HELENA — Students, faculty and community members gathered at Carroll College on Friday for the annual Blessing of the Animals.
The yearly tradition coincides with the feast of St. Francis, patron saint of animals.
More than 20 dogs, a cat and three fish were present for the blessing.
Carroll College is home to the first anthrozoology undergraduate program in the nation. The study’s focus is between human and animal interactions.
Carroll senior Delany Lester says it might not always seem like it, but we are constantly using anthrozoology in our lives
“Everything is related to anthrozoology. The environment, the way you interact with animals, like, the people that are walking by, they are getting interactions from animals like, ‘oh dog, cute!'” Lester said. “(Those are) the hormones and the endorphines that go through your body.”
There are currently more than 100 students enrolled in anthrozoology at Carroll College and there are more than 20 dogs in the program. Many of those dogs will need forever homes this spring.