Honoring the Sacred Worth of All Animals

The Story of Animal Blessings and Ginny Mikita

 

The Story of Animal Blessings

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Animal Blessings is an organization dedicated to honoring the sacred worth of all animals - companion animals with whom we share our lives, captive animals exploited by humans for all the of reasons humans have historically done so and wild animals who are hunted or at risk of extinction. 

Much of the work of Animal Blessings is centered around companion animals of all species - dogs, cats, fish, bird, ferrets, hedgehogs and others. Blessings of the Animals are offered throughout the year at various locations - outside and in, secular and religious. Companion Animal Grief Support is offered monthly in a group setting and available by telephone and appointment for individuals navigating grief and mourning in anticipation of or after the death of a companion animal. 

I attended Notre Dame Law School with the specific intention of using legal skills to protect all animals. Animal advocacy - on behalf of individual animals and their caretakers and animal protection organizations including humane societies, rescues and veterinarians (particularly those engaged in in-home hospice and palliative care) - continues to be a significant part of of my legal practice. 

Read more about how Animal Blessings was born >

About Ginny Mikita

Ginny Mikita is a 1991 graduate of Notre Dame Law School and Master of Divinity/Center for Loss Death and Grief Studies Certification candidate. She and her husband, Bob Kruse, have their own compassion- and social justice-based law practice, Mikita Kruse Law, in which they represent the voiceless - neglected, abused and unaccompanied refugee children, animals and those who care for and provide them with medical and shelter services and incapacitated adults.In 2018, Ginny was among the first class of inductees into the Animal Friendly Attorneys™  program, a service designed to meet a need among people who care about animals and are seeking legal services.

Ginny served two years as a hospital night chaplain, volunteers with Hospice of Michigan as a life story recorder and, for the past years, has offered companion animal loss support services in West Michigan. Ginny’s companion animal loss support services include facilitating a monthly Companion Animal Loss Grief Support Group (and telephone consulting before and between gatherings), officiating an annual Memorial Service in December, writing grief columns for local publications and speaking at gatherings - local and national - of animal care and protection professionals. Additionally, Ginny regularly officiates Blessings of the Animals in both religious and secular environments.

Ginny and Bob have two children - Spencer who is studying acting at Webster Conservatory of Theatre Arts in St. Louis and Greta who is studying political science/community organizing at the University of Michigan. They also share their home with a rescue dog shih tzu and terrier mix named Chewy, and until July had also shared their home for 13 years with another rescue black lab/beagle mix.


What People Say About Animal Blessings and Ginny Mikita

 
Ginny does an amazing job of facilitating the pet loss support group to which I refer all of my pet hospice clients. She has helped many of my pet-loving clients through one of the most difficult times of their lives. She offers a very safe space for people to work through their grief and come out whole on the other side.
— Dr. Laurie Brush, Heaven at Home Pet Hospice
It is impossible to keep from smiling, and feeling a sense of joy, if you have the opportunity to attend a Companion Animal Blessing service. Whether you come just to watch, or you are bringing your beloved companion(s), it is a beautiful event. I have witnessed horses, cats, dogs, chickens, and bowls of fish patiently waiting in line for Ginny to gently touch their ear or nose as she offers up a soft-spoken prayer. Pets who have passed away are not forgotten as owners bring a photograph of their beloved companion.
— Carol A.
It is our honor to look forward to our Instruments of Hope Blessing of the Animals in the Saint Francis of Assisi Sculpture Garden with Ginny Mikita every October. This annual event has been officiated by Ginny since its inception for our garden in 2009. The spiritual energy Ginny emits to the animals she blesses is definitely felt by them and by all of us humans as well. She is so gentle and loving and takes time to place her hands on and talk to each one. We have seen instant calming on their faces as she greets them with such genuine kindness. Ginny has an innate ability to embrace any type of critter that has joined our blessing, from reptilian, to furry babies, to little pigs, large horses, and more, with so much love. She takes extra time to the elderly and sick pets to give them and their owner special moments of love and concern .... Everyone leaves the blessing with a high level of happiness and graciousness.
— Susan E. and Mic C.
When my husband and I suddenly lost our Brittany Spaniel, we were overwhelmed with grief. We felt helpless and had a hard time concentrating on anything as our thoughts would always come back to “Annie”. Attending the Companion Animal Loss Support Group a few days after losing her, we were surrounded with comfort, compassion, and support as we shared our loss. It would be our first step toward peace. This support group is a safe place to share the deepest of emotions with others going through the same thing. For some, the thought of it makes them uneasy or uncomfortable. But by sharing your story and your pain, it actually helps the healing process.
— Carol A.