Is St Rochus's dog the only animal in Heaven?


St Rochus (St Roch) and his dog are often depicted together in paintings and statues throughout Europe. According to the story when he died his dog came with him and was refused entry into Heaven. St Rochus said that he wouldn’t enter Heaven without his faithful dog and so his dog was permitted entry.

Now I know the nuns told us that animals don’t go to Heaven but could this be an exception? Are there other exceptions?



Hi “Rove” :wave: I’ve never heard this story, myself. Hopefully… someone who knows will respond.

But I sure HOPE that animals (especially our dogs!) will be allowed into Heaven! Because I had 3 of them. And I miss them all. :o It would be so cool, to find them there… someday.

God bless.


I’ve heard of the " Rainbow Bridge" place where our pets go after death. Its a place where they are as happy as can be and we can visit with them whenever we want. I sort of understand the theological side, but I know that our heavenly happiness will never be overshadowed by sadness or anything of that sort. Somehow Our loving Lord will be our all in all in a way that will make our “pet love” come into its fullness or perfectness.

God bless our loving pets!! Let all creatures bless the Lord, for His love endures forever!


I have never heard this story about St. Rochus.

So I tried to find it, and it wasn’t in any book I could find but it was on a blog.

Where the blogger said it was clearly made up. :slight_smile:


He is on my birthday - so that is all the more interesting. :smiley:

I hope St.Guinefort is in heaven :slight_smile:
[/LIST]And from an Orthodox site:
[/LIST]If it were possible to say that man is made more fully human by love of animals, something of that sort might be a theological argument for the possibility that animals are found in Heaven. Some Biblical passages do seem to point to a position for animals in the hereafter. In a redeemed creation, to have no animals would be very odd - on what principle would they be (for a lack of a better phrase) “left behind” ? :cool:


Sorry no dogs in heaven, not even St Roch’s but I have a little story to share with you all.

What is the name of that saint?

I am afraid of dogs. Sometimes I have the misfortune to meet one in the street and have a hard time coping. A friend gave me this piece of advice, which she received from her mother-in-law. When you come across a dog in the street call upon St Roch to get it away from you and he will do so. I was very pleased to hear this and wished that I had learnt it much earlier in my life, but better late than never. I informed my friend that the feast of St Roch was the following day and told her his story. The next time I came face to face with a dog in the street, I became paralyzed with fear and could not remember the name of the saint who was going to rescue me. Silently I prayed “Lord, I can’t remember the name of the saint who gets rid of dogs, but PLEASE HELP ME!” The dog went away.

Visit my blog. There are lots of goodies on it.

Learn about the powerful intercession of the Holy Souls in Purgatory for their benefactors and find out ways to help them.


I did not know about this! How interesting. :slight_smile: I will have to remember this for people with dog troubles.

By the way, that’s a very nice blog, the devotion to the holy souls, the Infant Jesus, and the medieval times pictures. :slight_smile:


Thanks for the comment on the blog. I hope to build it up and deliver useful and interesting goodies for people. It is more fun than a website which I have had for years. That does serve a useful purpose, but a blog is more about whatever comes along.

My daughter got me a book from the library called: Blogging for Dummies, I learnt a few tricks from it.


Oops, seems like the part about St Rochus (Roch, Rock, Rocco etc) being allowed to take his faithful dog to Heaven was a fiction… but the rest of his admirable life and that of the dog was true. My apologies to the good saint because I’ve been telling people about this for a year or more now (not that anyone believed me).

I found an amusing account of this in Ask Sister Martha, and here is the reference to the article in her blog:

St Rochus is principally the patron saint of sufferers of pestilence, epidemics etc., (which was mainly the plague in those days but should cover Swine Flu too I guess), otherwise he is best known as patron saint of dogs and dog lovers. I saw some great statues of the saint and his dog with a bread bun in his mouth when overseas.

Cheers, Rove


There are NO animals in Heaven. Only humans have immortal souls. The souls of animals die when the animals die.


As you would know swine flu is sweeping Australia. Strangely enough no one in my family even has regular flu this year and several years ago I nearly died when flu turned into pneumonia. I was given a hard time with the flu last year as well. I will have to get onto St Roch to keep flu free.

