Do all dogs go to Heaven?

My father forwarded this to me, and I laughed too hard not to post it here. Plus, it’s an easy weblog entry. Here we go:

This is literally a ‘church signs’ debate, being played out in a Southern US town, between Our Lady of Martyrs Catholic Church, and Cumberland Presbyterian, a fundamentalist church. You get the impression that the Presbyterians are actually taking this seriously and are getting a bit upset.

I’m hardly impartial, but I think the Catholics won this great theological debate.


So all kidding aside, because I know someone will bring it up in the comments box, do animals go to Heaven?

We know there are animals in Heaven because we see horses in Heaven in Revelation. “Read the Bible” indeed — I happen to have one of those around here. 

My thought? God made all these creatures because God loves them. And God made us to love them too. Adam and Eve were supposed to tend the garden, and we know there were animals in the garden. When we’re restored to our New Heaven and our New Earth, I can’t imagine God’s going to say, “Well, sorry, but those animals I loved so much? And the ones I designed you to love too? Tough cookies.”

Maybe it’ll be an opt-in thing, where God gives us back the animals we ask for. Except some wiseacre out there will probably say, “I want them all!” (Er, now that I wrote that, it’ll definitely happen, sorry.)  

As for them not having souls, the New Earth is shown in Revelation as a physical place, so they won’t need souls regardless; they can just live in their bodies if they happen not to have souls. But seriously, is the other church really advocating that God can’t re-create an animal just because it has no soul?

I don’t believe animals will behold the Beatific Vision, looking at God face-to-face. But I do believe they’ll enjoy a natural happiness in the eternal Kingdom of God. So there. 🙂

A late edit: Snopes says this didn’t happen. I don’t care that it’s fiction, only that it’s funny.


  1. Lane in PA

    There’s an interesting account of animals being our escorts to the afterlife at — under the title The White Dove of Death. The story of Uncle Leonard’s little terrier is heartwarming…and a little spooky.

  2. Ivy

    The Hebrew of Proverbs 12:10 actually reads “The righteous man knows the soul of his animal.” Jewish law protects, not only the physical well being of animals, but the psychological well being as well. It’s not kosher to slaughter an animal in view of its mother; that’s cruel. We are commanded to violate the Sabbath to save a human life, or prevent human suffering; we are commanded to violate the Sabbath to save an animal’s life, or prevent an animal from suffering.

    The bible is perfectly clear on the matter in Hebrew. All elements of creation (rocks, dogs, humans) have a nefesh (animal soul). Neshamah (higher soul) comes from obeying diving commandments. Olam HaZeh will become Olam HaBa. There is no separation in place. If Moshiach comes tomorrow (L-rd may the be Your will) the Borders next door will still be a Borders, and still have books (thought I suspect they’ll sell out of Bibles really fast). Your cats will still be your cats. Olam HaBa will effectively be Heaven, and yes, there will be rocks.

    1. philangelus

      Ivy, you rock with awesomeness,so there will have to be rocks in Heaven.

      Is the teaching really that we earn a higher soul through obedience? We’re not just born with it?

      1. Ivy

        We’re all born with the potential for the higher soul, but that we must earn it through mitzvot. So a human who does no good in the world is about as holy as a brick. A human who does good in the world gains sanctity through their goodness, and that sanctity is embodied in the neshamah. Some say all Jews are born with a neshamah–part of the whole Chosen People thing–which is why a Jew can do more harm through sin than a gentile. A gentile who lives a life of sin never wins a neshamah; a Jew who lives a life of sin destroys a neshamah. In either case, whether a person has one or not ultimately depends on his or her actions.

      2. cricketB

        That’s an idea worth chewing on for a while. Starts as a vessel. Fill it with good things and it becomes a higher soul. Fill it with bad things and it breaks, but has the potential o be rebuilt.

        Ivy, does that mean there’s no soul to go to Hell?

        Other random thoughts:


        From MASH:

        Sydney Freedman (the psychiatrist, to Hawkeye): When you lose one, you lose a body, when I lose one, I lose a mind.

        Father Mulcahy: When I lose one, I lose a soul


        What about a continuum, like sentience or consciousness? At either end are things we mostly agree on, like rocks and Mother Teressa.

        1. Ivy

          Hell is a whole different concept.

          Very few people are so evil that they are condemned forever. We’re talking Hitler level evil here.

          Some people are sentenced for up to a year in Gehonom. This is a place for souls that did okay in life, but need purification.

          Most people get Olam HaEmet. This is where you sit down and watch two movies. The first movie is the life you’ve lived, wholly unedited. The second movie is the life you could have lived. In this way people see the purpose their life was supposed to hold, and the roll of G-d in it.

          Everyone and everything has a nefesh. That alone can exist in the world to come, or in Hell. A rock would have nefesh, but not neshamah. Mother Teressa would have both nefesh and neshamah.

          Like the sign on the Catholic Church said, G-d loves all of his creations.

  3. Memphis Aggie

    Too funny- my six year old asked about horses in heaven yesterday after reading about Elijah and the Chariot of fire.

  4. Scott

    I think we all agree that dogs and horses go to heaven.

    But do cats ??? 😉

    1. philangelus

      Sum kittehs go to teh Ceiling Cat, but others end up wif Basement Cat.

      1. Jason block

        ROFL Dat is so truez.

  5. MysteryNurse

    I’ve seen that before, but the “Presbyterian dogs can check with their pastor” part makes me laugh every time.

  6. kit

    Makes me think of an old Will Rogers quote (which I’m mangling because I’m too tired for Googling) If there are no dogs in Heaven, I want to go where they do.”

    God created the animals to be helpmates to Adam, and I doubt He did anything “superfluous” in creating them…so I have always believed that they will be with us throughout our journey in this life and beyond.