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Is There an “Animal Heaven”?

rainbowbridgeAt the animal crematorium near us, you can watch your pet’s body enter the flames through a glass wall. Behind the conveyor belt carrying your pet’s corpse toward the oven is a giant mural of “animal heaven,” an idyllic landscape of mountains, river and flower carpeted valleys. Fluffy clouds drift across deep blues skies spliced by an outsized sparkling rainbow. Butterflies and birds flit about. Sheep gambol on the hills. Dogs play with sticks and roll in electric green grass. Cats chase their tails. And horses joyfully charge across the landscape at full speed. There is not a human to be seen. Messages from owners are scrolled across the wall. “We will always love you, Rufus.” “Sabine, you were the greatest cat that ever lived.” Costumers were encouraged to write their final words to their pets in a guest book. Many people asked for forgiveness for putting their pets to sleep. Their messages conveyed real pain.

It has become a truism that the passing of a beloved pet causes a puzzlingly deep grief. People talk about the loss of animals’ unconditional love, their loyalty and willingness to please as factors. And pets never really grow up. One of my most loved was a Roman street cat named Uggles. Uggles lived to the venerable age of 24, a remarkable life span for any cat. Nevertheless, he stayed a baby, pre-verbal, full of cuddle energy, and about the same size as a one-month old infant. I felt responsible for him in every way. Had I really been doing my job, he would never die but outlive me, as all infant-like creatures should. Only once in a while did it occur to me that were he my son, he would already have finished college and gone on to establishing a career and possibly a family.

There is another pain-exacerbating factor, however, and that is the notion of animal heaven. The traditional thinking is that if animals have souls (which of course they do), their souls do not go where we go after we die but someplace else. And that place is separate from ours, made for and limited to a “lower” consciousness. Animal heaven and the human afterlife at no point connect. There is then, no possibility of meeting again.

I’ve had a lot of pets. At one time my husband and I had ten cats, a dog and a chicken living with us. Deaths were frequent yet each one was unique. All of them died naturally. We assisted every one of them with tremendous help from friends and family members already on the other side. Sometime the dead would reveal the exact time passing would occur. I took care to psychically watch my pets’ energy bodies leave, usually lifting out somewhere near the crown of their heads. The stories are astonishing and I promise one day I will write about them if you want to hear them. Each pet went to a different kind of afterlife. With only one exception, they were taken up by friends and relatives. In Twyla’s case, it was her original owner, Michael, who took her. He had been dead for some eight years by then. When he grabbed the cat as she shot out of her body he snapped at me “You’ve had her long enough!”

angel puppyThe mechanisms of animal consciousness are really no different from ours. They, like us, will gravitate toward conditions in the afterlife that are optimum for their wellbeing at that moment. And like humans, they create portions of their afterlives out of the reality they knew in the body. My Turkish street dog, for instance, was taken by my father. She still lives with him, at least part of the time, although they never knew each other in their incarnated lives. My dog’s happiest moments in life were the walks. She was her most exuberant in corn fields, madly scurrying between the stalks sniffing out hares. She still takes those walks with my father. This is not to say that a pet’s afterlife is limited to animal-human activity. They have the ability to expand in any direction they can conceive, just as we have. Nor would wild animals choose such afterlives for themselves. It would be incongruent with what they knew and what they valued. From what I have seen, herd animals join herds, birds join flocks, gazelles range on unspeakably beautiful plains. Yet they possess powers of mobility that far exceed what they knew in the body. Yes, pigs do fly. And they are safe at last from harm.

Research based on thousands of afterdeath communication experiences has shown that a full 16% of all afterdeath communication occurs with a person’s pet! What’s more that pet usually shows up with a relative or friend of the person in tow, despite the fact that the deceased human may never have known the pet on earth. Pets are also among the first to greet their owners when they pass. So, answering the question “Is there an animal heaven,” I would say no. But there is indeed an animal afterlife, one they can share with us or not depending on their individual needs and mindsets.

There’s a sweet book out on peoples’ real-life experiences of their deceased pets visiting them called Animals and the Afterlife, by Kim Sheridan. Check it out by clicking here.



  1. Chuck Ivins
    2013-06-18 @ 10:12 PM

    I’ve very much enjoyed reading The Last Frontier. Thank you for sharing your experience and insight. This was the first book I’ve read on the topic, and you can imagine, I have a lot to absorb. I also enjoyed reading your entry here, Is There an Animal Heaven? I decided to have one of my cats put to sleep last year due to illness. It was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make. I am still unsure of survival after death for humans or our pets but I have a half-open mind.

    I have to tell you two short stories that do lead me to suspect that survival is real. My grandmother had written in her memoirs that her mother had died from consumption, “due to lack of food and neglect.” After my grandmother passed, I wrote my own account of her life, and quoted her words, above. But I added a comment suggesting that grandmother had been a young girl at the time, and probably didn’t understand what had really happened. Well, my added comment immediately disappeared from my screen! I typed it again, twice, and each time it disappeared. I was more amazed and amused than frightened so I said out loud, “Sorry Grandmom!” And left her account as is! I believe she wanted it that way.

