I was taught, as a Judeo-Christian, that humans were the only animals with souls, and that all homo-sapiens, in fact, have souls. My experiences in life tell me otherwise. I have met too many people who, when I look into their eyes, exhibit no feeling at all that would lead me to believe that they are any more soulful than robots. Sadly, I have seen even infants in whom I see no sense of soulfulness, that aspect having been replaced by the dehumanizing affects of deprivation and terror.
I have also seen such joy, pain, fear, and compassion in the eyes of "lesser" animals, that I have come to believe that the only thing that actually separates homo-sapiens from other animals is the ability to make informed choices. Terror destroys our ability to think and make choices; thus destroying our humanity, what some refer to as the soul. Inflicting terror and arrogant authority as forms of control is why I walked away from my parents' religion.
I had never deeply bonded to an animal, other than homo-sapiens, until I met my very first dog, at the age of 59. She looked in my eyes at the shelter and our souls simply connected. I took her home. It was in watching her rub her body all over the grass and snow, like she would a parent, sibling, or a lover, that I saw her "humanity." It was in watching her absolute joy in being tormented by our cat and doing likewise to him that I saw "sibling" bonding in its simplest form.
I have, in fact, see a cat absorbing The Sacred Spirit of the perfect patch of sunshine and a dog absorbing The Sacred Spirit of the physical earth through the pores of her skin. I have come to believe that there are many manifestations of life other than homo-sapiens with what we refer to as souls, and that there are many homo-sapiens that have none of this spirit of The Sacred.