The Only Animal Shelter In Afghanistan

The Only Animal Shelter In Afghanistan

Anything you donate will help these animals have a better life than without your help.

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While scrolling through Twitter, as I do every day about fifty times, I saw a post on one of my favorite accounts that was quite unusual and a bit shocking. The account is @TheGoldenRatio4 (go follow them if you don't already, you won't regret it). The account's main person has five golden retrievers and has recently begun to foster a sixth one, but she runs marathons and ultramarathons frequently.

A soldier stationed in Afghanistan named Chris Jones has been posting about puppies they have rescued and the limited resources of the one official animal shelter in Afghanistan. The fact that there is only one official shelter for the whole country is very saddening to me because statistically, that means that there are multitudes of animals that have to suffer either by themselves or for people wanting to help them but have no resources. There is also the reality of stray dogs and cats that are not fixed who roam around only growing their population.

The shelter is called Nowzad and is located in Kabul. They serve as a safe place for over 130 dogs and house over 40 previously stray cats. They recently started rehabilitating working donkeys in a calm and peaceful environment. The shelter feeds its dogs "human food" such as a soup of rice, naan bread, meat, carrots, and potatoes because traditional dog food is hard to find. The shelter also provides daily health checks for all animals and treats any issues that arise immediately.

While these people are doing wonderful work, they also help soldiers who have bonded with stray dogs or cats be reunited with them after their tour is over. The shelter pays for the spay/neutering of the animal and any medical attention the pet may need. To date, Nowzad has reunited over 1200 animals to the compassionate and brave soldiers who had bonded with them. If you are willing or wanting to know how you can help this great cause and learn more about what all Nowzad is involved in you can visit the website Nowzad.com

If you are in the United States, you can buy items off this list and send to Chris's military address and he will deliver them to the shelter.

There is also an Amazon UK wishlist where you can send the shelter supplies that will keep the animals fed, warm, and cared for.

Anything you donate will help these animals have a better life than without your help. I encourage you to please share this for the sake of the animals and the shelter workers.

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20 Of The Coolest Animal Species In The World

Animals that almost seem imaginary.
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The world is full of amazing animals. So amazing, that narrowing them down to 20 felt nearly impossible. To determine who made the cut for this list, I used very important factors such as, cuteness and how much some of them looked like Pokémon . I know, very official. So here are some of the coolest animals in the world.

1. Pink Fairy Armadillo

The pink fairy armadillo is the smallest and cutest species of armadillo. It is on the list of threatened species and is found in the sandy plains, dunes, and grasslands of Argentina. The pink fairy armadillo is a nocturnal creature that survives mostly on insects and plants.


2. Okapi

The okapi is an animal native to the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa. Although the stripes make many people believe okapi are related to zebra, they are actually closer to giraffe. Okapi are solitary creatures and come together to breed. They are herbivores, mostly eating leaves, grass, and other plants.


3. Glaucus Atlanticus or "the Blue Dragon"

These little dragon-like creatures are often only about a few inches long and can be found in the Indian Pacific Oceans. The blue dragon floats upside down in order to blend the blue side of them with the water, and the silver side with the surface of the ocean. This tiny dragon feeds on creatures like the man o' war and can even deliver a sting similar to it.


4. The Maned Wolf

The maned wolf is often found in the grasslands of south, central-west, and southeastern parts of Brazil. It is neither related to wolves nor foxes despite its appearance and name, but is actually closer to dogs. The maned wolf hunts alone and primarily eats both meat and plants (about 50% of its diet).


5. Fossa

The fossa is a carnivorous animal located in Madagascar. Despite having many traits similar to cats, it is more closely related to the Mongoose. The fossa is only found in forest habitats and can hunt in either daytime or night. Over 50 percent of its diet happens to be lemurs.


6. Japanese Spider Crab

As the name suggestions, the Japanese spider crab inhabits the waters surrounding Japan. In many parts of Japan, this crab can be considered a delicacy but can be considerably difficult to catch. The Japanese spider crab can grow to 12 feet long from claw to claw. There is only one sea creature-- amongst similar species (aka crustaceans)-- that beats the weight of a Japanese spider crab: the American Lobster.


