This is Raven. In the early spring of 2015 she was one of many animals involved in an animal hoarding incident. Many volunteers stepped in to help give these animals positive interaction with people before being adopted.

I remember hearing about the situation and I was so sad what these animals had went through. My mom and I started volunteering with Paws and Play at the shelter every week until it got to cold. My mom worked with Raven for several weeks and became very attached to her.

One night my mom called me crying and said that she needs to adopt her to make sure she has a wonderful loving home. After a few weeks of her convincing my stepdad to be okay with having three dogs in our medium sized house, we finally got to adopt her.

Within a few weeks, she became an energetic and the most loving dog you can imagine. You can tell she is extremely thankful that we saved her and she also fell in love with my mom. Constantly by her side, follows her around the house, and is very loyal to my whole family.

Here are my top reasons why adopting shelter animals is so important.

1. You will be saving a dog's life.

Around 7.6 million animals enter animal shelters each year. We need to work together to make that number smaller. You are giving a dog love that they may have not experienced before. You are also giving them a place to call home and a person to call theirs.

2. You have a lot of choices.

The best thing about a shelter is there is a ton of different animals. Dogs of all breeds, shapes, colors, and sizes are put into animal shelters. And you will be able to find one that best fits you and your lifestyle.

3. The cost

Many shelters offer dogs that are ready to go home with only a small fee. This usually includes all their shots, a spay or neuter, and most often a microchip.

4. You will encourage others to adopt.

Adopting a pet is one of the greatest feelings. Knowing you are helping to save a dogs life is so rewarding.

5. You can still adopt a puppy.

Many believe that a breeder or a pet shore is the only place to get a puppy. There are so many dogs that come into the shelter with puppies or could be pregnant. There are also a lot of younger dogs too that are less than a year old looking for a home.

6. You get a new best friend.

Dogs are called "a mans best friend" for a reason. There are always dogs that are looking for their new best friend.

7. You will receive unconditional love.

Dogs love you no matter what. They show you love in many different ways. Shelter dogs love so much because many of them did not receive this type of love before.

There are so many more reasons I believe adopting animals from shelters is more beneficial. I have heard and saw tons for successful stories from families and friends who have chose adoption. You have the option to give a loving animal a second chance at a happy life.