It started in 1931 in Florence Italy. This date was chosen because it is the date of the Feast of St. Francis, the patron saint of animals.
Today this event is celebrated by animal lovers of all beliefs, nationalities and backgrounds. Several services were offered in this Arizona community from several Christian churches.
Why do people flock with their pets to these celebrations? I can only speak for myself. It is a great social event and photo opportunity. People love their pets, be they dog, cat, rat, bird or snake. Here Father Dan, admitting that he is not fond of reptiles holds a corn snake that is the pet of a proud young boy.