If the Rapture happened right now, what would happen to your pets?
With the latest apocalypse theory suggesting the world will end on May 21, those who believe it are exploring ways to care for Fido after they journey to heaven. Hoping to capitalize on the uncertainty of these pet owners, atheists and other non-Christians have set up a number of services meant to ease believers’ guilt about their impending relocation—and the animals they will leave behind.
“Right now, we have over 250 clients,” Bart Centre, the founder of Eternal Earth-Bound Pets USA, told the Washington Post. For a fee of $135 (plus $20 for each additional animal), Centre’s firm promises to collect your bird, cat, dog or other caged animal within 24 hours of the Rapture. Despite having 44 contractors in 26 states, Centre can only offer rescue services for camels, donkeys, horses and llamas in Idaho, Montana, New Hampshire and Vermont. Centre, who writes anti-religion books under the name Dromedary Humphas, carefully screened every rescuer, and says they all love animals. None will be affected by the Rapture, as each is a committed atheist. “These are people not likely to be Raptured under any circumstances,” he said. “Not that we think anybody is going anywhere anyway, which we make perfectly clear on our Web site.”
After the Rapture Pet Care is one of his biggest rivals (according to NewsFeed’s cursory Google search, anyway). Its trailer, posted above, is set to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons (Winter), and simulates the isolation and fear that will affect pets should their owners suddenly greet Christ in the sky. The apocalypse forecast for May 21 appears to have stirred the site’s founder Sharon Moss from a spell of web apathy: on May 16 she updated her Twitter feed for the first time in more than a year.
Moss appears to have endured a bit of heckling after setting up the service. In the “Contact Us” section of her site, she writes that users will not receive a response if they use the online form to “call us names” or “damn us,” or if they ask sarcastic questions like “I have an elephant, can you care for it?” However, the site welcomes questions about its vast array of merchandise which includes After the Rapture beach tote bags ($23) and Volunteer Pet Caretaker ceramic travel mugs ($19.99).
Centre, meanwhile, does more than give pet owners piece of mind. Speaking to BusinessWeek last year, he said that he takes $200 a month from his Google ad revenue and donates it to food banks in Minnesota and New Hampshire. He doesn’t need the extra padding, as he is convinced he’ll never have to act on his promise to save all the animals on his list. “If we thought the Rapture was really going to happen,” Centre says, “obviously our rate structure would be much higher.” (via Fox News New York)