LACEY – An autumn tradition will soon return to the Popcorn Park Zoo, the annual pet blessing which is held at the zoo in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and the environment.
Reverend John Cardello has served as the chaplain for the Ocean County Humane Society and the Popcorn Park Zoo for the past five years. He will once again perform the blessing at the service which will run from 9 to 10 a.m. on October 3, at the Popcorn Park Zoo picnic area directly across from the Zoo entrance. Zoo animals will not be open to the public.
Individual pet blessings 10 a.m. until noon. The Zoo is located at 1 Humane Way, Forked River section of the township, just off Route 539 west, 7 miles from the Garden State Parkway exit/entrance.
“There will be free parking available on the park grounds, and we ask to please be mindful of the peacocks that “patrol” the park,” the Reverend said.
He added, “each October, since I started the program, it has been my honor, privilege and joy to conduct the annual Zoo Animal and Pet Blessing held at the Zoo.”
“This event, it is non-sectarian and a free service for those who wish to participate. The Popcorn Park Zoo has, for over 20 years, been a safe refuge for abused, injured and unwanted animals including farm animals, lions, tigers and bears. All are welcome,” Reverend Cardello said.
“All thing bright and beautiful, all things great and small, fur feathers or scales – for those who have shared and had their lives touched by a beloved pet we hope to see you and your best friend at the Zoo,” Reverend Cardello said.
He reminded everyone that for those “who don’t have a pet, this would be a good day just to visit the Zoo. All are welcome.”
For additional information, directions or information regarding rain dates, call the Zoo at 609-693-1900.