'World Animal Day is a celebration of animals'

EUGENE, Ore. - From snakes and lemurs to porcupines and alligators, Nathan McClain's Zany Zoo Pets may be the closest thing Eugene has to a zoo.

"What our passion is and what our focus is on is rescue, conservation, education - and in that way we are much more like a zoo," McClain said.

The store on Bailey Hill road in west Eugene offers free petting zoos on the weekends.

It's a fitting time of year to walk and talk with the animals, too: Friday, October 4, is World Animal Day.
And Catholic churches observe the Blessing of the Animals on Saturday. St. Peter's Church will hold the special blessing at 1 p.m. The event dates to the 13th century and a tradition started by St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals.

And whether you're an adorable kitten or an adorable bush baby, if you're an animal, this is your day.

"World Animal Day is a celebration of animals in all of those forms, not necessarily cute cuddly puppies," McClain said.