The lack of understanding among the clergy and the laity as to what baptism actually does has led to so much confusion, I hardly know where to begin. Follow the tags for a start. This confusion is connected to the confusion about the nature of human souls and animal souls.
That people do not see themselves as changed by baptism is a tragedy of this lack of catechesis. That people do not know the difference between animal and human souls is a tragedy of the laziness of most of the laity not studying their Faith.
Again, the lack of training in the seminaries with regards to the teachings of the Church throughout the ages and the solid teachings of Thomas Aquinas has led to much confusion.
Repeat from grade school:
Humans have immortal souls.
Animals have mortal souls.
Humans are made in the image and likeness of God/
Animals are not.
There is a hierarchy in creation. And since God became Man, man is actually raised up higher.
Heaven is not a new Narnia. It is not material.
We have intelligence and reason. We have free will. In these things, we are made in the image and likeness of God.
Animals do not. They have instinct.
We are responsible for our actions.
Animals are not.
Humans can have and do have an awareness of God.
Animals do not.
Human beings demand a dignity animals do not. We can eat animals.
The joy we get from our pets is a shadow of the joy of heaven. We shall not need pets in heaven.
Sigh, too bad the Pope did not get Thomas Aquinas in seminary, or if he did, he forgot it.
Thank God for the strict limits of infallibility.
Baptism makes us heirs of heaven and children of God.
Sorry, animals are neither.