Called to help animals?

This isn’t necessary a religious vocation, but I suppose this is the closest forum to what I’m looking for considering it involves “callings.”

Ever since I was a little girl, I have had an above average love for animals. When I was younger, I wanted to be an animal cop. At a retreat this fall, I tripped and busted my knee open watching a baby cow run around and play by its mom. I honestly thought it was such a beautiful sight. And every time I hold a scared or hurting animal and they relax, it brings me such a great sense of joy and fulfillment. I took in the class guinea pig from my high school after I saw it being abused by other kids. She is now mine and I have taught her to trust people again. My family and I took in a rescue dog that was kept in a puppy mill with minimal human contact and socialized her enough to where she is a normal dog. I feel such a great sense of fulfillment knowing that I have done just these few things for these few animals.

Recently, I’ve been praying about it a lot, and something is telling me that I should make it a mission to really go out there and help God’s “lesser” creatures. I believe that some animals, in particular dogs, do love their masters and really set some of the best examples of true, unconditional love. You can beat them, not feed them, and not give them the most ideal life, but they will still love you and stand by you. It breaks my heart to see people taking advantage of that and abusing animals that deserve only love and kindness.

I’ve gone to my religious advisors (priests, youth minister etc.) and they kind of gave me a funny look and talked about helping people being the priority. And yes, I do believe in helping people. I do help people. But can charity not be extended to those that can feel pain and are commonly disregarded? God made them as well, didn’t He?

I’ve been thinking of volunteering at the Humane Society this summer and possibly doing work for the benefit of animals as a life long thing. I honestly feel called by God to do that, but so far I have been discouraged. Has anybody ever heard of this? Can God call you to help animals like people?

I’ve never understood this. I think having respect for all life is important. If you have a natural ability in helping animals, go for it.

St. Francis of Assisi, please pray for us.
St. Gerturde of Nivilles, please pray for us.
St. Roch, please pray for us.

Religious communities cannot be founded to care exclusively for animals. One woman tried this, and was told she could not do it as an actual vowed religious life. She could, however, do so as a lay association. One person can be a lay association.

Working with animals will often bring one into contact with those who do not know the Lord, and we have an opportunity to witness to them about God the creator and His solicitude for creatures.

Since ministry has to be tied to working for souls, there is nothing wrong with being a good Catholic at an animal shelter. Persons working in the veterinary sciences and animal rescues need pastoral attention as well. God has a plan for all of us, even animals.

I offer this link, which is one of the projects in which I work:

I would invite you to look at the KATS page, since what you’ve said is matching with what we are doing.


By all means volunteer at the Humane Society shelter. I’ve begun to volunteer at the one here. The animals need to be cared for and socialized so that they can be prepared for their “forever” homes. Of course, there are those who won’t be adopted for various reasons. But in caring for, and loving, these beautiful animals, you prepare them to be with other people. I haven’t spent much time there yet, but really need to get off my rear end and spend more time there.

Yes, people have their needs as well. In some cases, these people also have pets. The people usually have options on where to go to get help. Although I’ll admit that not all of them know about what options they have. Educating them on that issue would be a big help. But don’t overlook your love for animals. Have you thought about becoming a Vet? Doing that would put you in what might be the ideal position. You can help those who bring their pets to you, and you can volunteer some time in helping the shelter animals. The way our shelter now works is that no animal goes out without being spayed/neutered first. And they are checked over by a Vet to make sure they are healthy as well. No sick animal goes home from our shelter. :thumbsup:

OP: You absolutely can do this. Don’t let anyone discourage you!

We are all parts of the body of Christ. Each of us has a different function that, when used, aids further to the glory of God. Your love of animals is a gift. Use it. I encourage you to follow this urge to help animals. It could very well be your function!

I caution you, on the other hand, to not let your love of animals supersede your love of humanity. You are still called to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the lonely. Never will an animal have more value than the life of a human.

If you can keep this in perspective–and I have great faith that you absolutely can–then go forward! Do your work! We are the stewards of the Earth. We are the protection and care for animals.

St. Francis of Assisi, pray for us.


Yes, I think God can. I believe I have been called to do this. I’m currently raising my second shelter cat. I grew up with cats and always felt a special closeness to them.

I would encourage you to volunteer at the Humane Society.

St. Francis of Assisi loved animals. Maybe he can be your patron.

Good for you. :thumbsup:

I think a calling to help animals is a valid calling. I know someone who has that calling and who has also managed to help people. She trains therapy dogs. She rescues them from animal shelters and trains them to be therapy dogs which help people in hospitals, people in hospice care and children in cancer wards.

I think you have gotten some good suggestions and insights. I just wanted to let you know that I share in your feeling of “call” to work with animals–just still trying to figure out how to do it.

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