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Mike Hayes
Our readers asked:

Will I See My Pets in Heaven?

Mike Hayes Answers:


Question: As an animal lover and someone who has a deep connection to my pets, I’d like to know more about what the Bible says happens to our pets and other animals when they pass away. Does God have a place for them in heaven? Will we see them again?

As a dog lover myself, who is obsessed with my best friend, Haze the Dog, I always picture Haze bounding toward me when I reach the eternal reward, ready to greet me again.

The truth is that we know little about what heaven is like. What we do know is that this is a complete union with the Divine. So any earthly pleasures that we have come to know will be far exceeded by the complete joy that awaits us in heaven.

The Church teaches that we have dominion over the animals of the world (Genesis) and that while animals are great companions, God shows special preference towards human beings, instilling us with a soul. That said, while we might be the only creatures able to unite with the Divine, that does not mean that animals will not be present in heaven! It just means that they will not be united to God in the same way that we are.

So there very well may be dogs and cats and elephants in heaven. And they would be there for the same purposes that we have them here, companionship. They too, are creations of God and therefore we should take care of them as best we can. I believe that God takes care of them after death as well. A loving God after all would never just rid us of the love that God reflects to us in our pets.

But something to keep in mind is that even if they are not in heaven the same way that we now know them in life, it doesn’t matter. God finds a way to give us even more bliss than our pets have given to us. So the love that we recall from these animals will in fact be present to us in an even greater way.

A final quick story that I believe provides us some insight to an animal’s place in heaven:

There was a man who died and in the afterlife his dog met him. They romped and bounded together just like old times. Upon reaching the first gate a man came out and said: “Welcome to heaven. But you can’t bring that dog in here.”

The dog growled and barked at the gatekeeper. Dejected the man said, “Well, if he can’t come, then I guess I can’t go either. I can’t imagine that God wouldn’t allow him in.” And he went away saddened by this.

A bit more up the road, he found a second gate. And a smiling young man came to the gate and greeted him and the dog wagged his tail and the young man came over and gave him a pat on the head and a belly rub and some doggy treats that he had in his pocket.

He reached out his arms to the man and embraced him and said, “Welcome to heaven!”

Surprised the man said, “But I was just at another gate and that guy told me THAT was heaven. But he wouldn’t let my dog come in with me. So I left that gate and was sad that I’d never get to see God.”

The young man said, “Oh by the way, I’m St. Peter. And that last gate was hell. They only take people in who are willing to abandon their best friend.”

And off they went. Amen.

The Author : Mike Hayes
Mike Hayes is the senior editor for the Googling God section at BustedHalo.com.
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Please note that the editorial staff reserves the right to not post comments it deems to be inappropriate and/or malicious in nature, as well as edit comments for length, clarity and fairness.
  • Daniel Mrg

    Very well written. And I loved the story about the man and his dog who went to heaven.

  • digract

    We learned in Catechism that animals and plants have finite souls so their souls die with them when they die. After all we do eat some of the animals. We have pet chickens and I know people eat them. We wouldn’t eat our pets though. Well thank goodness we have enough to eat, but some poor countries I have heard eat cats maybe dogs. Although, that does not mean we won’t have animals in heaven. There is a lot of things we do not understand. I guess these are one of those mysteries.

  • Mary P

    You can read in the book of Revelation that Jesus and the whole army of heaven came down from heaven upon white horses. That seems good evidence of animals being in heaven.

  • lucy

    I have a cat called gizmo he’s ginger and white sadly few days ago I lost my best friend lily who I had from the age of 15 she was 10 she was found miles away from home and hit by something it’s broken my heart I feel iv not said good bye to her I miss her soo much I cant get over it she was my baby my daughter she wasn’t just my cat she was my family I feel I failed her I should of come home or all this wouldn’t of happened I cant turn to no one as no one understands what she meant to me I’d give up my own life just so she’d be here :( what can I do nothing seems to be helping but being asleep makes me not think what’s happened I’m so low just can’t stop crying it’s killing me :(

    • digract

      Sorry. I know I went through some grief as well with one of our pets and had the same kind of feeling of failing her as well. It is hard to go through. I went to confession because I felt guilty about the whole thing. I have to say that has helped me, but of course I miss and think of her. I am amazed how it has affected me. I know it is a part of nature and I am thankful to God that I was able to have that bond for awhile and she was a gift to me from God. He is so good. We have talked about another pet, but not sure yet. I will pray for you.

