Scripture states that man was appointed by God to have dominion over the animals. My hypothesis for this blog is therefore everything a man does to an animal; particularly our companion animal is either a lawful exercise of that responsibility, or a sacrilegious abuse, of that authority and responsibility.
- Genesis 1:26-28: And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
Jesus came to redeem; is it also worth considering that man, made in Gods image and with dominion over the earth and its creatures has a redemptive function to perform as well in that Stewardship ? Man, in creating companion dogs from once wild wolves has already redeemed dogs to lay with the lambs. Additionally, these previously wild, untamed dogs now live together in peace with man. Dogs and man now enjoy each others company and mutually benefit each other in protection, and emotional and physical health and wellbeing.
As to inflicting pain and worse death upon animals in our Stewardship of companion animals. Make no mistake about this point; inflicting pain or killing of mankind’s companion animals is not Gods doing, it is the doing of man the stewards of animals. Will God be pleased with our stewardship when we kill dogs and cats in the “shelters” we have created for their safe keeping?
Killing and pain inflicted upon dogs and cats is therefore not God’s handiwork – but begun by Satan’s malice and perpetuated by man’s desertion of his post and stewardship. What does man inflict upon his fellow man for desertion of his post?
Finally, there is the question of compassion and of justice. We know that dogs are sentient beings…meaning they experience pain and hurt just as man does. Would a good steward purposely inflict pain, or worse death on that which God the father required of man to be a good and wise steward of? If I killed my Fathers dog for no good reason what would my Father think of me? What will God think of those stewards that with no good reason kill his animals?
- Numbers 22:32 And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Wherefore hast thou smitten thine ass these three times? behold, I went out to withstand thee, because thy way is perverse before me.Proverbs 12:10 A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.
God has sovereign power over His creation and has delegated the authority to humanity to have dominion over the animals (Genesis 1:26,28). However, with the authority to rule comes the responsibility to rule well. There is an inherent accountability in the command to “subdue” the earth. The word subdue means “to gain an intelligent understanding of and mastery over.”
Man is to be the wise steward of the earth; he is to bring the material world and all of its varied elements into the service and good of all people, and he is to do so with love and understanding. Only then will dominion be truly according to God’s command. When God gave us dominion over the animals, it was in order to care for, tend to, and use animals in a just manner. At the time that God gave mankind dominion over the animals, humans did not eat meat (Genesis 1:29). Eating meat did not begin until after the Flood (Genesis 9:1-3). It was at that time that animals then started to fear humans. However, although we now eat “meat,” we still bear a responsibility to care for and to treat animals humanely.
Stewardship over animals does not mean we have the right to mistreat, misuse or indiscriminately kill animals. Stewardship over animals entails a humane management of them as the companions of man God has ordained them to be. We must fulfill our duty to manage the earth and the animals wisely until that time when the wolf shall lie down with the lamb in the kingdom of Christ (Isaiah 11:6).
I passionately believe if God cares for his animals should we not as well? Should we not love them, care for their needs, advocate for their lives and protect them from harm. Loving an animal is a selfless and Godly act. The care and compassion we show an animal entrusted to us is a gauge of ones personal integrity.
Steve Monahan, founder – Green Pets America
“A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal” (Proverbs 12:10)
Jill and I were just getting ready to leave Pet Smart about 5:00 pm on a cold Tuesday evening. Our rescue Group, Green Pets America is usually only at this Pet Smart in Canton, Georgia on Sundays, but we were here because I was making a special effort to get one of our lovable rescues a new home. This special rescue was a big scared lab and he needed a permanent home to feel safe and really loved again. So as we left I loaded Sam, the big goofy yellow lab in Jill’s little eco car and walked back in the store to make sure we left nothing behind.
All of a sudden this young guy comes running in with a little white and brown Jack Russell Terrier. The little dog was shaking and his leg was sticking out looking like it may be broken. Jack Russell’s are funny and crazy and always wired up. They all seem to be caffeine hyped 10 Starbucks ahead of all the other dogs we rescue.
The kid asked if I was “the rescue guy” that came on Sundays. I said yes. He immediately said he was in a hurry and was late to work, but I needed to take this dog. He said he was driving to work on the highway right near us and saw this little Jack Russell jump out of a car onto the highway and scamper to the side of the road. So this kid, I was referring to him in my head as “Lying Dude” said he turned his car around and picked him up and drove him here for someone to take him. I know I may seem coarse but we hear all kinds of reasons when someone wants to give up their dog. So I was hoping he was really a Good Samaritan, but skeptical that he may also just want to get rid of his own dog.
As we talked “Dude’s trying to get out of the store as quickly as possible. I’m holding the little scared dog…with his lease attached to his collar. So, I had to ask. When “Jack” jumped out of the moving car, did he have this leash on him at the same time?
