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Priest prohibits dog’s entry to own master’s funeral; dog’s reaction sparks outrage

Labrador waits outside of church during service dog-sad
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The events took place in Turin, Italy. A priest forbade entry to a dog whose owner’s funeral was taking place inside the church. The dog’s reaction has triggered a huge debate.

By Justine Seraphin , 4 Jun 2019

Should dogs be allowed to enter churches? This decision belongs mainly to the priest giving a service. And at this funeral, the priest categorically refused entry to the deceased’ dog.

Priest is adamant

The family and friends of the deceased had asked if the dog could attend. He was, after all, very close to the man who had passed away. The friendly Labrador named Pavel, is very well behaved, and the entire family assured he would be discrete and polite if he were allowed to attend the ceremony.

Sadly, the priest did not want an animal sitting in the church during his service. Despite the family’s insistence, he decidedly stood his ground.

“We don’t bring animals to church, even Saint Francis knew it,” he said.

Minds are changing

There is in fact no existing legislation which regulates animals’ access to churches. The decision relies solely on the people working in the church.

In Britain, an increasing number of churches are becoming dog friendly. In a recent poll of 285 UK churches, 63% said they welcome dogs, or hold pet services.


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Sadly, some churches are not as open-minded. Poor Pavel had to wait outside the church as the service took place, and he did not hesitate to share his feelings about it. As a neighbour of the deceased described: “He stayed out of the parish crying and howling for an hour at the funeral.”

At least the dog was allowed to take a last walk with his beloved owner by accompanying him to the cemetery, not without crying with disapproval of course.

We wish this poor pup and his family courage in this difficult time.