Yesterday I read Pope Francis' encyclical letter “Praised Be” (Laudato Si) in which he said “to sense each creature singing the hymn of its existence is to live joyfully in God’s love and hope.”
In the encyclical, the Pope writes, “We read in the Gospel that Jesus says of the birds of the air that ‘not one of them is forgotten before God’ (Luke 12:6). How then can we possibly mistreat them or cause them harm?”
“Our indifference or cruelty towards fellow creatures of this world sooner or later affects the treatment we mete out to other human beings,” he says. “We have only one heart, and the same wretchedness which leads us to mistreat an animal will not be long in showing itself in our relationships with other people. Every act of cruelty towards any creature is ‘contrary to human dignity.’”
While I'm not Catholic, I am SO happy that a spiritual leader is speaking out about animals, including our pets. You can read more of the Pope's encyclical letter at petshavesouls.com.