Pet owners brought their animal companions to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church of Kilgore Saturday for the “Blessing of the Animals” ceremony.

The annual event allows pet owners to receive a special blessing for their beloved animals. It’s held each year in October, close to the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals and the environment.

St. Paul’s also gave snacks and refreshments to pets and pet owners, gave St. Francis medals to the first 20 guests and gave out awards in a number of categories.

Sherry Lockman and red slider turtle, JP, won the “Smallest Pet” award.

Pepper, a goldendoodle, won the “Largest Pet” award for the Ryan Gest family.

Slider, an African sulcata tortoise, and Thomas Steen got the award for “Most Unusual Pet.”

“Best of Show” went to Daisy, a Yorkie mix, and Leighton Steen.

“Best Costume” was awarded to Isabelle the dachshund and Rebecca McElyea.

The “Owner/Pet Lookalike” award was presented to Jerry Stembridge and his Chinese Crested, Hurricane Harry.

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