We'll send you weekly suggestions for breakthrough faith.

YOUR PATH: WordBytes » Bereavement (catalog) » Do Pets Go to Heaven?

[Most articles can be downloaded; if you see no download form, write to us.]

Question from a reader: “My wife and I had to put our beloved precious dog, Cosmo, to sleep. He was in end stage liver disease. He was 12 years and almost 4 months old. I have a questions for you. Where do our pets go after they die? Will we ever see them again?”

FAQs - Do Pets Go to Heaven? - Cruzer & Rexy in 2003Answer:

God loves all of creation, and Christ redeems all of creation. This includes our pets.

Pope Paul VI was said to have once told a distraught boy whose dog had died: “One day, we will see our animals again in the eternity of Christ. Paradise is open to all of God’s creatures.”

Jesus told his disciples: “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). Not “to every human being,” but “to every creature“. St. Francis understood this to mean, “God wishes other creatures besides humans to be included in the plan of salvation” (from the Sermon to the Fishes of the Sea).

Revelation 5:13 says, “Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, everything in the universe, cry out: ‘To the one who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor, glory and might, forever and ever'”. In this picture of heaven, all creatures are present and praising God together with us humans.

The question that causes debates and disagreements on this in Christian theology is: Do animals have souls? While we cannot be absolutely certain of the answer, any pet owner knows that some animals, if not all, have personalities. Personalities are affected by the brain (as evidence by personality changes when a person has a stroke or dementia), but does this mean that our personalities are completely controlled by our brains?

Catholic theology teaches that our souls are purified when we die (we call the process of purification “purgatory”). Therefore, since our holiness directly affects our personality, we can conclude that purification can only happen if our personalities are more than our brain.

Only humans have been given the degree of intelligence that frees us to understand and choose between right and wrong. Only humans can choose to follow Christ or reject him. Only humans have the capacity to sin. When my dog disobeys me, she’s not sinning. She’s simply not understanding the command. Dogs are trainable because they are delighted to obey their masters when they are taught well.

Heavenly eternity is life without limits, full immersion into the love of God. I believe that if we want our beloved pets to spend eternity with us, then God in his merciful goodness grants it to us.

© 2016 by Terry A. Modica

Let Jesus minister to you more: See our other WordBytes on Bereavement >>

Or see more WordBytes on FAQs about Catholic Doctrine >>

See all our WordBytes at Wordbytes.org >>

Find more faith-builders by visiting the Good News Ministries home page >>


Do Pets Go to Heaven?

Free Download!A free PDF document of this is available for your own personal use.

donateHowever, your support can help us continue to provide faith-building resources like this.

For sharing with others, please get special permission.

To obtain the document with a Single User License, please submit this copyright contract agreement. See our copyright usage permissions policy.

What are you seeking from God? Find it in 60 seconds:

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments