Answer: Saint Francis was a 13th century mystic priest whose main contribution to Christianity was that he founded the Franciscan Order. And he also had a great love and respect for the beauties of nature, including the animals, especially the birds. He is often seen with a bird in his hand.
The Catholic Church made him a saint soon after his death, but I think it was more for his work in spreading the gospel and the fact that he supposedly had suffered the stigmata, rather than his love for animals.
It is the love for our pets that we remember more than anything else, I think. They inspire love, loyalty, and duty in us. They comfort us when we are lonely or sad, they make us laugh, and they are great companions through life’s trials. And that love that they inspire is an eternal possession. We can be forever grateful to God for their presence in our lives and for helping us to grow in those ways.
So, when we learn in The Urantia Book that our animals don’t have souls, it can be upsetting to think that we won’t have them with us after we die. But it seems to me that having a distraction like a pet might take our attention away from our main work in the afterlife, which is to become full spirit beings, learn and grow with many other spirit beings, and eventually reunite with God in Paradise.
Some people have multiple pets throughout their lifetime – personally, I have had at least three dogs and several birds and more kitties than I can remember. And I loved all my pets. But, If everyone had the companionship of all their beloved pets who have died when they wake up on the Mansion worlds, it seems there would not be much time for anything else. This is just my opinion, but it makes sense to me.
God knows all about you and your pets and how much they mean to you. He is a loving, compassionate Father above all. I would trust him to make sure that you will not miss your pets when you pass on to the next worlds. And I would also trust him to take care of your pets when they die and ensure that they will have life forever in some new form as they recycle through the living cosmos, the oversoul of the Supreme. In this way, maybe they will give some other soul the same opportunity for love and companionship that they have given you.
I know that this is a difficult issue for many people. I can’t pretend to have all the answers, but I hope my reply may be of some help to you.