SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — Siouxlanders were offered an opportunity to bless their pets at a local church over the weekend.

Local Presbyterian churches from Sioux City and South Sioux City held a Blessing of the Animals event for the first time at Shepherd’s Garden.

Around a dozen dogs and cats were joined by their families to take part in the service.

KCAU 9 spoke with one of the organizers about why blessing your pets is also important.

“We are all part of God’s creation,” Reverand Davis Koehler said. “That the animals were part of God creating this whole process as well along with people and we live together. We share this space together. We adopt these pets to be a part of our own families. They become so close to us, that why would we not bless them as we bless our children.”

The pets had to be leashed, caged, or secured and the church also accepted donations that went to Noah’s Hope Animal Rescue.