Today I Googled the word, “adopt”. This is what I saw.
It seems like every time I look at Facebook there is another person encouraging me to “adopt” a dog or a cat or some other creature.
The other day I saw a picture of two dogs and a baby. The owner of the dogs said that their two dogs were meeting their new “little brother”.
Are you kidding me?
Those comments from animal-lovers just about put me over the edge. Here’s why:
First of all, your dog is not eternal. Nowhere in Scripture (other than through some serious out-of-context proof-texting) does Scripture say that your dog will go to Heaven, even if there’s a Disney movie about it. I don’t mean to be rude or callous, or unfeeling. The bottom line is that your dog will not be sitting next to you or lying at your feet begging for table scraps at the Marriage Supper. He just won’t be.
Why? Because I’m pretty sure that Jesus didn’t carry the sins of the world on his back on the cross for your dog. He didn’t say, “I go to prepare a place for you… and Scrapper.”
As a Kids Pastor, I never tell children that dogs go to Heaven. If asked, I simply say that when an animal dies, God takes care of what happens to it. Then I talk about ways that God will comfort us. I WILL NOT tell a child that the dog went to Heaven. To say so is to say that God allows anyone to live with Him eternally, when that is not the case. There are criteria for entry into Heaven, and none of them can be carried out by a dog.
Second, your dog does not have human feelings. I had the experience of taking in a dog that another family could not keep. We tried it out and decided that it was not right for us, because our lifestyle was not conducive to the dog’s happiness. At the time we had no kids, and he would have been bored out of his tree. We gave him away, ironically, to a family with 3 kids. After keeping him, feeding him, holding him, petting him, teaching him tricks, and (of course) picking up his poo for months, he ran to the new family and didn’t look back. As soon as they walked in the door, he was all over them, licking them and heading out the door. I am pretty sure he was not emotionally scarred in any way. What dogs feel is some sort of pack loyalty, not human love and connection. If I were to hand my kids over to someone else at this point in the journey, it would scar them in ways that no one would ever understand. The dog? Not so much. He will probably grieve for a day or two, and then move on to the person who has food.
Third, your dog is not made in the image of God. To compare him to a member of the family is demeaning to the image of God. Just stop it.
There are thousands of animals in Canada who would be more comfortable living with a human family. That’s a no-brainer. It’s appalling to see them being abused, abandoned and neglected. It would be great to see someone take them in and care for them. Allowing one of them into your home and giving it food, shelter, love and attention will increase its chance of survival and give it a comfortable life.
According to Focus on the Family, there is an estimated 30,000 children in Canada who have no parents to love them. There are millions more worldwide. Adopting even one of them, allowing them into your heart, and putting them in the path of Almighty God will change the world.