Brazilian priest opens church doors to homeless dogs, encourages parishioners to adopt them

When you think of a place from where you can adopt an animal from rescue organisations and shelters are the first ones that come to mind, there is a high chance that a church is the last place that you would think about that.

Facebook/Winfried Niederer

One priest from Brazil opened the doors of his church to many homeless dogs that live on the streets of Gravatá, Brazil he even found forever homes to several of them during the process.

Father João Paulo Araujo Gomes acts as a foster to some of the estimated 228,000 homeless dogs that live in Gravatá. He takes them in and they live with him in the rectory.

“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,” he wrote on Facebook.

Facebook/PadreJoao Paulo Araujo Gomes

The priest started the mission in 2013 when he first arrived at Paróquia de Sant’Ana Gravatá.

“Some volunteers came to me selling cookies to help a project with stray animals,” Gomes told The Dodo. “I gave them time during masses for the advertising of the cookies and then I started to participate in the projects of this NGO.”

Quickly he became involved in the project and began incorporating pooches in his services, eventually he even welcomed them into his home.

“I began to adopt some animals who had been mistreated … always with the support of volunteers,” he said.

Facebook/PadreJoao Paulo Araujo Gomes

Gomes was able to feed, find forever homes and take care of numerous dogs thanks to volunteers.

The unique way of helping the dogs has gained the priest a lot of praise online and in his community.

“I helped several dogs with serious health problems. 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,” he told Bored Panda.

Image credits: Padre João Paulo

This is amazing and we hope that other churches will tear notes and do the same.

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