What is Animal Ministry?
Animal Ministry has been around since the very first time a human being felt connected to an animal. In each of the world’s great faiths, there are important historical figures who were known for interpreting sacred scriptures to teach people to protect and honour animals. We are taught in every faith that we, as humans, are stewards of the wonders of Creation. It is a serious responsibility, and with it, can come great joy and self-discovery.
Being an Animal Chaplain is a specialized ministry that provides an array of services to the community. We provide pet loss grief support and perform memorial services, pray for animals who are sick or injured, as well as many other services. We can come to a clinic to comfort the bereaved, hold hands (and hearts) during surgery or euthanasia, or perform a memorial service at the client’s home, track or barn, or in a park. Our philosophy is gentle and respectful. Most of us have had pets of our own, and have sincere compassion for the difficult times pet owners sometimes face.
In addition to grief and loss services, independent Animal Chaplains can deliver guest sermons on the bond between animals and humans, and offer spiritual education and guidance regarding our responsibilities as human beings toward the other creatures of the Earth. Some Animal Chaplains visit nursing homes and hospitals with therapeutic animal assistants, while others may lead religious services where well-behaved pets are welcome. Still others run animal shelters, animal rescue organizations, or other non-profit organizations which benefit the animal kingdom.
Private Animal Ministry Services
Memorial Services for families and friends at your home/barn/track/clinic.
Emotional support during Euthanasia or Surgery at a veterinary clinic
Public Animal Ministry Services
Pet Loss Grief Support Groups in pet stores, churches and veterinarian’s clinics
Classes on Spirituality and Animals
Speeches, sermons or presentations to professional veterinary and religious organizations, by arrangement.
Animal Chaplains or Pet Chaplains work for the Animal Ministry to provide pastoral care to people grieving the loss of special animal companions, domesticated and wild animals, in their natural spaces. A pet chaplain comfort people whose animals are sick or have died. A pet chaplain also performs services for recently deceased pets.
Veterinary chaplains serve people and their animals, ministering with regard to the spirituality associated with animals and their connections with humans. A major function is grief support and prayer. Other services include hospice support while animals are cared for near the end of their lives; support in animal health crises, including at the veterinary hospital; conducting services for animal blessings, naming/adopting ceremonies, and end-of-life celebration ceremonies. Veterinary chaplains may also offer sermons and spiritual guidance on the human/animal bond and our responsibilities toward animals, and some may visit nursing homes and hospitals with therapeutic animal assistants. Other veterinary chaplains may provide blessings for animal care workers; assist with human/animal communication; and offer alternative healing for animals such as animal Reiki or acupuncture.
Animal Chaplaincy Services
Pet owners often see their animals as members of the family and a pet death can trigger a difficult lonely mourning process.
Grieving a human loss can actually be somewhat easier simply because of the support, compassion and permission to grieve we're shown.
When that support is missing, where can you turn in your pain?
A PET’S TEN COMMANDMENTS
My life is likely to last 10-15 years. Any separation from you is likely to be painful.
Give me time to understand what you want of me.
Place your trust in me. It is crucial for my well-being.
Don’t be angry with me for long and don’t lock me up as punishment. you have your work, your friends, your entertainment, but I have only you.
Talk to me. Even if I don’t understand your words, I do understand your voice when speaking to me.
Be aware that however you treat me, I will never forget it.
Before you hit me before you strike me, remember that I could hurt you, and yet, I choose not to bite you.
Before you scold me for being lazy or uncooperative, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I’m not getting the right food, I have been in the sun too long, or my heart might be getting old or weak.
Please take care of me when I grow old. You too will grow old.
On the ultimate difficult journey, go with me, please. Never say you can’t bear to watch. Don’t make me face this alone. Everything is easier for me if you are there because I love you so.
Take a moment today to thank God for your pets. Enjoy and take good care of them. Life would be a much duller, less joyful experience without God’s critters.
©1993 Stan Rawlinson
"I am fond of pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals." Attributed to Winston Churchill (1874 - 1965).
Bird Feeders - How Many Should You Have?
SERVING ALL OF GOD's CREATURES IN FRANCIS OF ASSISI SPIRIT
Nature and the environment
A garden statue of Francis of Assisi with birds
Many of the stories that surround the life of Francis deal with his love for animals.
Perhaps the most famous incident that illustrates the humility towards nature is recounted in the "Fioretti" ("Little Flowers"), a collection of legends and folklore that sprang up after his death. It is said that one day, while Francis was travelling with some companions, they happened upon a place in the road where birds filled the trees on either side. Francis told his companions to "wait for me while I go to preach to my sisters the birds". The birds surrounded him, intrigued by the power of his voice, and not one of them flew away. Another legend from Fioretti tells that in the city of Gubbio, where Francis lived for some time, was a wolf "terrifying and ferocious, who devoured men as well as animals". Francis had compassion upon the townsfolk and went up into the hills to find the wolf. Soon, fear of the animal had caused all his companions to flee, though Francis pressed on. When he found the wolf, he made the sign of the cross and commanded the wolf to come to him and hurt no one.
Miraculously the wolf closed his jaws and lay down at his feet of Francis. "Brother Wolf, you do much harm in these parts and you have done great evil...", said Francis. "All these people accuse you and curse you... But brother wolf, I would like to make peace between you and the people". Then Francis led the wolf into the town and surrounded by startled citizens made a pact between them and the wolf. Because the wolf had “done evil out of hunger”, the townsfolk were to feed the wolf regularly, and in return, the wolf would no longer prey upon them or their flocks. In this manner, Gubbio was freed from the menace of the predator. Francis even made a pact on behalf of the town dogs, that they would not bother the wolf again. Francis, to show the townspeople that they would not be harmed, blessed the wolf. He preached to man and beast the universal ability and duty of all creatures to praise God and the duty of men to protect and enjoy nature as both the stewards of God's creation and as creatures ourselves. Legend has it that Francis on his deathbed thanked his donkey for carrying and helping him throughout his life, and his donkey wept. Keep your horse healthy and strong naturally and holistically!
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Animal Chaplaincy & Family Support services can help you with
Feeding Your Red-Eared Slider Turtle Helpful Ideas On What To Feed Your Slider
Training American Bulldogs
by: Ricardo Lumbardo
American Bulldogs are loyal and lovable and are very suitable as a family pet. These dogs are very intelligent but they can also be stubborn and light-headed. This may lead to a few problems in training. Knowing about their quirks will allow you to train them well to make them obedient. Those who have no experience with the breed earlier may get a little frustrated with training these dogs. Often this may lead to yelling or anger which will definitely not help you. If you are having too many problems training then it is best to get help from a professional trainer who has experience working with the breed.
Celebrate your pet's life and begin the healing process with a funeral or memorial service