Do Pets Go to Heaven?

Can pets be reunited with their owners in the afterlife?

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Extensive study of the Bible for her recent book "Do Dogs Go to Heaven?" has convinced Tulsa attorney M. Jean Holmes that the distinction between humans and animals allegedly to be found in scripture is the result of a translator's "philosophical construction."

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In her assessment, an examination of the original Hebrew texts for such concepts as "soul" and "spirit" clearly tell us that the authors of the various books of the Bible believed that animals have souls and spirits, just as humans do. For those who remain troubled about orthodox teachings that deny spirituality to animals, Ms. Holmes urges them to allow the Holy Spirit to be their teacher.

Janice Gray Kolb did just that. She writes in her book "Compassion for All Creatures" that she received an inner conviction from the Holy Spirit that animals inhabit heaven with us.

"No matter what anyone else may argue, I cannot be shaken on this," she says. "God created man out of the ground, and He created animals and wild birds out of the ground. Man and animal came from the same substance, and the Breath breathed into man was the same Breath breathed into the animals, birds, and other creatures. Genesis 1:21-22 (New American Catholic Bible) says, "'God saw how good it was and God blessed them."

In Ms. Kolb's opinion, God's blessing of the animals is further proof that all creatures have a soul. "Blessed," she points out, "means 'to make holy,' 'sanctify,' 'to invoke divine favor upon,' 'to honor as holy.' God blessed his creation of man and woman and thereby granted them a soul. Why else would God have blessed the animals if it were not to bestow a soul upon them?"

Our own research conducted over these past 45 years has convinced us that just as there is life after death for humans, so also do our pets have some form of existence on the other side. Just as our beloved pets are our constant, loving companions in the material world, so do our spiritual essences remain somehow connected beyond the grave. It may well be that our pets will be numbered among our best friends in heaven as well as on earth.

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Brad and Sherry Steiger
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