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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. Diane Karalunas
    2015-11-25 @ 10:00 PM

    Hello Julia,

    I was wondering if you have any thoughts on the possibility of an animal having a NDE, subsequently changing it’s very nature and instinctual patterns. I actually posted on your Facebook wall a few days ago, I had two beloved rabbits die within months of each other, with a nighttime visit from my (deceased) mother informing me they were “cradled in love and light”. My first rabbit, Lilly, was profoundly sick with e. cuniculi, she was given about a 10% chance of living, but she pulled through to her vets and my amazement. She was a completely different being after her stay in the hospital, but I honestly I thought her behavioral change was akin to a traumatic brain injury. She became *enormously* loving, and the happiest I had ever seen in her short life. Everything she did, she did with abandon and joy, even retraining herself to use her legs to leap and run was a delightful “project” to her. She was also stare up into space, with her head at a 45° angle, like she was fixated on something no one else could see. Now I’m wondering, after reading so many accounts of NDE’s, that what I perceived as brain-damage could have very well been the aftermath of an NDE. I’m a little mixed. In some ways, I could see animals living more fearlessly (or recklessly?), but on the other hand, so much of what is shed from a human’s psyche is ego, which animals mostly lack.

    I’d love to hear your thoughts!


    • Julia
      2015-12-03 @ 3:25 PM

      Thanks Diane for the provocative account. I am particularly interested in rabbits, because I have had them, and because they have such an amazing facility or leaving their bodies at will. There is absolutely no reason whatsoever for animals not to have NDEs. I have witnessed it with my own pets, being dead for about five minutes or so and then returning. We so stubbornly refuse to believe that consciousness works the same way for all creatures!


      • Diane Karalunas
        2015-12-19 @ 2:04 PM

        Yes, precisely! One of the many reasons I’ve fallen in love with rabbits is that incredible ability to leave their bodies (thank you for validating that, I’ve shared this idea with others to be met with a blank stare). They are just not particularly tethered to this physical plane. Unfortunately I think it’s one of the reasons they make such good test subjects for cosmetics companies, etc. I also wonder if this is a sort of built-in ability is a “kindness” for all prey species. Deer do not seem to be particularly attached to this realm either, and genetically they are quite close to rabbits.

        The other interesting observation I’ve made surrounding rabbits and death; I’ve witnessed a “dance” of sorts that the remaining bonded partner (or partners) perform around they deceased rabbit’s body. The closer they are, the more intense and joyful the “dance” is. A year ago I would have thought this was rather macabre, but now I see as an exquisite, joyful, send-off into the ether.

        Thank you for the thoughtful reply, it is a privilege to share my ramblings with you.

  2. Lora
    2015-12-25 @ 5:10 AM

    You stated “The stories are astonishing and I promise one day I will write about them if you want to hear them”. YES, please write about them. I just lost my dog two days ago and I need to know he’s still alive and happy on the other side. Please write more about animals on the other side.
    Thank you,

    • Julia
      2015-12-25 @ 2:50 PM

      Lora, I promise I will one of these days. In the meantime, ask yourself, why wouldn’t an animal survive death? We are animals too, our consciousness is rooted in the same soil. I cannot tell you how many times I have contacted people on the other side for someone only to see a beloved long-dead pet come bounding forward first! Try making contact yourself. You can use the tips for making contact I’ve posted on the bottom of my home page.

    • Fannie
      2016-10-10 @ 4:58 PM

      I’m not quite sure how to say this; you made it exltemery easy for me!

  3. Petsmart
    2016-02-19 @ 5:32 AM

    You stated “The stories are astonishing and I promise one day I will write about them if you want to hear them”. YES, please write about them. I just lost my dog two days ago and I need to know he’s still alive and happy on the other side. Please write more about animals on the other side.
    Thank you,

    • Julia
      2016-02-22 @ 2:30 PM

      Thanks you! I’ve been meaning to get around to writing more, but it’s quite a process! Stay tuned!


  4. HealthyPets
    2016-11-14 @ 9:16 AM

    Till now, i didn’t have an idea about the animal heaven. Your post is so intuitive. Thanks for the update.

    • Julia
      2016-11-14 @ 9:14 PM

      Thanks! It’s amazing what goes on out there with pets, undomesticated animals and people.

  5. Anushree B
    2017-06-06 @ 11:15 AM

    Hello Julia, Can you help me understand what happens when a stray passes away? Those who have had a little or sometimes no human interaction?

    Many of them pass away so young, sometimes just months old. I struggle to understand what is the purpose of such a short existence, often riddled with extreme struggles. Does it help them advance in their next life?

    • Julia
      2017-06-07 @ 3:03 PM

      That’s a good question. There is, of course, no one answer. Sometimes animals and humans just want a quick taste of this reality, even dying in the womb. It is important to remember that illness and hardships rarely matter after death, unless the death caused shock. Shock can lead to a lot of problems. However, in all cases I have worked with that involved the very young, animal or human, their afterlife experiences are wonderful. Each creates its own afterlife built partly on life experiences, but more importantly on inner needs for fulfillment and inner core beliefs. An inner optimism can work miracles after death, just as a deep connection with the nature’s deep goodness can. Such a connection would apply to almost all young, animals included. I hope this helps!


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