After officials reported a pit bull puppy was burned and killed in a church parking lot during the weekend, the church is coming together to help honor “God’s creatures.”
Grace United Methodist Church, 410 Harbison Blvd., is planning to hold a “Blessing of the Animals” 4 p.m. Saturday, where church and community members can bring their pets or photos of pets during a prayer service, according to a news release from the S.C. Conference of the United Methodist Church. A love offering will also be collected to benefit the animal rescue Pawmetto Lifeline.
The Richland County Sheriff’s Department reported an 8-10 week old pit bull puppy was set on fire Saturday and was later put down due to its injuries.
A $2,000 reward is being offered to anyone who calls Crimestoppers at 1 (888) CRIME-SC with information leading to an arrest.
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Sgt. Brittany Jackamonis with the department said investigators are looking into possibly obtaining video surveillance that may help with the investigation.
Grace UMC’s pastor the Rev. Murray Snow said church leaders decided to turn the “heartbreaking” incident into an opportunity to make a difference.
“We’re still processing it; everybody here is appalled,” Snow said. “... We want God’s love and grace to be reflected by the actions of the Harbison community’s coming together.”
Snow said the community feels violated that the abuse happened on church property.
“We consider it holy ground, and God’s covenant is with all God’s creatures,” he said.
Snow said the church’s congregation also is praying for the person who set the puppy on fire.
“No one is beyond God’s grace and God’s redeeming,” Snow said.
Blessing of the Animals and Prayer Service
4 p.m. Saturday at Grace United Methodist Church, 410 Harbison Blvd. The event is open to the public.