Doggone Worship – Pet-Friendly Church Services

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Lauren Baker and Ginger, an 11-year-old cancer survivor, attend services at First Christian Church in Brunswick, Ohio. (BRIAN LISICK/SUN NEWS)

At the First Christian Church in Brunswick, OH, dogs are accepted and welcomed to attend services with their owners. Steve Gower, former pastor, got the idea when his own dog, Lily, sat beside a church member who sat alone in a pew on Christmas Eve. The patron insisted that Lily stay for the entire service and that was all it took. Others liked the idea so much that they began bringing their dogs with them, too.

Lauren Baker loves having Ginger, her 11-year-old cancer survivor and best friend, sitting beside her in church. “Everybody is so accepting here, and it means a lot to me to be able to have her here,” said Lauren. “Especially after all she has been through.” Lauren’s mother, Bev, says, “We just feel they are part of God’s creations and Jesus wouldn’t say no to them.”

Other canine regulars include Ace, Reverend Roger Buese’s Great Pyrenees, and Leo, a 140-pound Mastiff. Leo had been abused by his former owners and was scared. “He was so shy he would hide in the corner — and he does look scary — but now you see him walking around, bumping into people. He is so much more trusting and not fearful,” said Reverend Buese.

Fellow church-goers also like the idea of dogs coming to church. Jaclyn Morteletti, who has three dogs of her own, says, “It just makes it so much more relaxed and dogs show love without having to receive it.”


5 thoughts on “Doggone Worship – Pet-Friendly Church Services”

  1. I think that all dogs (pets) should be allowed to go to church services
    I’ve had Collies and Shelties that were allowed to visit residents in nursing homes
    All pets bring comfort to those who are hurting, grieving, feeling lonely, depressed and unloved.
    Pastors and churches in general need to change their attitudes and thoughts regarding pets not being allowed in their precious buildings.
    Native American have special services Honoring and Blessing their Pets and animals in refuge leagues.
    Churches allow Bike Blessings for Motorcycles
    We have Cowboy Churches; Churches at lil Airports; Churches for Motorcycle Clubs so why not allow Pets.

    • I partially agree with you. Not ALL dogs are well behaved. But, I would absolutely love to see dogs in church…as long as they are silent and well behaved.
      Then again, if they start to whine or yip, the owners should be required to remove them immediately…unfortunately that isn’t the rule for noisy children.

  2. I think it’s a great idea! Makes it feel more like a family, which it should be anyway. Have a separate section for those allergic, if it’s a problem. The perfume ladies wear bothers me, but I just deal with it.

  3. I think it is a great idea! They could have them in a room if they barked too much, just like a crying room for babies and kids.

    God made dogs so I am sure he would welcome them in His Church.

    Afterall, Dog is God spelled backwards.

    Every year at our local park they bless animals. My friend and I brought our dogs one year. It was really cool.


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