He looked at me for a second, kind of dumb founded and said; yup he jumped with the leash as well. We talked a bit and just as he was leaving I said to him, looks like this poor dog he hasn’t eaten in a while. “Dude” said, no he ate this morning and ran to his car. So much for “Good Samaritan”
The truth is I am glad “Dude” did bring him to our rescue group at Pet Smart. He actually did the right thing. Sometimes “Dudes” abandon their dogs in the woods. Little house trained dogs just don’t survive long on their own. Or had he taken him to a shelter, as an owner turn in, with a broken leg as well, the little guy would probably be immediately euthanized. Many shelters feel if you as the owner turn in your own dog, the dog must have bad issues and they won’t readopt them, they euthanize them. Also, most shelters are community, tax payer funded kill shelters. As such most do not receive sufficient local government funding to surgically fix all the dogs abandoned.
So, “Starbucks” as I started calling him was saved. He was taken to a No-Kill Rescue Group. Our Tag line at Green Pets America is…Rescue – Recycle – Relove. Little Starbucks was now rescued. Over a couple of months in a Green Pets foster home he would be Recycled and made new. And when little Starbucks got adopted, which he did, he became reloved.
If you love dogs, please what ever you can to help your local rescue no-kill groups and local animal shelters. Volunteer at your local community animal shelter, or donate a small amount of money to a local rescue non-profit group like ours so they can rescue more little ones like “Starbucks” and get them Rescued – Recycled and Reloved into new homes.
P.S. Sam, the big goofy yellow Lab I had taken a special interest and took to Pet Smart that day also got adopted. My son Stephen and his wife Trish adopted him a couple of weeks later. He now lives happily after ever with four of their other rescued dogs. It seems rescuing dog’s runs in the Monahan family.
I often wonder where she was born, what she was like as a puppy and why she became abandoned. She is just the most serene, and cutest pure bred miniature dachshund you could lay your eyes on. Your heart melts when she looks up at you with her big brown eyes. When I am in her company my energy is at peace. Like a clear lake top, peaceful and serene.
Our rescue group Green Pets America rescued Sweet Pea. She was left behind for some unknown reason in her empty home. Worse yet she was abandoned with her two puppies as well. They were just the most beautiful and adorable little family. We’re not sure if her owners were foreclosed on and left the 3 behind or if they went to jail. I can’t tell you how many times this is how we have wound up rescuing a dog.
I and our group used to cart Sweet pea and her puppies, along with a dozen of our other rescue dogs every Sunday to Pet Smart, where we would try to find them new loving homes. It is not easy work rounding all the dogs up, getting their cages in the pickup and cars and unloading them and setting up the puppy play pen and adoption table… but it’s a work of love. It allows us to be with these wonderful rescues and meet fellow pet lovers. And when we get one adopted we’re happy, but also sad to see them go. These little and sometimes big brutes become your kids.
Well after a few weeks both of Sweet Pea’s puppies did find new homes. I’d like to say they lived happily ever after, but one suddenly died shortly after adoption. Seems the little guy, being a nosy puppy opened the door under the families sink and ate some drain cleaner and died. I must tell you we all cried. I just don’t know why things like that happen in life. This poor little guy had a rough start and a rough ending. Thank God however when he was with us, he had a wonderful and happy middle. If you have pets please baby proof your home. These little ones are curious and will always be looking for new adventures. Please, please keep them safe.
Well with both puppies adopted we still had Sweet Pea. My wife started to really bond with her and one Sunday when I was heading off to Pet Smart Lynne said, “if she doesn’t get adopted today please lets take her ourselves”.
Well as life would have it just at the end of the adoption event a woman came up to one of our Directors and wanted to see Sweet Pea. So Susan took her out of the small dog play area. I watched the ladies eyes and in a flash I saw the woman immediately take to Sweet Pea. Adoptions are like that. There seems to be an immediate connection. Well I did something I never did before. I ran over and scooped little Sweet Pea from Susan’s arms. Susan looked at me like I was crazy I guess. But, my heart said that I had to step in and take Sweet Pea home that minute. I just could not bear to possible put her in a situation like what happened to her puppy. After 8 weeks of being with her I couldn’t let her go.
I put her in my car right that minute. After we packed up the pound puppies and big brutes as well Sweet Pea came home to live with us and our other three rescue dogs forever.
I have never regretted my crazy or rude act of sweeping her away and taking her home.
She is the calmest of all our rescues and she’s also the peace maker of the pack. Sweet Pea like all our rescued dogs is a true gift from God. They give everything and ask only for love and protection in return.
For Sweet Pea Monahan and for the whole family it was a Very Yappy Ending...
Steve Monahan, founder
Rescue Renew Rehome