According to a piece on, an atheist group has filed suit to stop the Catholic blessing of animals at a county-run shelter, claiming the blessings violate the First and Fourth amendments.

WTOP reports:

The event was held last month and is intended to honor Saint Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals.

The lawsuit [by American Atheists Inc.] seeks an injunction against the county’s participation plus legal fees. It names Bergen County, the shelter and its director.

The lawsuit says the Teterboro shelter is using government resources to promote religious ceremonies. The shelter is run by the county’s Department of Health Services and receives money from the state.

Yep … the Establishment Clause prevents priests from establishing a state religion, which they’ll accomplish by volunteering their time to bless shelter animals.