Celebrating 40 Years of Amazing Animals: Magna

Animals are not just our companions, they are our heroes – guarding our homes, working as service dogs, and even rescuing their families from burning buildings. As TVMF celebrates its 40th Anniversary, we want to take a moment to recognize some of the extraordinary animals that have been inducted into the Texas Animal Hall of Fame.

In this week’s edition, we’d like to honor TVMF’s Texas Animal Hall of Fame winner, Magna.

Inducted: October 1997
Owned by: Father Roy Snipes
Nominated by: Dr. David Heflin

When Father Roy Snipes arrived in Mission, Texas in 1992, Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church was struggling. Attendance was down and, to Snipes, services sometimes seemed too sterile. That’s when Magna, Snipes’s faithful dog, began attending Mass services.

At first some older church members objected to a dog’s presence in a worship service. But, despite the objections, she continued to attend—and so did many other people who welcomed her friendly nature and wagging tail. Attendance is now excellent and many visitors take photographs as Magna leads the procession in and out of church during each Mass service.

Snipes greatly appreciates Magna’s contributions. As he puts it, Magna brings in the attendees, and it’s up to him to keep them there.

“Religion can get so formal and stuffy, and Magna helps us break out of that,” Snipes says. “One lady told me, ‘I always felt uneasy bringing my babies to church, but when I saw Magna, I said if Father Roy can bring his dog, I can bring my babies.’”

Magna makes her presence felt in the community in many ways. Whether it is participating in a wedding, complete with her own formal outfit, or joining Snipes on a visit to a school or nursing home, Magna has a remarkable ability to make friends and put smiles on the faces of those she meets.