RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Grab your cat, your dog, your parakeet or even your hedgehog — the annual Richmond tradition, the Blessing of the Animals, is back Friday, Dec. 9.

The species-inclusive event takes place at noon and will go on rain or shine at the Shockoe Slip Fountain, 1 Shockoe Plaza, in front of the Martin Agency in Richmond.

The blessing, performed by Reverend Karen Thompson or Thompson’s Border Collies, recognizes working animals and celebrates companion animals around the holidays.

Pets and people are encouraged to dress up in holiday attire. Attendees can bring their pets in person, or a photo of their pet to receive the blessing.

Horses with the Richmond Police Mounted Unit will be in attendance spreading holiday cheer.

Richmond Blessing of the Animals 2021

Fountain Bookstore will donate a percentage of its sales on Dec. 9 to the Friends of the Richmond Mounted Squad, the nonprofit organization that puts on the event alongside the Richmond Police Mounted Unit, a sect of officers on horseback.