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GUY RAZ, Host:

So at some point tonight, as many of you have no doubt heard, the Rapture is scheduled to begin. Believers will go to heaven. Non-believers will endure about a five-month period of absolute hell on Earth. But no one was asking a very crucial question: For those who are saved, who's going to take care of their loyal pets?

POST: Guy, thank you so much for having me.

RAZ: You are - you really- actually have a business that offers this service, right? And people are really paying you for this.

CENTRE: They really are. This is not a flash-in-the-pan, May 21s Rapture business, either. We've been an established operation since June of 2009, and we currently have 259 clients who have contracted with us so that in the event they rapture over the next 10 years, they're assured that their pets will be rescued, and cared for in loving homes.

RAZ: And how much does it cost?

CENTRE: It's $135 for the first pet...

RAZ: All right.

CENTRE: ...$20 for each additional pet. We did increase our rates to those numbers in January, when we started to see a major lift in demand.

RAZ: A lift in demand because of this May 21st date?

CENTRE: That's what our clients were telling us. RAZ: Hmm. Mr. CENTRE: And for the first quarter of this year, we're 27 percent up over the first quarter of 2010. And then in April and May, we're about 45 percent of April and May last year.

RAZ: What kind of animals are you committed to saving?

CENTRE: We'll take dogs. We'll take cats. We'll take small, furry mammals. We have a cockatoo and a parrot, that we have under contract. And in four states, we cover large animals. So we do have a horse in Montana that is scheduled to be rescued in the event of a rapture.

RAZ: OK, now here's a question: Why should all these people trust you? I mean, what if you end up being saved?

CENTRE: Well, we've taken care of that. First of all, we do run a criminal background check on all our rescuers. But then we asked them - we say look, if you're an atheist, it should not be an issue to blaspheme in accordance with Mark 3:29 - which, of course, is the only unforgivable sin. And they are all very willing to do that. And that kind of confirms that even in the absurdly remote chance that we are wrong and the believers are right, our rescuers are going nowhere.

RAZ: Now, OK. If you get saved in the Rapture, right, and you were to take out a contract with your company, how would that person be guaranteed that you are going to fulfill it?

CENTRE: We suggest that they find a friend who may be a Jew, a Hindu, a Muslim, an atheist, a Wiccan, a Catholic, an Episcopal - anyone who they think is not going to be raptured - and appoint them as their post-Rapture power of attorney.

RAZ: Hmm. So tomorrow morning, are you expecting to be saddled with hundreds of pets after this event? Mr. CENTRE: No. RAZ: No.

CENTRE: What I'm expecting to be saddled with, are a lot of disappointed Rapture believers who are now going to be doubly disappointed when they ask for a refund, and forget that our terms and conditions negate any possibility of a refund.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

RAZ: That's Bart Centre, creator of Eternal Earthbound Pets. That's a company that promises to look after your pet, in the event you are saved during the Rapture. Bart, good luck.

CENTRE: Guy, thank you so much for having me. And hopefully, you'll have an uneventful Sunday.

RAZ: I wouldn't bet on that.

R.E.M. (Rock Band): (Singing) That's great, it starts with an earthquake, birds and snakes, an aeroplane, Lenny Bruce is not afraid...

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT")

RAZ: And for Saturday, that's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz. Remember, you can hear the best of this program on our podcast. It's called WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. Subscribe or listen at NPR.org/weekendatc, or at iTunes. We post a new episode every Sunday night. We're back on the radio tomorrow. Until then, thanks for listening, and have a great night.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT")

I: (Singing) It's the end of the world as we know it. It's the end of the world as we know it. It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine...

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