      • lucy

        Thank you sweety I’m awaiting her ashes to be delivered but scared I’m going to be low even more I hate the thought of never seeing her face again and her being in that box :( i refuse to have anymore I have gizmo left that’s it her best friend when he goes to be with her I’m not having anymore can’t deal with the heart ache they are my kids always will be x

      • Guest

        I am also feeling that pain tonight as I had to let my precious rescue cat of 6 years go to sleep, drifting slowly away. After a serious injury from a speeding car she was helpless I had to let her go. Even with prayer, the pain is excruciating as I type, so I know what you and digract are feeling. She got me through a serious back injury, especially as I am alone. She helped me to smile, then to laugh. She was my sunshine, my moonshine, my shining star, my shadow, and my motivation to carry on. I don’t know how to go on. The saving grace for me was the overwhelming support and kindness from complete strangers as they hugged me and prayed for me, a 64 year old man, as I sat crying like a baby, and petting her for the last time in the vets office. A 14 year old young man, who I didn’t even know, wanted to come and sit with me as we said good bye and painfully watched her drift off. Tonight I will pray for you, Lucy, and for digract, as well.

      • nancy

        Hi..I m sorry for your loss and understand how u must be feeling..I put my dog to rest 2 days back as he was suffering from kidney failure..I m in such a grief that every moment m just thinking about him and madly m browsing internet to find a way to connect to him.
        I may sound foolinsh to write u all this..but I don’t know anyone can understand my feelings

      • Guest

        I completely understand and concur with all your feelings Nancy, and thank you for your thoughts as we share the grief for our best little friends ever. Keep reaching out to people, as the kindness of strangers is a healing experience. I am 17 days without Wilson, my cat, and it’s still confusing. I pray that this experience we have all lived thru is part of a grand lesson. Perhaps this saying will help a little. “Have you ever considered that instead of human beings seeking a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings seeking a human experience”. The love for our pets and from our pets is powerful, and part of us, and is in our hearts forever. Nancy, I’m praying for you, and for your comfort at this difficult time. I’m right with you. I hope you see this.

      • Melissa

        My dog Kelsey was over 15 yrs. old, but I didn’t expect to lose him the day that I did, and it was a week after I lost my job. I think the most difficult part is that I believe that God gave them to us to teach us the true meaning of unconditional love.

      • Guest

        Thank you for responding Melissa, it’s been 2 mo and still such a void. Maybe the pain will never really go away for us. Knowing you and Nancy, Robert, Sam, and all the others loved your pets like I loved my best pal, and that we all share these feelings of grief, has eased my pain some. I don’t feel so alone.

      • sam

        Hello I also had lost my cat who was my best friend and I was unhappy when I had to put him to sleep, as I seen him go away he look at me and the woman was the one that was going to put my best friend to sleep ” he was so sick and I did not want to lose him so but they said to me he is hurting inside suffering in pain ” I had to do what I needed to do ” I said good bye to him and he was looking at me” I was thinking about what was going on with his mind like he know about something wrong that he was going away and i think he know”s that he was sick ” but when he look over her shoulder he looked at me snd said good bye my friend” the question are we going to see them again that answer is yes !! Read in the bible Romans Chspter 8:18-25) I hope that you will be ok and we will one day see area be love cats ” have a nice day. :) o

      • Robert Pace

        friend exactly what happened to you , I went through yesterday Sunday 3rd May2015, My dear and best friend ‘Joe’ , my cat age 18years was suffering from heart problems, his lungs where filling up with fluid because of this. He was also diabetic. I tried for 2 whole weeks, with the help of my girl friend to save his precious life, but all failed yesterday when he was having sudden contractions, again breathing problems. I needed to take the decision to end his suffering. I signed to get him asleep. He watched me before I left ,I gave him a dear last kiss, It was just unimaginable pain from the inside,I am still heart broken, I tried all. My wish to Jesus is that when my time comes next, I will be reunited with him forever ,

        God bless everyone and like me, please be strong and positive that Jesus is so kind, and will make it happen!!

      • Guest

        I am with you in spirit Robert, and hope you can heal, despite our feeling of missing our pets so much.

