year, I have never failed to be amused and amazed at the animal cacophony joining in the singing of the hymns."

The service is held in many countries and marks the feast of St Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals.