Priest blesses pets

Photo: Jay Directo/AFP/Getty Images

Pet blessings

A Catholic priest blesses pet dogs and cats with holy water on March 17 at a free pet clinic to commemorate March as Rabies Awareness Month in Manila, Philippines.

In addition to the blessings, pet owners flocked to the clinic to receive free, government-sponsored veterinary services and vaccinations against rabies.

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Pets are blessed

Photo: Jay Directo/AFP/Getty Images

Fighting rabies

Pets are cradled in the arms of their owners as they receive a blessing from a Catholic priest.

Between 300 and 600 Filipinos die of rabies every year, but the Philippines' Department of Health has a plan to eliminate the disease from the country by 2020.

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Catie Leary ( @catieleary ) writes about science, travel, animals and the arts.