One day while I was still in elementary school, my cousins and I made friends with a cat on the farm… and the poor thing was mauled by a tomcat in the night. After we got over the shock, I asked my mom if kitties go to heaven. Looking back on it, I feel bad for asking; it was and always will be a tough question that usually gets into that whole “do animals have souls” thing – and that’s no topic to take up with a seven-year-old who’d just seen a cat corpse.
God gives an answer in Romans 8:19-22
19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
For those that have a hard time translating the language of the King James Bible, the above basically says that all creatures, even animals, can acknowledge God. Fido goes through pain and frustration as much as any other human beings. And best of all, we can all be delivered into the hands of God. All dogs go to heaven.
I don’t really know where I stand on the debate on animal’s souls. I definitely don’t think that trees or plants have souls, but animals? Maybe they don’t have souls in the traditional human sense. I think they have purer souls. Fido can’t make mistakes like humans can. He isn’t being tested while on this Earth. He has a heart, a brain, feelings, and a capacity to love beyond description, but not a soul that can choose right from wrong. Fido is better than us; he’s lesser, and in a strange way, greater.