Chaplain Marcus Allison comforts the sick, dying, and those who are in need. He prays for them and reads them Bible scriptures to give them strength and guidance in their desperate times. He strokes them and makes them feel at ease. And he does this all for our beloved pets.
Marcus Allison is a pet chaplain. Allison was recently ordained by the Rev. Keith Brown, founder of the Chaplain of Pets Ministry in Stone Mountain, Georgia.
Allison was a former grief counselor and he says that he has been through traumatic experiences with pets and was disappointed at how his own pastors have dealt with a pet owner’s loss and grief.
His services can include praying for and laying hands on pets, anointing them with oil, providing grief support for pet owners, giving last rites to dying pets and performing memorial services for pets. He considers his ministry interfaith.
Allison believes that pets have souls and are an expression of Godâ€™s unconditional love.
From Kansas City Star:
â€œGod created animals before man, before the fall,â€ Allison said. â€œThey canâ€™t sin. They donâ€™t need salvation. Itâ€™s already assured to them. Who could be more pure than an animal? The greatest teachers of Godâ€™s love are animals. Itâ€™s the closest we can come to Godâ€™s unconditional love.â€
Many people like to have a memorial service when a pet dies, Allison said. He does services to celebrate the lives of pets.
â€œA lot of people feel left out in the cold by the attitude of ministers toward people grieving over animals,â€ he said. â€œThatâ€™s why animal clergy is needed. Some people experience more grief when an animal dies than when a person dies.â€
Not everybody has been welcoming of his offers to pray for pets or his views on pet salvation. Some think he may be kidding, or crazy, or, as he put it, â€œlike Iâ€™m from Mars.â€
Still, some veterinarians have welcomed Allison.
â€œMarcus is real sincere, very kind and caring,â€ said Arthur Serwitz, co-owner of Riverview [Animal Clinic].
â€œFor certain people, spirituality is very important, and they want to be reminded that their pets are Godâ€™s creatures,â€ said Amy Tate, also an owner at Riverview.