" Putting your pet to sleep is the hardest and at the same time the most compassionate thing you can do for them."
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Articles by Patricia Jones, M.A.
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When a pet dies it feels just like the death of a person because beloved pets are members of our family. Not only that, pets give their owners "unconditional love" which is something that humans attempt to do but do not succeed. Only God and Jesus are able to give unconditional love.
How many of you can remember times when your pet was there for you when no one else was? Perhaps you have just had a fight with your spouse, or your child, or your boss, or just a bad day at the office or a hectic drive home. And when you get home your pet greets you with unconditional love, a wagging tail or a soft meow, and you know you are appreciated and loved. How many people can you say that about? And pets are consistent with their love for you. They are not on one day and off the next.
Pets not only give us unconditional love, but they give us trust, loyalty, and devotion. So when we lose a pet, either to an accident or just because we had to euthanize them due to illness, or age, or aggressiveness, the pain is still the same. We feel responsible for their lives and knowing that we have the power to end their lives is an awesome responsibility.
The popular slogan " A dog is a man's best friend " is TRUE. They ARE.
If you are a person of faith you may wonder if your pet went to heaven. Do pets have souls?
There are many reasons why you may have to put your beloved pet to sleep. Old age, sickness, and aggressiveness. In fact, humans are not allowed to put other humans to sleep when they become old or sick. So, actually we treat animals better than we treat suffering and in pain humans when it comes to knowing when the quality of life is less than it should be.
But that does not make the "guilt" go away. No matter how beneficial it is to the animal we still feel guilty about ending it's life. And some of us will even hold on to a pet that is in great pain and suffering for our own gratification, rather then what is best for the animal.
Do Pets Go to Heaven?
The Bible does not give any specific teaching on whether pets / animals have “souls” or whether pets / animals will be in heaven. However, we can take some general Scriptural principles and shed some light on the subject. The Bible states that both man (Genesis 2:7) and animals (Genesis 1:30; 6:17; 7:15,22) have the breath of life. The primary difference between human beings and animals is that man is made in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26-27). Animals are not made in the image and likeness of God. Being made in the image and likeness of God means that human beings are like God, capable of spirituality, with mind, emotion, and will - and - have an aspect of being that continues after death.
How many true stories have you seen or heard or read about concerning some dog who laid on it's master's grave for weeks? Or pulled a person out of a burning house? Or fought off intruders to save it's owner? I definitely think that animals have souls with feelings and emotions such as sadness and anger, and fear, and pain. Which is why they have so many different temperaments. And as I said before, they demonstrate "unconditional love" way beyond the capacity of most humans. They are also completely loyal to their owners. They can be counted upon and never let us down as many humans do.
God tells us that when Jesus returns that there will be "peace on earth."The lion will be able to lay side by side next to a lamb. There will be no more tears, fighting, and death." So it appears that God gives eternal life to animals as well.
Another factor to consider in this question is that God did create animals as a part of His creative process in Genesis. God created the animals and said they were good (Genesis 1:25). Therefore, there is no reason why there could not be animals on the new earth (Revelation 21:1). There will most definitely be animals during the millennial kingdom (Isaiah 11:6; 65:25). It is impossible to say definitively whether some of these animals might be the pets we had while here on earth? We do know that God is just and that when we get to Heaven we will find ourselves in complete agreement with His decision on this issue, whatever it may be.
Patricia Jones, M.A.