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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I Went To "The Bachelor" Auditions

And here's why you won’t be seeing me on TV.
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It’s finally time to admit my guilty pleasure: I have always been a huge fan of The Bachelor.

I can readily admit that I’ve been a part of Bachelor fantasy leagues, watch parties, solo watching — you name it, I’ve gone the whole nine yards. While I will admit that the show can be incredibly trashy at times, something about it makes me want to watch it that much more. So when I found out that The Bachelor was holding auditions in Houston, I had to investigate.

While I never had the intention of actually auditioning, there was no way I would miss an opportunity to spend some time people watching and check out the filming location of one of my favorite TV shows.

The casting location of The Bachelor, The Downtown Aquarium in Houston, was less than two blocks away from my office. I assumed that I would easily be able to spot the audition line, secretly hoping that the endless line of people would beg the question: what fish could draw THAT big of a crowd?

As I trekked around the tanks full of aquatic creatures in my bright pink dress and heels (feeling somewhat silly for being in such nice clothes in an aquarium and being really proud of myself for somewhat looking the part), I realized that these auditions would be a lot harder to find than I thought.

Finally, I followed the scent of hairspray leading me up the elevator to the third floor of the aquarium.

The doors slid open. I found myself at the end of a large line of 20-something-year-old men and women and I could feel all eyes on me, their next competitor. I watched as one woman pulled out her travel sized hair curler, someone practiced answering interview questions with a companion, and a man (who was definitely a little too old to be the next bachelor) trying out his own pick-up lines on some of the women standing next to him.

I walked to the end of the line (trying to maintain my nonchalant attitude — I don’t want to find love on a TV show). As I looked around, I realized that one woman had not taken her eyes off of me. She batted her fake eyelashes and looked at her friend, mumbling something about the *grumble mumble* “girl in the pink dress.”

I felt a wave of insecurity as I looked down at my body, immediately beginning to recognize the minor flaws in my appearance.

The string hanging off my dress, the bruise on my ankle, the smudge of mascara I was sure I had on the left corner of my eye. I could feel myself begin to sweat. These women were all so gorgeous. Everyone’s hair was perfectly in place, their eyeliner was done flawlessly, and most of them looked like they had just walked off the runway. Obviously, I stuck out like a sore thumb.

I walked over to the couches and sat down. For someone who for the most part spent most of the two hours each Monday night mocking the cast, I was shocked by how much pressure and tension I felt in the room.

A cop, stationed outside the audition room, looked over at me. After a brief explanation that I was just there to watch, he smiled and offered me a tour around the audition space. I watched the lines of beautiful people walk in and out of the space, realizing that each and every one of these contestants to-be was fixated on their own flaws rather than actually worrying about “love.”

Being with all these people, I can see why it’s so easy to get sucked into the fantasy. Reality TV sells because it’s different than real life. And really, what girl wouldn’t like a rose?

Why was I so intimidated by these people? Reality TV is actually the biggest oxymoron. In real life, one person doesn’t get to call all the shots. Every night isn’t going to be in a helicopter looking over the south of France. A real relationship depends on more than the first impression.

The best part of being in a relationship is the reality. The best part about yourself isn’t your high heels. It’s not the perfect dress or the great pick-up lines. It’s being with the person that you can be real with. While I will always be a fan of The Bachelor franchise, this was a nice dose of reality. I think I’ll stick to my cheap sushi dates and getting caught in the rain.

But for anyone who wants to be on The Bachelor, let me just tell you: Your mom was right. There really are a lot of fish in the sea. Or at least at the aquarium.

Cover Image Credit: The Cut

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8 Thoughts Your Pets Have When You Come Home From College

Wouldn't we love to know what really goes through our pets minds when we finally return to them?

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3. My human is back!

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4. Now that you are back, let's take a nap! Too much excitement for one day.

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5. I'm so excited I don't know how to control my emotions

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6. I guess since you are here...where are my tummy rubs?

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