Dogs are allowed in

Stray dogs are allowed at all hours of the day and night within the grounds of the Catholic parish of Sant’Ava Granata, in the Brazilian state of Pernambuco. Padre Joao Paulo Araujo Gomez allows four-legged stray dogs to enter at any time. Stray dogs are always fed, cared for, and supported here.

The priest considers stray dogs to be creatures of God with lost souls, just like the people who come to pray at the temple. He is in the temple of God, the place of the creatures of God – the priest believes. In the church, dogs are cared for, fed, watered, wounds treated and fleas and worms destroyed.

The most important thing is that the animals find new owners here among the parishioners and the flock of the house of God. A dog that is brought into a parishioner’s family must be healthy and vaccinated.

Knowing of Gomez’s commitment to stray animals, residents of nearby neighborhoods often drop newborn puppies and kittens on the temple’s doorstep. The padre tries to help the cubs, placing them in good hands and finding them new owners. Gomez is aided in his work by social media.

The priest has his own social media pages. The father publishes photos of his new pets on these pages and regularly carries out the necessary formalities. These activities also help people find new owners for their pets and reunite with their four-legged friends.

Gomes’ work has a visible impact. The number of stray and abandoned dogs in the area has decreased significantly. The number of stray and abandoned dogs in the neighborhood has decreased, as has the number of happy owners.

The father himself became a living example for his parishioners. Today there are several dogs in his house that the priest has « adopted ».

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