A priest in Brazil is doing his bit in trying to reduce the number of stray dogs wandering the streets without proper love and care.
Father João Paulo Araujo Gomes invites the strays into his church and has made them part of his service in a bid to find them a loving forever home.
Gomes, who is the head of the parish of Santana in the city of Gravatá, brings the pooches into his mass in the hopes of convincing his parish to adopt them.
The furry creatures regularly wander into the church hoping to find their new owner, and Father João often makes it happen.
João looks after the pooches at his rectory and then brings them into Sunday service to show them to his parish. The animals take centre stage the service so potential new owners will see them and hopefully fall in love enough to give them a forever home.
Doggos sometimes fall asleep at the alter and are almost up for enjoying a few tummy rubs during the service.
Father João said the idea came him one day when someone had offered him some delicious cookies. When he left them out during mass, they were quickly snapped up by his flock, which gave him an idea when he came across a dog kennel with 96 dogs.
He explained to Metro:
Then I began to bring the dogs to mass, with the same hopes of giving them away.
In six months, I finished this process. All dogs were adopted.
Now I work with street dogs. They sometimes come into the church looking for food and water.
During service, we speak about dogs of the street, about how to respect and protect them. The church also helps with a castration project (to limit the number of stray dogs).
We also help dogs in emergencies such as victims of violence or health problems.
Thanks to his selfless acts, the number of stray dogs living in the city has hugely decreased.
Of course, spending so much time with so many adorable doggos, the priest couldn’t help but adopt some of his own. He now has three four-legged furry friends of his own, who even share his bed.
What a guy.
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Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist who started her career by producing The Royal Rosemurgey newspaper in 2004, which kept her family up to date with the goings on of her sleepy north east village. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining Tyla (formerly Pretty 52) in 2017, and progressing onto UNILAD in 2019.