Do animals go to Heaven?

I know this may sound daft to some people but as I am an owner of an elderly (16 year old) dog (her name is Jemima, ‘Jem’ for short).

I am terrified of losing and imagining life without her, I just want to ask on question…

Do animals go to Heaven?

I have heard of and read the Rainbow Bridge poem and find it comforting.

Like I said earlier, I have a little dog who is 16 (she will be 17 on December 31st 2014) and have had and known her since she was 10 or 12 years old (I can’t quite remember…lol)

But I have never had or known any other dog that has (and still) gives me happiness, love, companionship and friendship as she does.

The bond that is between us is very close (I never expected my dog to form such a close bond with me as all the other 4 dogs that live with me and my Grandparents have bonded closely to my Gran.

She follows me everywhere I go and she always likes to be with me and never lets me out of her sight.

I am terrified of losing Jemima and after losing another 4-legged friend in October 2000 (the anniversary of his death was on the Saturday 4th October 2014…R.I.P. Rory, I still love you and will never forget you) just know that upon Jemima’s death, how much I will miss her and think that the pain of losing her will just be too much for me to bear.

She means so much to me and I really do love her. Even though my Gran thinks that I do not.

I am (because of Jemima’s age) preparing myself for the day that she does finally pass away.

I was heart-broken on the day that Rory died and was at the vets when he was put to sleep (despite my Granddad’s protestations, I was adamant that I stay with Rory right to the very end and held him as he slipped peacefully away).

I fought to keep my composure while at the vets as my Granddad paid the Receptionist, but, once in the car and after getting home, I just broke down and wept.

After years of ‘racing’ Rory upstairs when going to bed, to go upstairs alone was the hardest thing I ever had to do.

Both of my Grandparents were distant, callous and cold-hearted when they saw and heard how grief-stricken that I was and did nothing to help me but just told me to “get over it, let him go” or “stop, right now or the other dogs will go back to Helen” (a dog-breeder friend of my Grandparents).

It took me a good few weeks afterwards to fully come to terms with Rory’s death and to ‘let him go’. I still remember him with much love and think back to the good times that I had with him.

He was my Aunt’s dog (I knew him ever since he was a puppy) but as she was moving abroad, gave him to me to look after. He was about 10 years old when I got given him and was 14 when he died.

A few weeks later, I had a dream in which Rory was with me in a field with lush green grass and was on a brilliant sunny day.

This dream was so vivid that I woke up.

After I let my eyes adjust themselves to the darkness of my room, I looked over to where Rory’s bed used to be and listened to see if I could hear him grunt and snort as he did when sleeping…nothing.

I then peered over the end of my bed to see if he was lying on the floor at the foot of the bed and again listened…nothing.

It was then that reality sank and when it did, it hit me hard, so much so that I literally fell apart and was like how he was when he died and wept.

I believe that in this dream he came back to me to tell me that I am not to worry about him, thanking me for loving him and that he still loves me and will miss me and that he is in a place where he is happy and is no longer suffering.

Looking back now (and after reading the Rainbow Bridge poem), I like to think that he is at the ‘Bridge’ and is waiting for me and I firmly believe that Jemima will be there too after she passes away and be waiting.

As a Christian, I do believe in life after death and the dream that I had and my religious beliefs convince me that, even for animals, there is life after death.

I again want to know, do animals go to Heaven?

Any advice, thoughts, prayers etc. will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you

Emma Jane Gordon

The following links should answer your question about pets. If you have any further questions, please contact Catholic Answers directly.

Recommended Reading:

Do animals go to heaven?
Do animals enter the kingdom of heaven?

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit