Priest welcomes stray dogs into Sunday mass so families will adopt them

One priest in Brazil is not only helping reduce the number of stray dogs wandering into the streets but also giving them forever homes.

Father João Paulo Araujo Gomes invites stray pups into his church and has made them part of his service in hopes their future families are sitting in the pews.

Gomes is the head of the parish of Santana in the city of Gravatá, who frequently attempts to help the pups find new owners by incoporating them into the service.

Image via Father João Paulo Araujo Gomes

While some dogs fall asleep at the altar, others enjoy tummy rubs during the service — talk about a sanctuary!

Father João shared how the idea came to him when someone had gave him some cookies. And when he left them out, they were quickly eaten by his congregation, which gave him an idea when he came across a dog kennel with 96 dogs.

He shared with Metro the following:

“Then I began to bring the dogs to mass, with the same hopes of giving them away. In six months, I finished this process. All dogs were adopted. Now I work with street dogs. They sometimes come into the church looking for food and water. 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.”

Image via Father João Paulo Araujo Gomes

And due to his selfless acts, the amount of stray dogs who living in the city has massively decreased.

Not a bad reason to go to church!