Animal chaplains

Animal chaplains

Animal chaplains provide a wide array of services to the community, including pet loss grief support, animal memorial services, praying for animals who are sick or injured, comforting bereaved family members, holding hands with pet owners during surgery or animal euthanasia at a veterinary clinic or animal hospital, and performing animal blessing ceremonies. Many animal chaplains have pets of their own, and express compassion for the difficult times pet owners may face.

In addition to animal loss grief counseling and bereavement support, interfaith Animal chaplains may also deliver guest sermons on the bond between animals and humans, offer spiritual education and guidance regarding the responsibilities of human beings toward the other creatures of the Earth, visit nursing homes and hospitals, provide animal-assisted therapy, and lead religious services where companion animals are welcome. Still others run animal sheltersFact|date=February 2008, animal rescue organizationsFact|date=February 2008, or other non-profit organizations which benefit people and animals.

Independent animal chaplains may have their own ministries and advertise on the Internet, or they may be ordained clergy working in churches. Animal Chaplains may provide their services free of charge, in exchange for donations, or on a fee-for-service basis. Currently there are no legal standards for the training, licensure and practice of animal chaplains. Some training programs do exist through private companies and non-profit groups, and through mentoring by experienced animal chaplains. One paraprofessional animal chaplain is working to persuade veterinary schools to offer animal chaplain certification programs.

Other professional titles for animal chaplains include veterinary chaplains, pet ministers, and animal clergy.

See also

*Rainbow Bridge
*Andrew Linzey
*Christian vegetarianism
*Vegetarianism and religion
*Veterinary Medicine

External links

* [ Association of Interfaith Animal Chaplains]
* [ Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement]
* [ "Animal Chaplain Prays, Anoints, Gives Last Rites", The Birmingham News, Thursday, July 05, 2007, Greg Garrison, News staff writer ]
* [ "Pets Gaining Recognition in Places of Worship", by MaryAnn Mott, National Geographic News, October 06, 2006]
* [ "Animal Chaplains Fill A Growing Need", The Pagosa Daily Post, Pagosa Springs, CO, March 21, 2007]
* [ "Unique Website Offers Help for Grieving Pet Owners", News.Bigg.Net, Tuesday, Apr 10 2007, 10:34am]
* [ "Ministry Profile: World's First Animal Chaplain Cares for the Underdog.", Insights Magazine, April 09, 2007]
* [ Association of Professional Chaplains website, Animal Chaplaincy description]

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