    The other story: At age five, I was in a coma for two weeks from a head injury. I don’t know if I had an NDE. But I dreamed at that time that a bunch of old people were sitting in a narrow waiting room of some kind. There was an exit at one end I could see. Several people complained about having to wait. I wonder if it was an NDE. By the way do you ever come to Canada for readings? Thanks for listening.

    • Julia
      2013-06-19 @ 9:24 AM

      Many thanks for your honesty and “half-open” mindedness. Half is just fine! Electronic phenomena such as what you experienced are definitely taking the lead.

      About Canada, I have recently been in Vancouver for Fanny Kiefer’s show, but have no immediate plans to go to back to Canada. I do readings through teleconferencing with people from all over the world. It’s a wonderful service, if you’re interested.

  2. Cath
    2014-06-06 @ 2:19 AM

    I’m reading and relishing The Last Frontier. Curiously, it was an incident with one of my cats a few years ago that started me on this journey to learn more about the afterlife. Chester, a mature orange feral cat, came to me because he was in danger of being trapped and shot. A friend intervened and arranged to bring him to me after he was trapped. Chester lived with me and my other cats, mainly preferring the outdoors, for several years. Though he was never tamed, he slowly became more tolerant of my presence and slept in the house in a place with easy outdoor access. He would occasionally wander for a few days but always returned. He let me touch him once, and though surprised, did not move away. Many times, I would seem him staring at me in a curious and seemingly thoughtful way. Then one day, while I was doing something in the kitchen he appeared to me in a mental flash. I saw his face and had an overwhelming feeling of him being happy and thanking me. At that moment I knew he was dead and would not return (he didn’t). This experience was so strong, unexpected and unprecedented, that I knew he had given me a great gift, and that I would need to set out on a path of discovery.

    • Julia
      2014-06-08 @ 9:54 PM

      What a gorgeous story! Thanks so much for posting it and for your caring!

  3. gbear
    2014-06-10 @ 11:45 PM

    My own thoughts are spirit is spirit & the essence of all that is.I don’t think of ‘heaven’ as having the properties of matter here on earth meaning time & space,etc.Much as consciousness has no location & no time factor. I suppose it may be a dimensional ‘thing’,a co-existing parallel.I always communicated with animals when very young as I found them more truthful than humans,still do. Dog was dog & bird was bird,etc. & they didn’t hide who they were. About 2-years ago,a rescue cat died & for over a year after it’s hair was present on a medium sized rug,no matter what I did to clean it.Sometimes my small Maltese,another rescue,stares off into ‘space’,focused on a particular area as if there is a presence there.I believe she has a innate sensitivity to the unseen.One time,while in bed dreaming,I heard my name called several times, distinctly in one ear, I awoke to a very still room & reached down to my dog beside my bed to find her not breathing. She actually felt dead.I gently rocked her,& then again,whereupon she inhaled a breath. I thought maybe she had sleep apnea or had gone so far away from her body in dream state,she ‘forgot’ to return.My dog looks like the picture on this page without the angel wings,although inplied by her nature. Thanks for allowing my indulgence here Julia.

    • Julia
      2014-06-13 @ 10:11 PM

      Thanks so much for sharing your exquisitely sensitive experiences with animals. It helps us all to become more aware of their divine nature!

  4. Zoe R
    2014-10-29 @ 3:30 AM

    I’m very curious as to how all religions can be correct? I’m wiccan, and I hear of living forever, but what about reincarnation? And the population is growing, so does it create new energy? I’m 16 years old, have been in major depression for a year, and now am in remission. When I was suicidal I wasn’t afraid of death at all, but now I fear it so much! I know it’s because I can’t live in the moment, catastrophic thinking, and my life has felt paused for the past year at least. Any advice? (Sorry I know this is the pet column, but I read your other article about science and the afterlife)

    • Julia
      2014-10-29 @ 8:43 AM

      Hi Zoe, I’ve replied to this under the What Happens to Suicides Post.

  5. Maryann
    2015-06-11 @ 3:33 AM

    My beloved 17 yr old cat mittens had to be put down today from end stage renal failure. I feel so much sadness and despair. My most lovingbest friend is gone now. My heart is broken as if never to repair. Will she forgive me for putting her to sleep? I could no longer allow her to suffer.

    • Julia
      2015-06-11 @ 10:58 AM

      Rest assured Maryann,your cat will be fine. I cannot tell you how many pets I’ve channeled, sometimes pets from a person’s early childhood. Invariably, they do extremely well and usually stay with your faimly. They often stay near to those they love on our side of the veil and visit us. In fact,spontaneous communication with pets occurs more frequently than communication with deceased spouses and siblings.You will be united again.

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