In some cultures, it's typical to bless animals on feast of St. Francis of Assisi; in Rome, it's on Anthony's day
St. Anthony Abbot is known as a patron saint and protector of animals, because when he retreated to the desert for a life of prayer, it is said he was accompanied only by animals.
Anthony is the father of Christian monasticism.
While some cultures tend to think mostly of St. Francis of Assisi as patron of animals, in various parts of Europe, including in Rome, it is common to have a blessing of animals on the January 17 feast of St. Anthony Abbot.
The archpriest of Saint Peter’s Basilica, Cardinal Angelo Comastri, blessed animals present in Piazza Pio XII, as he celebrated the feast day of Saint Anthony Abbot.