Bolivians bless pets to celebrate St. Roch day

STORY: [Locator : La Paz, Bolivia]

Dogs and their humans gathered in the Bolivian capital to mark Saint Roch’s day

St. Roch is the patron saint of dogs

Dogs are usually put in costumes to attend the celebrations

After mass, owners blessed their dogs with holy water

[Monica Hurtado // Dog owner]

“My parents passed away and I was very angry at life but they (my dogs) came into my life and they healed my heart. They fill me with love. Everyday they wait for me at home, they give me happiness.”

Some people also marched to protest against animal abuse

[Lourdes Molina // Dog owner]

“They should take care of them since they are puppies until they grow old. They (dogs) suffer a lot. The only thing we are asking is for people not to mistreat their dogs.”