Blessing of the Animals


Congregation Shir Ami’s annual Blessing of the Animals celebrates God’s creatures that grace our lives.

Mark Your Calendars!  2019 Blessing of the Animals: Sunday, April 14, 2:00-4:00pm

Bring your favorite animal companions (dog, cat, rabbit, bearded dragon, guinea pig, or other furry, feathered, or scaly friend) to join you for a special blessing and a ceremony affirming the special role our beloved pets play in our lives.  

Each year we collect pet care items (dog & cat food, pet beds, blankets, and more) to donate to local animal shelters and animal rescue organizations. Animal care/welfare organizations also participate in our event and help us learn how we can better help our animal friends in need. We invite you to join us to have your pets blessed by Rabbi Rebecca Riece, to help other animals in need, and to enjoy some family-friendly fun: photo booth, door prizes, treats, and more! 


2018 Blessing of the Animals

This delightful, free, family-friendly event, was great fun for people (and pets!) of all faiths! As always, Rabbi Rebecca Reice led a beautiful service and blessed each of the animals present.  Margaret Hollembeak of Georgetown Animal Outreach was our special featured guest, sharing information about her work caring for and managing the population of community cats in Williamson County.  Attendees were asked to bring donations of cat food (wet or dry) to our Blessing of the Animals event to help these community cats in need.  

2017 Blessing of the Animals

Congregation Shir Ami’s 2017 Blessing of the Animals event was great fun! Rabbi Rebecca Reice conducted a warm and joyful service, individually blessed all of the animals present, and provided certificates and blessings in abstentia for those who could not attend.  Our featured guest speaker was Misty Valenta, volunteer coordinator at the Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter, which we also accepted donated goods for. 

Attendees brought their pets for blessings, enjoyed a walk around the park with their pets, participated in the service, had fun with the photo booth, and visited with vendors representing a variety of animal related businesses.  

To see some photos and videos of the 2017 event, click on the following links.   

2016 Blessing of the Animals

BlessingOfAnimals2016Our 2016 Blessing of the Animals event was a great success!!  Rabbi Rebecca Riece led a warm and wonderful service which included joyful songs, blessings for our animal companions, a prayer to remember our beloved animal companions who have passed from this world, a call to action to address the plight of companion animals in need, a ceremonial walk around the park, and fun activities for both our human and animal friends who were there. 

We collected many items which were donated to the Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter, and honored our primary event beneficiary for 2016, Puppy Mill Awareness Day Texas (  

You can see more event photos from Congregation Shir Ami’s 2016 Blessing of the Animals event in the Austin American Statesman [LINK TO PHOTOS] as well as a short video [LINK TO VIDEO].