Dogs, cats and guinea pigs took their places in the pews for a special pet service at Rawdon Parish Church.

The whole building came alive with wagging tails, miaowing, faint snuffles and yelps of excitement during the third St Francis Tide Pet Service at St Peter’s on Sunday.

But however cute the scene may have been the service, led by the Rev Cayte Norman, held a serious message.

Organiser Ros Smith said: “Each pet also represented the many animals not loved and cared for by humans. Animals suffer astronomically in factory farms, vivisection labs, fur farms etc., and we turn a blind eye, we don’t listen to their screams; or watch the undercover videos of their suffering; or speak out about it. God gave us dominion, not to abuse them, but rather, in His image, to love and care for them.

“My book, Animal Welfare: Through The Cross, available on Amazon, is a compilation of articles of the work of Animal Christian Concern, founded in Horsforth in 1985 by May Tripp, whom I assisted. It shows the work ACC has done to reach animal welfarists and the churches. All proceeds are donated to animal sanctuaries and humane research.”