9 Reasons You Should Adopt, NOT Shop

9 Reasons You Should Adopt, NOT Shop

Why shop when you can save an animal's life instead?
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According to the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), 7.6 million companion animals (otherwise known as any animal that we typically view as pets in the traditional sense) enter animal shelters each year, nationwide. Of that 7.6 million, 2.7 animals are euthanized. You may think these numbers are not that staggering, after all if 2.7 million animals are euthanized, that means that 4.9 million animals are adopted each year, right? No. While a vast majority will find their forever homes, many will live the entirety of their lives confined to tiny cages, receiving as much love and attention as they can from an overworked shelter staff-- and that's only if the animal was lucky enough to be surrendered or taken in by a no-kill shelter. More specifically, of the dogs entering shelters (approximately 3.9 million), 35% are adopted, 31% are euthanized, and 26% of stray dogs are returned to their owners. Of the cats entering shelters each year (approximately 3.4 million cats) 37% are adopted, 41% are euthanized, and 5% are returned to their owners. For many prospective pet owners, locating a breeder is the preferable option. A breeder guarantees the acquisition of a young animal, such as a puppy or a kitten, as well as guaranteeing breed specifications. Unfortunately, many pet owners "shop" for potential pets largely based on an ideal breed-- selecting the breed, not the animal. Another benefit pro-"shoppers" remark on is the insurance of a healthy animal. Breeders are forced to test their animals, upon breeding, for various ailments that are specific to that particular breed. Testing their animals insures a degree of expectation that the animal you purchase will be healthy. When you adopt an animal from a shelter, it is far less likely that you will know its history. However, you should not that deter you from adopting your next best friend. While there are a few advantages to shopping, there are twice as many advantages to adopting.


1. You can save an animal from euthanasia.

As mentioned above, 2.7 million animals are euthanized each year due largely in part to not being adopted within the shelter's allotted time period. You could be the difference of life and death for an animal, which should be reason enough to adopt, but I will proceed anyway.


2. You can give an animal a second chance at life.

Your adopted animal will forever be appreciative of the opportunity you granted it by giving it the life it would not have had otherwise. Your pet will have experienced a life free of companionship, morning cuddles, random treats, walks in the park, cat-nip, and games of frisbee. With your help, they could have this life and they will always show their unwavering gratitude towards you because of it.


3. They come trained and ready to go!

You will not have to deal with potty-training a puppy, or litter-training a kitten. For the most part, your new pet will have already learned those basic skills. Some shelters even do on-site training programs to ensure a well behaved and disciplined animal upon adoption.


4. Adopting an animal is a LOT cheaper.

While you can end up paying $400-$1,000+ for a purebred animal from a breeder, you can pay as little as $100 in adoption fees when you choose to adopt.

*Disclaimer: You should never adopt an animal simply because it's affordable at that moment. Being a pet owner is not a cheap endeavor, so make sure a pet is something you can financially handle. On the other hand, a steep price tag should not deter able and willing pet owners from owning a pet. Adoption ensures that each pet is given a good home, as well as making it easier for great owners to attain a pet.


5. More adopted animals means more animals shelters and rescues can take in.

Turning away an animal is not something shelters and rescues like to do, but when shelters are filled to capacity, and fosters are maxed out as well, it can be a reality. The more animals adopted, the more animals a shelter or rescue can help. And with rising rates of animal overpopulation, particularly as it pertains to cats, there are many animals that could benefit from shelters and rescues. Currently, an estimated 70 million stray cats live in the United States. So not only are you helping one animal by adopting, but you're helping the next animal that will come in its place.


6. You're choosing the animal, NOT a breed.

The median age for an animal entering a shelter is under 18 months , therefore you will be getting to know a fully developed animal. The animal's personality will be developed by 18 months, therefore you will be introduced to every quirky characteristic that animal possesses. When you purchase a kitten or a puppy, you have no idea what that animal will become. You will not know if they are compatible with children, other animals, or will even be compatible with what you want in an animal. Often times a family will adopt a baby animal and find out later on in its life that it isn't the right pet for them. However, adopting eliminates that element of surprise.


7. Mixed breed animals are superior to pure-breds.

75% of dogs that enter shelters are mixed breeds, which can be a major turn off for many prospective owners. However, it should not be. Mixed breed dogs tend to be healthier than pure-bred dogs and are noted to have longer life expectancies (8-15 years) than pure-bred dogs. This is because mixed-breed dogs because their genes draw from a broader gene pool than pure-bred dogs. Your mixed breed dog will also be able to draw from a variance of characteristics that are inherent to its respective breeds. This may mean the friendliness of a Golden Retriever and the intelligence of a Border Collie and loyalty of a German Shepherd.


8. If you're looking for a puppy/kitten, shelters and rescues have them.

A major reason people purchase their animals from breeders is because they want a puppy or a kitten. However, what these people fail to realize is that they are not limited to breeders. Shelters and rescues offer puppies and kittens as well-- some even pure-bred if that is a requirement for you.


9. And if none of that persuaded you, go ahead and watch these videos of animals getting adopted:

And try not to cry.


I urge everyone to consider adoption when deciding to add a furry friend to your family, you could save the lives of hundreds of animals in the process.

Cover Image Credit: Santamonicadog.org

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Christian Boys Vs. Godly Men

It is time to stop settling for the lesser of the two.
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Ladies, there is a huge difference between a Christian boy and a Godly man; therefore, it is time to stop settling for the lesser of the two.

So many times I hear girls saying:

“Well, he’s a Christian.”

“He goes to church with me.”

