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Have you ever wondered if all dogs go to Heaven as the cute animated film suggests? Did this film make you wonder if animals have souls, a necessary component of an incredible afterlife as Christians believe? This adorable film prompted me to do some research (Thank God for the Internet!). My first stop was scripture where I found proof that God loves His creations, and that includes animals.

In Genesis, God creates the animals first, and then Adam and Eve. Adam in His image as the first human being. Next God made Eve using one of Adam’s ribs. He gave Adam the responsibility of naming them. But I did not read scripture that gave me clear proof that animals have souls necessary for entry into Heaven (or Hell). There are theologians who hold onto this as truth.

Another part of scripture is the story of Noah. When God was to destroy the earth by flood, He appeared to Noah telling him of what was coming. Noah was a devout and holy man, so God told him to gather his family and the “two-by-two’s” of every animal on earth, putting family and animals onto his ark, saving them all from destruction.

Pessimists have stated that neither story provides proof of anything except that humans were given animals as sources of food, clothing and travel. The “argument” also has an element of truth where animals were also given to us for comfort and joy.

In “The Problem of Pain” Christian theologian C.S. Lewis writes of his speculation that “tame animals” might enter the afterlife through their relationships with humans and the state of our souls. Something to think about, but not definitive proof.

Spiritual and world renowned psychic, Sylvia Browne, in her book “All Pets Go to Heaven: The Spiritual Lives of Animals We Love,” writes about how animals have distinct personalities, that they show “precious love.” And she believes that they have souls.

But isn’t it true that only saved souls go to Heaven? I’ve never seen Fluffy or Muffin walk to the altar asking to be saved, and I could find no other proof of animal soul saving. But could they be saved before being sent to us?

Do animals do bad things “on purpose?” Wesley Smith, author of “A Rat is a Pig is a Dog is a Boy… ,” writes that while God loved animals, especially pets, they do not have free will. And, he says, should not be judged when they do “animal stuff.”

Mr. Smith concludes that although we have no definitive proof that our loving pets will be waiting for us in the afterlife, one thing is absolutely true: only God knows the answer. But we can be certain of this: whatever His plans for our animal friends, “All will be perfection and light!”

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