      • Guest

        Thanks a lot for the scripture to read Sam, I will read it and pray for you and your kitty, as we grieve together, and know we share a very special feeling for the furry friends who made our lives better every day. It helps me to know you and others took the time to respond.

      • Melissa

        I pray for anyone who experiences the grief of losing a beloved pet, because I have recently gone through that, and it was, and continues to be devastating. They are definitely a gift from God, and when we lose them, it’s like losing a member of our family. Guilt is part of the grieving process, and even though I knew that my dog was ready to go, I went through the guilt of wondering if I made the decision too soon. I couldn’t figure out why I seemed to be grieving more after losing Kelsey than when my dad passed away. Then I realized that it was because I didn’t have to make the decision of when my dad took his last breath.

  • bluff bunny

    God brings pets into our life and we LOVE them. And THEY LOVE US.
    God says that LOVE will never die, so why would the LOVE we have for our pets, ever die?
    God promises us happiness, in Heaven…our pets make us happy, so why would they NOT be part of Heaven?
    Go to the Rainbow Bridge site and see what others have written.

    I eagerly await seeing my sweet kitties again, in Heaven!

    P.S. I sincerely believe that HUMANS who are cruel to animals, will NOT be there with me and my pets!

  • Ernest Krist

    Mike, If having a soul means being able to feel Love and Loyalty and Gratitude, then dogs are better off than a lot of humans. You see Mike I was a combat dog handler in combat in Vietnam with the Scout Dog Platoon, 173d Airborne Brigade for 26 months. I wish that time and space would permit me to describe the thousands of incidents that I and other handlers could share here that would stand you on edge at how much of an honorable soul distinctly like humans but better. It obvious that when you were in the military you did not have the privilege of serving with the accompaniment of a loyal, loving, courageous and soulful dog. All of the other handlers agree with me that a majority of dogs live in such a manner that they can show the rich soul that God gave to them. Yeah, sure, the scoffers and procrastinators will say that those Ger. Shepards and Belgium Malinois were acting out of training and instincts. <— All that is Horse manure. The heart and soul of dogs exceeds that of most humans. There have been hundreds of books written just about these facts. Mike, tell me please: Who do you know on earth, man or other animal that will not lie to you, steal from you, not cheat you or cheat on you and go without food, water and care if you forgot and still love you unconditionally and pull you out from a burning fire like my scout dog did for a buddy of mine in Vietnam when an enemy napalm type of bomb went off on our position.. That's right not even one human is capable of doing what I have just described. Mike, get with the program. What dogs can do to find lost children, traverse thru hundreds of miles on foot to find it's lost home, sniff out bombs in all sorts of situations, care for and help the blind find their way in big cities. Hey, I can go on and on but if you have a spark of intelligence which I believe you possess you will get my point and become a believer.

    • fabyluna2204

      Ernest: What a great story! As a person who recently lost her best friend I deeply appreciate your message, also, great examples on dog´s loyalty and pure soul. I believe we get to hang out with our furry friends to become better human beings. I´m really glad I found your post. Have a blessed day! :)

  • Ernest Krist

    Of course they have souls and go to heaven. Try reading Isiah 11-6 which is God telling all what happens to animals in heaven. God created these lovely beings because he loves them deeply as he does the 2-legged ones.

    • Mike

      that is why we can eat every four legged thing on earth even Dogs because God said we could — just not eat Human OK got it?

      • Ernest Krist

        Sorry that you can’t read well. When you read “and the lions shall lie with the lambs” doesn’t take rocket science to see and prove that the Father God loves, protects the animals and gives them free roam with all his children.

      • Ernest Krist

        But it’s okay Mike, Go ahead and shake your fist at God and consume and eat all the dogs your carnivorous heart desires. I can’t and won’t dare judge you but someone else can and surely will in good time. And the fallen angel’s offspring the giants (Geber) were mostly cannibals and ate humans doesn’t make consumption of 2 legged animals right either.

      • Mike

        this is what you said , quote ” Try reading Isiah 11-6 which is God telling all what happens to animals in heaven”

        no where in that scripture does it say anything that it speaks of is in heaven, for one thing. the other thing is when you read the prophetic books you have to know or try to figure out if you should read it as a literal or fugitively as God speaks metaphorically too —

        you seem to have a very vivid imagination — you are taking a delusion then looking for scripture to back it up .. this is why you are having faulty logic — you cannot fit a square peg in a round hole

  • Mike

    NO, by a redefining of the meaning of the word SOUL by the Church, their souls all just disappear into thin air after they die.

