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Annual 'Blessing of the Pets' held at the Episcopal School of Knoxville on Thursday

Students brought their scaly, spiky and furry friends to be blessed.

Knoxville — Clergy blessed hundreds of pets at the Episcopal School of Knoxville on Thursday morning as a part of their annual "Blessing of the Pets" event.

Students brought their scaly, spiky and furry friends to receive a blessing from different clergy members assembled for the event.

The school held a short chapel service for the animals before walking outside to bless pet horses, hedgehogs, snakes and even dinos (stuffed, of course) for the event.

It takes place every year on the day honoring St. Francis of Assisi, who is the patron saint of animals.

Even though it's an annual tradition, there were still new experiences today, even for some of the priests, like "Pineapple," a hedgehog.

"My favorite blessing was by far the hedgehog," Matt Farr, the Episcopal School of Knoxville Chaplain, said. "I had yet to bless a hedgehog. I've had horses, and dogs and cats, never a hedgehog, and it was a feisty one, I didn't know hedge hogs could be feisty, but there you go."

The event also collected pet food for a ministry center; they typically gather thousands of pounds each year.