Do Animals Have a Soul? Do pets and animals go to Heaven?

October 03, 2011  •  Leave a Comment

There is a discussion on the “Pet Friendly, Animal Lovers” group forum on LinkedIn asking this question: "Does everyone here believe that their pets have souls? I had a Minister once tell me they didn't….” You might need to log-in to read; I am not certain if log-in is needed. Here is a link. 

This is a tough one. The words in biblical passages of Judaism and Christianity are not clear in translation and same words are sometimes used in different context, from a spiritual entity to the essential "spirit of man", the living substance and the nature of living things. Yet, there is sufficient teaching of an afterlife for the spirits of mankind. The soul in that context is that part which transcends to afterlife which is the center focus of the question. So, the question is, "Do animals have a spirit which will be in an afterlife following earthly death?"

We are going to heaven but we want a home here first!
Note to Atheists: Atheists reading this blog post, please sit back and hear out what might be babbling to you or move on. I have no problem with your reading this and hope you do; I simply cannot believe that God does not exist and  does not work in my life.

I believe the God of my faith has great concern for His creation and has made provision of an afterlife for animals and what creatures suit his desires. I see the covenant to Noah after the great flood being given to the creatures, to the earth, not only to man. In some translations, as the covenant with “the rainbow memory jogger” is given, it is to the creatures first and then to mankind. And passages say the creation longs for a new existence beyond our cycle of birth and decay. The creation is clearly important to God and creatures actually must give some form of accounting of their actions according to their nature, something way beyond my ability to reason and state in any knowing manner beyond this sentence.
Fanciful Imagination of a Dove 
Flying a Spirit to Heaven
Gold in quartz gem, sterling silver and 18k gold
There is not a way to say no or yes. Those who demand the “People yes, animals no” answer have placed mankind in a rather arrogant position and have missed the place of the creation in the will of God. Those who demand YES are hopeful but proof is in believing, not in biblical evidences. We simply do not know the answer.
People have posted to the LinkedIn forum stating a belief in the souls of their pets and that those will be with them in heaven. The bible teaches than there will be no husband and wife relationships in heaven, the implication being we will not know who we were before in relation to other saved souls. The total inexplicable joy of heaven itself is so great there is no room or need for earthly thoughts. Will our pets be there? Again, I do not have an answer. Could be.. or it could be creatures are in a spiritual world made for them and not the heaven for saved human souls. We really have almost no answers to the questions of animals and souls.
This photo was taken in 2010 when a group of folks I know gave a substantial truck load of needed food and other items to a local animal shelter. The puppy was adopted that day.
 If you want to comment on this topic, please do. If you can in some way enlighten me, please do that, also.
Of course, my primary concern is for human souls, believing as a Christian that God does have a heaven afterlife for those who do His will.  Getting to heaven is not a check list completed, having membership in any particular brand-name church organization or simply believing He will save everyone.  Heaven is a biblical teaching and that same teaching source includes how God wants people to live and love to receive His graceful forgiveness and place in heaven.
THE FOLLOWING IS A CURIOSITY INCLUDED BECAUSE OF THE “No Soul” TEACHING.  It is quite possible to have a faith based on God and Bible and believe we have no soul.
A few years ago I was handed a leaflet from a group of religious folk who filled my small front porch. I did not discuss with them but took the leaflet. The question on the cover went something like this: How Do You Know You Are in the Right Church? I found the answer inside. Ready for this one?
The leaflet stated boldly “If your church teaches you have a soul you are in the wrong church.” This literature quite forcefully stepped on the toes of about any religion recognized in the Jewish/Christian realm. No Christian denomination of which I am aware was left with toes intact. All were quite violently pounded by this “truth”. Telling believers the foundation of their personal self which will go to heaven by the judgment of God…the soul…does not exist is the opposite of good marketing methods. 

In fairness to those on the doorstep, they believe not in "going to heaven" but in  a paradise on earth occupied by their members living in transformed bodies. Apparently that transformation requires no soul.   It will take research to find out if animals are included in the "paradise on earth" belief, research I will leave to someone with more free time. I will not be in "paradise" because membership is exclusive to their sect. A specified number of their group will actually go to heaven while the rest remain in the newly formed paradise.
This information is included to that show at least one well known "bible based" religious organization believes humans have no soul and is content with that belief.  They believe in afterlife for their members but not in "hell" for the others. Instead of hell and punishment, the unsaved apparently go poof into oblivion.
Surely, we must all remain open minded with hearts of love for others, spending more time in service for humankind and stewardship of this creation. I am less concerned on how God adapts the soul for eternal life than knowing He does make that promise to his children.


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