A question about Bretagne, last surviving 9/11 Ground Zero search dog that was euthanized

Bretagne, believed to be the last surviving 9/11 Ground Zero search dog was euthanized Monday. She received a salute from men and women in uniform, and her body was carried out drapped in an American flag.

I was sad when I found out about this story.

I know that Catholic teaching says that human souls are immortal, and animal souls are mortal… My question is:

Is it ok to treat the dog as a human soldier (drapped in the flag, salutes from people in uniform, ceremony, burial… etc etc) ?

This link is below, Thanks


The dog is beyond caring about such things, but the process that you described isn’t for the dog; it’s for the people who were remembering who/what the dog was and what she did.

Whether or not she had an eternal soul (our LORD and the Church both left that issue open), she was a being, who served the society of which her humans were a part, and whose life had ended.

I have no problem which honors of this type. IMNAAHO.



I agree with this, and I understand why they’d want to honor her. The dog saved many lives by sniffing out people who were trapped in the rubble. I’d say that’s worthy of some honoring.

We shouldn’t treat animals like people, not really, but there’s also nothing wrong with recognizing when an animal has done good for you, or as with this case, for many people.

Thanks for your replies.

How about an actual funeral for a pet? Pet cemetaries? People wishing “RIP messages” for/to the pets themselves? etc… What does the Church say about these things?

I don’t know what the Church says, but speaking for myself, I say, “No.”

I don’t think the Church has a teaching on this but leaves it up to our own conscience.

As for me, losing a beloved pet is as emotional to many as losing a loved relative. They need closure - to process the loss - to grieve - to heal. If a pet funeral or cemetery helps with the healing process, as long as they keep it in perspective, I don’t see the harm.

And while it is true that animals don’t have immortal souls, God is not bound by this so I fully expect to know Heaven (there will be dogs), Purgatory (there will be no dogs) and Hell (there will be cats :D:D)

Because the Church does not hold that pets have an eternal soul to live again, a Catholic pet memorial is not allowed.

Otherwise, whatever the owner wants to do is up to them. ICXC NIKA

Sorry, but I couldn’t resist:

“Padre, my dog just died, could you say a funeral mass for him?”

“I can’t say Mass over an animal, my son, but I’m sure the Methodists down the road would hold a service, for a donation.”

“Thank you Padre; do you think $15,000 would be a suitable donation?”

“Why didn’t you tell me the dog was Catholic!!!”


Recommended book: “Will I See My Dog in Heaven?” by Fr. Jack Wintz (a Franciscan, natch). Very nice, very comforting.

See nothing wrong with pet cemeteries. I have experienced annual “Blessing of the Animals” ceremonies around the Oct. 4th feast of St. Francis in which there was included a mention / memorial of those pets lost in the prior year.

Ive seen plenty of times when a dog or animal does ‘the right thing’ though, Ive even seen video of a dog who went out of his way to help another dog who had been hit by a car, I have a hard time believing there is not more to this than we think, plus plenty of other instances when a dog/ animal either helps or saves a human life.

To me, this means they know right from wrong and choose to do right.

Cats are another story though! every cat I have had could not care less if I was in some kind of danger, they would have lied there grooming and watched as I suffered. LOL (Kidding of course, all my cats have shown affection to me, their way of telling us they do care).

Just MX$2.00 more:

Human beings long for affection, ache and seem to almost die without it, yet we, um, ***(stink)[sup]3[/sup], *** at giving it;

Dogs enjoy and seek affection, but if they are denied it, can go on living life normally, but they excel at giving it.

It STM that the two species were made by God to reinforce each other.


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