Every Sunday in the parish of St. Anna 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.
The padre’s deeds are really bearing fruit. The number of street dogs in the area has greatly decreased since he started 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. They collect things, food and toys for them.