There’s nothing worse than seeing abandoned pets on the street and knowing there’s nothing you can do about it. Certain countries have more issues with homeless animals than others – and Brazil is unfortunately a country that experiences these problems. As a country with over 52 million dogs, Brazil has one of the highest amounts of dogs in South America – but their lives vary widely. Many dogs live out on the street or else are mistreated and neglected by their owners.
But one man in Brazil wanted to do his part to help change the lives of many homeless dogs. The kindhearted priest has been letting homeless pups stay for mass in the hopes that they will win over a member of the community and find their furever home.
So far he has saved over 96 dogs – and that number keeps growing higher and higher!
Father Joao Paulo Arujo Gomes is a self-confessed dog lover. The selfless man has rescued three fur babies and fosters even more – so many people would say that he was already doing his bit! But Father Gomes was troubled to see so many dogs still out of the street, and he was determined to help make an even bigger difference.
The idea first struck Father Gomes after some cookies left out from mass were quickly eaten by some hungry stray dogs who wandered into the church.
He instantly knew that he wanted to provide these dogs with food and shelter, and he hoped that by bringing them into his church, his parishioners would fall in love with the homeless pups and want to adopt them.
From that day forth, Father Gomes opened the doors of his church, Paróquia de Sant’Ana Gravatá in Gravatá, and he welcomed in each and every stray dog. They were allowed to wander the aisles so that they could catch the attention of the church members – and it didn’t take long before this started to happen!
“They will always be able to enter, sleep, eat, drink their water and find shelter and protection, for this house is of God and they are of God,” Father Gomes said on his Facebook page.
Since the church opened its doors up to the strays six months ago, a staggering 96 dogs have been adopted – and that’s not all! Father Gomes decided to set up a foster home in the rectory so that those dogs who are still homeless have a place that provides food and shelter.
Sick animals are also provided with veterinary care – and the kindhearted priest couldn’t resist taking a few of them home with him.
“I helped several dogs with serious health problems,” he said. Some of them I brought to the parish house and they were later adopted. Three of them stayed with me. Today, they are my children and sleep in my bed.”
Thanks to Father Gomes’ amazing idea, there are now far fewer dogs on the streets of Brazil. Gomes also makes sure to spread his message to others in the church, and he always includes some information about our four-legged friends in his service.
“During service, we speak about dogs of the street, about how to respect and protect them. The church also helps with a castration project (to limit the number of stray dogs.) We also help dogs in emergencies such as victims of violence or health problems.”
What a truly amazing man. If you would like to find out more about what he does, take a look at his Facebook page.
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Source: PadreJoao Paulo Araujo Gomes