Do Pets Go to Heaven?Published June 23, 2010
The question, "Do pets go to heaven?" is one that most pet owners wonder about, especially when caring for a terminally ill pet, or when a beloved pet dies. As I researched answers to this question, I was amazed to discover that Google lists 1,770,000 results from which to choose. There are a number of articles written by authors who believe that animals have no souls and do not go to heaven. But if one believes in a loving God, it would be impossible to consider how He would create such magnificent creatures, only to abandon them at the time of their death. Most pet lovers consider their furry companions as part of the family so when a pet dies it can be devastating. Our highly intelligent pets, capable of thinking and reasoning, each have their own unique personalities. They shower us with an abundance of unconditional love. Pets, just like humans, are emotional beings and capable of very deep feelings. Most of us long for reassurance that when we die, we will be reunited with our pets once again in Heaven. In response to this question, the noted veterinarian and author of a series starting with, "All Creatures Great and Small", chronicling his work with animals around the British countryside, Mr. James Herriot said, "If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans. You've nothing to worry about there." From the Christian perspective no matter how big or small, all creatures have a chance of going to Heaven. A quote from the Bible, Psalm 145:-9-10, 13, 15-21, saying, "God loves all His creation and has made plans for all His children and the lesser creatures to enjoy His eternal Kingdom", is very compelling to those of who believe that animals do go to Heaven. It is written in sacred Judaic texts that Yahweh, the God of Israel, gave the breath of life to the animals that lived in the Garden of Eden, suggesting that non-human animals may also become a living soul. Buddhists consider all animals as sentient beings, capable of suffering. Animals have a "Buddha nature" according to the Mahayana school; therefore they can become enlightened in much the same way as humans. However they also believe that animals inhabit a world called Tiryagyoni. Animals are not separated by space from humans, but from a state of mind. But they also consider that any human may be reborn as an animal, and conversely, any animal may be reborn as a human. This clearly demonstrates their strong belief in the inter-connectivity of all precious life. Many people believe that when animals die they go to the Rainbow Bridge. This is a beautiful place in Heaven where pets and their human companions once again will be reunited. The animals that live there have been restored to health and happily anticipate the joyous reunion with their special humans. Visit the Rainbow Bridge. Or for further information on the pets and heaven, visit Beliefnet. Do you believe that animals go to heaven? Share your thoughts by commenting. Photo via.