Every Sunday in the parish of Santa Ana Gravata, in the Brazilian state of Pernambuco, Padre Joao Paulo Araujo Gomez opens the doors to everyone, but stray dogs are allowed to enter here any day of the week.
Padre Joao is a big animal lover and his dreams are to find worthy owners for all street dogs.
“They can always come here to sleep, eat, drink water. Here they will find shelter and protection because this is God’s house and they are also God’s creations”
The padre also monitors the health of the dogs and each of them is regularly examined by a veterinarian. If an animal is injured, it is treated. The dog that the parishioners will take in must be healthy and with all the necessary vaccinations. Sometimes puppies or kittens are thrown into the church in boxes and they, first of all, try to find a family.
The padre’s deeds are really not in vain, the number of street dogs in this area has greatly decreased since he began his activities. The Internet also helps the priest in this – he regularly posts photos of dogs on his Facebook and Instagram accounts.
Padre Joao himself set a good example and sheltered several dogs. Now they live at his house.
In addition to helping animals, the parish of St. Ana Gravata is engaged in helping poor families and children. For them, people collect clothes, food, and toys.