There is a big statue of St Roch in the grounds of the Blessed Mary MacKillop shrine at North Sydney, complete with his dog.


Fancy there being a statue of St Rochus and dog at North Sydney - must go to see it.

I might have to appeal to St Rochus too because so many I work with or for have the flu or a bad cough and everyone is just waiting for the Swine Flu to hit the place (large nursing home).

To finish off. I don’t believe there are animals in Heaven but I once thought (erroneously) that there might have been an exception. The nuns at St Joseph’s were very clear about the no animals bit.



I am not a catholic but even among other religions this is debated.

I cannot even begin to imagine a heaven without animals. Without them how will a lion lay down with a lamb? And if God cared even about the lillys in the field and the lowly sparrow, then why would he not care about our pets?

I lost my fur baby this year, he died in my arms. But I am sure I will see him again…in heaven.


now I know why 3 priests I know who have beloved pet dogs named them all Rocky.

well St. Jerome has his lion, St. Francis has his wolf and any number of birds, and of course their are Luke with his ox, Benedict with his raven, so I imagine we will recogize any number of our dumb friends, who now have voices to join in continual praise of God.


CS Lewis had the idea that perhaps pets would be raised up on the last day along with us, - as the world will be ‘reformed’. (all things will be made new)

but this is a theory… I don’t think we actually know. I’d love to see my cat someday though :slight_smile:


Nice “feel good” story from the Rainbow Bridge group. I’m sure there are many more. I would like to think since the girl was young, her pets were the comfort she would see first as she passed on. The same scenerio with people happen many times, the looking beyond to something others can’t see. (Mother Angelica told a story like that with her mom.) Fr Greoechel put it simply, no one can tell you what God will do, if you need your pet to be fully happy or he wants the pet there, he/she will be there. He loved animals, they had a soul, unlike ours, and I wouldn’t take any comfort away from someone.


I recommend the following links from the Ask an Apologist forum:

God Bless,
Holly :slight_smile:


People in Heaven don’t need anyone but God to be happy. Part of the spiritual journey is learning that and detaching from everything else.


They are there, I believe it. Love is not sappy or stupid, Love is more
essential to salvation than wisdom, theology, prophecy, and even more
essential than FAITH itself.
1 Corinthians said so.

Concerning the Rainbow Bridge, I like to see it reflected in God’s covenant
with Noah and All Living Creatures, which took the form of a Rainbow.

Pets in Heaven is more scriptual than pets not in heaven.
I really like this site:

For those who only respect Catholic views on this, check for books by
Jack Wintz OFM, and Susi Pittman.

Of course, there will always be those whom will wait for the Pope to officially
dogmatize pets/animals in heaven (no pun intended)… which cannot happen for many
Remember, animals did not eat of the Forbidden Fruit. Their state as fallen beings
is only because Man was given dominion over them, Original Sin extends to them
from the transgression of Adam and Eve. Before that, they did not kill, did not eat
flesh. Isaiah says they will be “there”, so does the Apocalypse of John, and other
scriptures. Jesus said “Ask and you will receive”… there is nothing wrong in asking
for something (your loving pet) which is Good. Animals were ordained by God as
"Good". Yes, we are worth “so many sparrows”, but not one sparrow falls to the ground without the Father knowing, and making a place for it.
There is nothing wrong with believing and thinking with your heart. God wants us
to do that. Thinking as a little child thinks is what helps us to Heaven, according
to His Own Words.
If you took a poll of little children who just lost their loving pet, I’d say 100% would
desire to see that pet again in Heaven WITH Jesus.
Who would dare to say Jesus would respond to the child, “sorry, Bobby, no dice,
the rules say I can’t/won’t do that”… I don’t think so. As a matter of fact, neither
does God. Jesus said it was better to save a sheep from falling into a pit than
to blindly follow “rules” (keeping the Sabbath). Now, you may say the sheep is only
a metaphor for a human soul, but He did not say human soul. He said SHEEP.


i think that animals do go to heaven. there is no definitive church teaching on the subject. animals are after all part of God’s creation. heaven will be a physical place for us (since we will have physical bodies). so its almost certain that there will be animals.

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