In Spain and Italy, Jan. 17 is a blessed day for pets. Indeed, it is the day of St. Anthony, the saint patron of animals.
On this occasion dogs, cats, rabbits and other pets go to the church with their owners in order to get the blessing and protection of St. Anthony. This belief has very ancient origins, when the peasants gathered at St. Antoine to protect their herds from starvation and disease. According to this thinking, this blessing also ensures a long life to animals.
Long live the Yummypals!