    • Ernest Krist

      It’s such a relief that you are a member of the very few that believe that kind of gobbly goop about the rest of us. The only difference in this animal and human kingdom is the placement of a few genes and only minor changes in DNA

      • Mike

        because everything came out of the clay of the earth?

        NO SOUL is in anything other then a Human —

        there is no such place as doggy heaven, God said we can kill everything on this earth for food, just bleed it, let its blood run back into the earth that it came from –

        so yes I can even eat a dog and God would not care —

        show me where God says that about another human… why he not say dat? cuz we got something that the other creatures don’t have it is called a SOUL

  • Louise Wood

    im sort of reading this in hope as im in a bit of a sad place right now, today sunday 29th june 2014 tomorrow i have the awful task of putting my beloved baby to sleep, i would like to think that they accept pets into heaven and she is waiting on me and my husband when our time comes

  • charles m

    not true some go to hell that is why they are judged check gen 9:5

    • Mike

      What do you mean if my doggy keeps pissing in my shoes it goes to hell?

      what bible to I buy for my doggy so I can teach it the commandments for Dogs to follow so it too can go to heaven ?

  • doglover

    i kinda know what he’s going through, except they’re my aunty and uncles dogs and my mum and i look after them everytime they travel and i constantly think and hope that god will have a place for them in heaven :)

  • Troy Mann

    I’m positive our pets meet us in Heaven. My little dog, who sadly just passed away, was surely a gift from God when I needed him, and God doesn’t seem the type to throw his tools away. He came into our lives just before some of the worst personal tragedies a family can have, and he showed me God’s love like I had never felt it before. He was partly responsible for turning me away from atheism and towards God’s love, and he kept my spirits up when I don’t think anything else in the world could have. In some ways I feel God made these animals to show us how to be Christians, and I know he will have a place for them in His Kingdom.

    • doglover

      aww hope you’re okay :)

  • Ken Orcutt

    For those who say scripture doesn’t say anything about animals in heaven. Please read your bible.

  • Gary Elrod

    I believe pets goes to a waiting place. When the beloved person die he will meet the person and cross over to heaven together. Humans can’t enter heaven except through the blood of Jesus. Human soul are different than pets. God placed Earth to Jesus. God the father made animals. Some animal differ from others. Dog and cats were given by God for loving and having joy with them. These pets take on the owners personalities, and I believe the human soul connects pets souls where they become one. Pets can reason, talk to you, give you joy, love and fun. God put these pets here for us to love and enjoy. When we, as humans die, I think God the father will reward us pet owner with our pets that we lost. God knows that we as humans loved out pets dearly like we love God. I just lost my 18 year old cat. I know he is having fun waiting on the day I or my wife dies so he can reconnect with us again. I am now waiting for the day, I am united with my cat Gizmo.

    • pedro

      I just really miss my pets who have passed away and i keep asking myself this question because they were a huge part of my life and they made me happy im just sad i dont get to play with them and have fun with them anymore now i await that day when i will meet them and live together like the old days.:’( :’(

  • Carol Schulz LaDeaux

    One thing I noticed right off the first time I read the Bible cover to cover is that animals were in heaven (Eden) even before man was. It’s in the very first book.

  • Dan Charette

    Strangely enough, the dog, man and gate story was an episode on the old Twilight Zone series!

    • terri

      Dan…you are right. I remember that episode well.

  • Paulette Cadmus

    Great story illustrating an important truth about love and loyalty.

  • Sonja Flater

    Nice article, Mike. What references does Scripture have regarding who we see in heaven?

    • Mike Hayes

      Scripture doesn’t say ANYTHING about it actually for the most part. But it also doesn’t say anything against it either.

      • RDemers

        And (if I get to heaven) I canb expect to enjoy the universe’s best hotdogs, hamburgers and pizza. Also unicorns, UFO’s, and broccoli. Scripture doesn’t say anything against them either. :-)

      • Mike Hayes

        The point, people, is that heaven is beyond our understanding…so we know not the immense joy that will exist for us…so much joy that we need not worry ourselves about who we will see or not see. Uniting with the divine brings us into a new way of being. But our pets may have made us more apt to accept God’s love and so they indeed may share in the beatific vision in some way.

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