Here are eight great Bible verses about loving and caring for animals.
Proverbs 12:10 “Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast, but the mercy of the wicked is cruel.”
This proverb is very clear. Whoever is righteous will have regard for the life or the care of their animals, whether they are pets or livestock. For those who are cruel to their pets or animals, God seems to indicate that the mercy of the wicked is no better than cruelty of the wicked compared to God’s mercy, but on the other hand, the mercy and care given to those who care properly for their animals is very pleasing in God’s sight. There are several who are animal rescuers who find homes for abandoned animals, even getting them fixed and receiving their shots. I find it interesting that the two people that I know who are animal rescuers are also kind and gentle with people, so the proverb is true that whoever has regard for their animals, or any animals, is righteous in God’s sight, however that doesn’t mean they can be saved by having regard for the life of animals, since our righteousness only comes from Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12; 2nd Cor 5:21).
Matthew 10:29 “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.”
When Jesus was teaching His disciples, He was trying to communicate to them to not worry about their own life and “do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matt 10:28), because “even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows” (Matt 10:30-31). God values us above his creatures, but even a tiny sparrow, which is valued at less than one penny to us, is still valuable to God, meaning that He cares for His creatures and cares deeply about how we treat them, regardless of how small or insignificant they are.
Deuteronomy 25:4 “You shall not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the grain.”
The Apostle Paul cited this verse with respect to the church taking care of their leaders, as he wrote “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer deserves his wages” (1st Tim 5:18), so he wasn’t so much concerned with the ox as he was with the church supporting the pastors. In saying this, I consulted Paul’s letter to the Corinthians where he wrote, “it is written in the Law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain.” Is it for oxen that God is concerned” (1st Cor 9:9)? Obviously God cares for his creatures (like oxen) but the point is, if we know God cares for his creatures enough to ensure they receive part of their labor, such as allowing an ox to at least eat part of what he’s labored for, how much more so for those that labor for the Lord?
Luke 14:5 “And he said to them, “Which of you, having a son or an ox that has fallen into a well on a Sabbath day, will not immediately pull him out?”
Jesus is referring to an Old Testament law where even on the Sabbath, the owners were allowed to help an animal in distress, for example one that fell into a well was allowed to be rescued, regardless of whether it was a holy day or not. If left there, the ox would surely die, so God sees His creatures as important enough to properly care for them and show them mercy, even if it was the Sabbath. In this case, Jesus had healed a man on the Sabbath, and of course, the lawyers and Pharisees accused Jesus of breaking the Sabbath, but there was actually no law against healing on the Sabbath, just as there wasn’t a law the prevented them from helping animals on that day. Their hearts were so hardened that they thought of the Sabbath law above the needs of humans and animals.
Psalm 50:10-11 “For every beast of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills. I know all the birds of the hills, and all that moves in the field is mine.”
We might think we own animals, in particular our pets, but the Bible teaches that these are not actually ours. We are only stewards of what God’s given to us. God owns “every beast” there is, including your cattle or sheep or oxen or whatever else it is you own, including your pets. In fact, everything “that moves in the field is” God’s, so that included everything. The point is we better think about that when we are caring for God’s creatures, whether great or small.
Proverbs 27:23 “Know well the condition of your flocks, and give attention to your herds.”
Although this proverb has more to do with not taking God’s blessings for granted, and those who have much might begin to think they’ve accumulated all of their own wealth, God reminds us that these possessions are not ours anyway (Psalm 50:10-11), but there is a good point in this that we should be aware of our animals conditions and give attention to them when they need it. Neglecting what God’s given us, whether property or animals, is not pleasing to God, and what God has given, He has every right to take away (Job 1:21).
Matthew 6:26 “Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”
We are not saved because we are valuable; we are valuable because we are saved. To God, we are worth more than many sparrows of the air, but in telling Jesus’ disciples to not worry about their needs, He reminds them that God loves His creatures enough to make sure that they are fed. Even though they do not sow, reap, or labor, they still must search out food in order to survive, but not to worry; our “heavenly Father feeds them.” Even though we are “of more value than they,” the birds of the air nonetheless do have value to God, so we should value them too, as well as their lives.
Deuteronomy 22:10 “You shall not plow with an ox and a donkey together.”
The Apostle used this verse in referring to not being unequally yoked with non-believers, and for much the same reason. If an ox and a donkey are tied to the same yoke, the ox will have to pull more than its fair share of the weight since the donkey is no match for the strength of the ox. It would be cruel to make one beast work much harder than the other, and in fact, the ox might end up having to drag the donkey along with the rest of the load. That’s certainly cruel. Besides, this unequal yoke will tend the make them go in different directions and they won’t be able to rightfully labor together. As a result, the work will suffer for it, but so will the ox.
If you know someone who is cruel to their animals or pets, they may not be saved, because a righteous person should care for their animals, and in fact, they should have regard for all animals, whether they own them or not. The righteous should care enough about the welfare of their own animals but also the welfare of other animals who might not be receiving proper care and might be treated cruelly or harshly. Remember that these are God’s creatures, not ours, and we will be accountable for how we take care of them or neglect them.
Read more about animals and the Bible here: What Does the Bible Say About Animals?
Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.