Psalm 104 glories in the creation that God has made, and part of that creation specifically mentioned are the animals that He made to inhabit the earth. The Psalmist says that the lions, "roar after their prey, and seek their food from God" and that He put the Leviathan in the sea "to play there." Then the Psalmist prays that God will "rejoice in His works," which I believe that God does.
This is enough for me to believe that God loves the creatures that He has made, that He daily provides for their needs is another tip off that He is concerned for their welfare. In the Garden of Eden, part of the stewardship of Adam was that he name all the animals (cf. Gen. 2:19-20). He was given the stewardship over them as well; I can only deduce that this meant he was to care for them in some way (cf. Gen. 1:30). They were not expendable, worthless creatures. They were to be cared for and provided for by God's man.
I believe that this is why I have the fondness for animals that I have, especially those animals that are most loving of man. My dog has an undoubted fondness for me as well. She even knows when I'm in a bad mood. She's a good dog.
I further believe, because I am a literalist, that there will be animals in heaven. Behold the Revelation, all ye Left Behind lovers!
Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war...And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses (Revelation 19:11, 14).
Here we have Jesus Christ coming out of heaven sitting on a white horse. Not only is Jesus riding on a white horse, but so is everyone in the heavenly army. If there are no animals in heaven, then where did the Lord get all those horses? And if the elect are a part of that host, then I may deduce that I have a horse to ride as well. And if horses are there, then why not dogs? They are noble creatures as well.
Perhaps you will blanche at such a literal interpretation of an apocolyptic text. Well, get over it. Jesus Christ is coming on a war horse and the hosts of heaven will ride with Him in one final, glorious charge against the forces of darkness. Charge of the Light Brigade indeed!
I had a dog when I was a boy named "Tramper." As to her breeding, she was an American dog. That means we had no idea of her ancestory, and as for love of a genetic "class" my family has historically been no respecter of breeds. This dog followed me to school, played with me at home, gave birth to multiple litters of puppies, and was generally one of the greatest dogs to grace the planet. Tramper died at a ripe old age doing what she loved best: chasing cars. She finally caught one, much to my dismay and grief, but much to her delight I suppose.
So here it is then, will Tramper be in heaven? I honestly couldn't tell you if that exact dog will be there, but I believe, sincerely, that there will be animals in heaven. I believe that they will be glorious ones who will exemplify the greatest aspects of our pets here on earth. They will be loyal, loving, and gracious, and they will enjoy our affections for them. If this is the case, then I will most certainly see Tramper, only I will see her magnified a thousandfold in all of her most outstanding attributes. Heaven is, of course, magnificent because Christ Jesus is there. The golden streets, the Father's house, the walls of the New Jerusalem, blooming fruit trees, the rivers, and yes, even the animals that I believe will be there will make heaven that much more heavenly. Come quickly, Lord Jesus!
P.S. And whoever ran who over her without stopping, a pox upon you and your house!! That such a noble dog should have to lie in the street like a common animal is repulsive. She should have had her dignified burial immediately.