“He listens to Christian music.”

“He went to church camp.”

“He has a favorite bible verse.”

SEE ALSO: What An Attractive Man Looks Like

Well, all of those things are just peachy and there is nothing wrong with doing those things. I mean, they’re all good things to do. But how is his personal relationship with God? How is his prayer life? Does he talk about his relationship with God, with you? Is he truly a follower of the one true God in all aspects of his life? These are some of the characteristics you should be looking for that makes a Godly man.

Ladies, a man will love you great when he loves God greater.

A Godly man will pursue an honest relationship with you. He will be clear of his intentions. A Godly man will worship, pray and passionately praise God with you. Whereas, a Christian boy might open the door for you, a Godly man will open his bible and explore God’s word with you so that you both may grow spiritually, together. While a Christian boy may put on an outward show, a Godly man will live out the love of Jesus daily.

So ladies, are you catching on to this ongoing trend? A Godly man does more because you deserve more.

A Godly man will be a leader. Trust me, I know that in today’s society Godly men are few and far between while Christian boys come in plenty. But you deserve a man who is after God’s heart not just a boy who goes to church. And I know that this Christian boy may seem great and have some really stellar qualities at the time but money and looks fade, whereas, an ongoing love for our savior will not.

The greatest thing a man can do for a woman is to lead her closer to God than himself. (Yes, yes, yes).

SEE ALSO: As Christians, Life Isn't Supposed To Be Hard

So I beg of you, do not settle. Do not settle just because you’re tired of being single, it’s convenient or because you want the relationship your friend has. Single does not equal available and a relationship status does not define you. God uses your season of singleness to prepare you for what is to come. And if you’re dating a Christian boy, he needs to step it up or you need to move on. Wait for a Godly man who is ready to lead you. God’s timing is always better, always. No matter the circumstance. So, do not rush God. (I mean, He is, after all, pretty good at His job). Therefore, turn your full focus to Him and He will direct your path.

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33

Cover Image Credit: Christina Sharp

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How To Convince Your Parents To Let You Get A Cat

Yes... It's this type of article.

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DISCLAIMER: My desperation and my convincing claims are what got me my cat. By no means will ANY of these things actually work for you, it really depends on how convincing you are and if your parents are actually willing to listen. I mean, if you follow my first option, there's NO WAY your parents will deny you a cat, I'm just saying.

Take these four options and go get yourself a cat!

Make a powerpoint.

Yes, I'm very serious. Make a freaking powerpoint. All the things your parents tell you to do that you don't end up doing, make a list of them all on your powerpoint and prove to them that you'll take care of it all. BUT, you actually have to do those things if you want to keep your point convincing, because your parents aren't going to get you that cat if you don't follow what you promised on your powerpoint. As for myself, I didn't exactly make one when I convinced my parents. I actually put together a contract that listed all the things I would do around the house in order to get this cat. Then, I added a signature spot at the bottom and made them sign it. Keep in mind, I was like 13 at the time and I thought that would be the best way to trick my parents into promising me a cat. I mean, the contract itself didn't work, but what I promised on the contract did!

Take responsibility for your current pet.

For the people who don't have any pets, then I would suggest you move onto the next option. This one is for those who have a pet they claim they take care of when it's really their moms doing all the feeding and cleaning (I'm not wrong, am I?). You want a cat SO bad but your parents refuse to get one because of one reason: They don't want to take responsibility for a cat when they're already taking care of a different pet. You might be able to say the cat will be yours and you'll be the one feeding and cleaning it, but we all know that's not true. But, if you're seriously determined to convince your parents and you really want this cat, then here's your best convincing option: You know the pet you already have? Yeah, it's not the family's pet, it's yours now. Get off the couch and go feed, clean, and play with that pet until your parents finally understand you're not joking around. If you can convince them you're responsible enough to get a cat on top of taking care of another animal, I guarantee you'll have that cat in less than a week (don't hold me to that).

Volunteer or get a job that works with animals

I have a job at a boarding house for animals, and I'm honest when I say I've learned a lot there. If you don't already have a pet and you aren't quite sure what taking care of an animal entails, then I highly suggest you put yourself to work at an animal shelter. You don't have a pet to take responsibility for, so the next best option is finding a job or volunteer option where you learn how to actually take care of an animal. There's a lot of responsibility that comes with owning a cat, and if you get this job and prove to your parents that you're worthy of this cat and can actually take care of it (WITHOUT YOUR PARENTS HELP, THIS IS YOUR CAT), then that cat will totally be yours in no time (again, don't hold me to that).

Clean your room!!!

For those of us who are WAY to lazy to keep our rooms clean, this one will probably make your parents gift you the freaking cat because they'll be so happy that you actually put effort into cleaning your room. I mean, most of us have probably gone at least an hour without our parents screaming at us for having a tissue on our bedroom floor. Am I right or am I right? So, if you really want this cat... pick up the tissue, put it in the trash, and maintain a tissueless room for as long as you can until your parents finally get you the dang cat. I'm telling you, seeing a spotless room will probably make your parents shed tears of joy. Those tissues on your floor really make your parents angry. If you pick them up, you get your cat. It's as simple as that (It's really not).

I mean, let's be real. If you follow three out of the four options I just gave you, you're almost guaranteed a cat. The only thing you can't do is make promises you know you can't keep. Don't convince your parents you'll take care of the cat just to have your parents do all the work when you get it. You want the cat, you take responsibility. But I'll warn you, although cats might be easier than dogs, they can still drive you up the wall with annoyance. Prepare yourself.

Just know I warned you.

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