The newly renovated Pauluskirche Pfeffingen will open its doors for the first time on December 02, 2023, at 2 PM. The animal burial church is operated by Schönhalde Tierbestattung Albstadt and is intended to be not only a funeral home for beloved animals but also a place of encounter and remembrance. The sacred building offers – unique in Germany – among other things, the possibility to hold an animal funeral service.

The interest of the people in this new form of animal burial is enormous. Already in recent months, newspapers, radio, and digital media have reported not only nationwide but also, for example, in Poland, Russia, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and France. In South America and the Caribbean, dozens of newspapers and television stations have also covered this phenomenon.

The animal burial Schönhalde in Albstadt-Pfeffingen has operated for several years. They themselves are pet owners with a loving family of dogs, cats, horses, and more belonging to their extended family. To enable the beloved family members a dignified last journey is for their passion, which they do while maintaining professionalism. There is an enormous amount of emotional love these beloved pets and animals get, and they certainly deserve a dignified last ride.


For quite some time now, there has been a social change in the way pet families treat their pets. For the majority of people, animals are members of the family. Not only during their lifetime are they given the best possible care, but also, when they pass away, they are mourned as if they were a loved one.

Speaking to the media, Ellen Weinmann said, “There is no doubt that more and more pet owners want a dignified farewell to their pets In order to cope with the steadily increasing number of funerals, a need for more space was felt. The fact that the small church in the immediate vicinity was for sale at the very moment we were planning an extension is an extraordinarily beautiful twist of fate.”

St. Paul’s Church in Pfeffingen, popularly known as “s’Kirchle,” is a spiritual place charged with a history that captivates you as soon as you enter. A unique location with an indescribable atmosphere to accompany pets on their way to pet heaven.

The Protestant Methodist Church built the Pauluskirche Pfeffingen in 1955. Its use for services was discontinued years ago, and the dwindling membership of the small congregation now celebrates its services centrally in a more modern church nearby. The EMK nevertheless initially continued to maintain the building since the sacristan had lived in the apartment on the upper floor for over 40 years and should not be expected to move in her old age. Only now, after the service apartment on the upper floor was empty, the church was finally given up and handed over to the Schönhalde animal burial center with a solemn service on July 30, 2023.

The approximately 70-year-old building still needed some attention, and after completion of the renovation work, the first animal burial church will be opened on 02.12.2023.

Animal burial in a sacred building, in a real church, still does not exist anywhere. After the profanation of St. Paul’s Church, this gap is now filled by the Schönhalde. It may no longer be a “real” church after its profanation, but for them, it is a place of power full of tradition, charged over the decades with traces of the people who celebrated a part of their lives and their personal connection to God there. They are doing their best to keep the doors of St. Paul’s Church open again now for every animal and every human being. In doing so, they would like to be deliberately neutral as far as the denomination of the visitors is concerned. The owners themselves grew up with Christian values, but we are also open to any other spiritual orientation and faith.

The attitude of the major churches on the subject of animals has been in a state of flux over the last decade. In 2012, the response of the Lutheran and Roman Catholic churches was a unanimous and clear “no” to services for animals. In more recent publications from 2022, this categorical “no” has evolved into more of a “yes, but” to “yes, maybe.

Individual theologians of both churches are emphatically advocating a repositioning of Christianity that shows more appreciation for animals. The significance of animals as independent, animate beings within creation is coming more and more into focus. In this context, they believe that one-day church burial and church funeral services for animals will also be possible.

The animal funeral church Pauluskirche goes a big step ahead and offers the beloved pets, as well as the family members, a special place of remembrance. Both the denominationally neutral funeral service with a eulogy by a freelance speaker and a church service are available. In this case, they rely on the pastor, minister, head of the congregation, or other spiritual confidant of the bereaved family. The individual needs of the bereaved are the measure of all things. Each pet receives a rose from us to take with them on their final journey.

Despite some concerns, no negative feedback has been received to date. The positive encouragement from all directions is simply overwhelming, both from far away and here very close. The multitude of letters, phone calls, and emails are complemented by personal conversations that always come up when people recognize us somewhere in public. Also, the parishioners here on site, who have been connected with St. Paul’s Church all their lives, have handed over their “Kirchle” to us with good feelings and many kind words. This means a lot to us!

Not only theologians of both large churches have written to them, but a large number of private persons and, of course, many press inquiries out of professional interest have been received, too. Even a descendant of Albert Knapp, who would have just turned 225 on July 25, 2023, wrote us a long letter full of joy. Albert Knapp, a pastor from Württemberg who was born on July 15, 1798, founded the world’s first animal protection society in December 1837 and made a significant contribution to the first animal protection law in 1839.

The popularity of social media is enormous. A large number of people follow their posts and they are eagerly awaiting the opening together with them on Dec 2, 2023. Address is : Onstmettinger Str. 11 72459 Albstadt Germany.

An animal burial church has not given it so far in completely Germany yet. This gap is now closed in Albstadt.

Ellen Weinmann added, “We would like to thank ev.-methodistischen Kirche Albstadt (EMK) from the bottom of our hearts, also in the name of the animal friends who now find a home here. Without the support of the EMK, such a new, unique place for animal mourning would not exist.”

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For more details, call 07432982414 or send an email to [email protected].

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Media Contact

Organization Name: Tierbestattung Schönhalde Pauluskirche GmbH

Contact Person: Ellen Weinmann

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 07432982414


City: Albstadt

Country: Germany