7. Pacu Fish

Look closely at the teeth, do they look familiar? This fish is found in the waters of South America. This fish, while related to the piranha, can actually grow much larger. They can also be found in rivers like the Amazon and is an aid to the fishing industry. Unlike the piranha, pacu mostly only eat seeds and nuts, though can still create nasty injuries to other animals if need be.


8. Slow Loris

The slow loris is a nocturnal creature found in Southeast Asia. While very adorable, the loris's teeth are actually quite venomous. The toxin on their teeth can also be applied to fur through grooming to protect its babies from predators. Often times these creatures forage and spend time alone, although can on occasion be seen with other slow lorises. Apart from their toxic teeth, the slow lorises have another defense mechanism, in which they move nearly completely silently in order to prevent discovery.


9. Angora Rabbit

These cute, fluffy rabbits are among the hairiest breeds of rabbit of both wild and domestic types. These rabbits originated in Turkey although managed to spread throughout Europe and was even brought to the United States in the 20th century. These rabbits are often bred for their soft wool which can be made into clothing, and often get rid of their own coats every 3-4 months.


10. Axolotl

The axolotl or "Mexican salamander" (who looks like a Pokémon , if you ask me) is often spotted in lakes in various places around Mexico. These little salamanders are amphibious although often spend their adult lives strictly in the water. However, the population of these cute creatures is dwindling due to non-native predators and the continued urbanization of Mexico. The axolotl eats small worms, insects, and fish in order to survive.


11. Liger

The liger, however made up it sounds, is a real (and cute) animal created by a lion and a tiger mating. Ligers only seem to exist in captivity or zoos because the lion and tiger don't share the same habitat in the wild. Unfortunately, these animals don't live very long or are sterile despite being bigger than both the lion and the tiger. While these animals are cool and unique, they are not strictly natural or sustainable.


12. Bearded Vulture

I don't know about you all, but this vulture reminds me of a phoenix which was initially why I looked into the creature. These vultures inhabit a range of places from southern Europe to the Indian subcontinent, to Tibet. This vulture, like other vultures, typically eats dead animals, although it has been documented that the bearded vulture will attack live prey more often than other vultures.


13. Goblin Shark


This unusual shark is also known as a "living fossil" because they are the last representative of sharks that lived about 125 million years ago. It is a deep sea shark that can grow between 10-13 feet if not longer. The goblin shark has been caught accidentally in every major ocean. The goblin shark is not a fast swimmer and relies on ambushing its prey.


14. Red Panda

This cute, small panda lives in the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China. The red panda is rather small, only about the same size as most domestic cats. Its eating habits range from bamboo, to eggs, to insects, and several other small mammals. The red panda is primarily sedentary during the day and at night or in the morning does whatever hunting it needs to do.


15. Blobfish

This blobfish is, in a way, so ugly that it is cute (although reminds me of a certain Pokémon ) This fish lives in the deep waters of Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand. The blobfish has a density only sightly above that of water. The fish primarily hunts by just floating along and letting creatures wander into its mouth, rather than expending any energy.


16. Leaf Deer

The leaf deer is usually found in dense forests in the northwest region of Putao. The adult leaf deer only stands at about 20 inches high and the males and females are nearly identical except for an inch long horn on the males. It is called a leaf deer because hunters could wrap the deer in a single large leaf.


17. Tiger

While tigers are a more common animal than many others on this list, it is still one of the coolest animals in the world. Tigers are the largest of all cats and once ranged from Russia, to Turkey, to parts of Asia — almost all over the world. These animals are fierce, powerful creatures, although they are on the endangered species list.


18. Narwhals

Narwhals are a species of whale that live in the waters around Greenland, Canada, and Russia. The narwhal's diet changes depending on the time of year: in the spring the narwhal will eat cod, while in the winter the narwhal will eat flatfish. Narwhals can live up to 50 years and most frequently die of suffocation from being trapped under the ice.


19. Cheetah

Cheetahs, while more commonly heard of then some of the other animals on this list, are still incredibly cool. They often inhabit many parts of Africa and Iran. These amazing cats can reach up to 60 miles per hour in three seconds and use their tails to make quick and sudden turns. These amazing cats also have semi-retractable claws which helps with speed. The cheetah, however, doesn't have much besides speed to defend itself.


And finally....


20. Superb Bird of Paradise

This GIF demonstrates the mating dance used by male superb birds of paradise. Typically females reject about 20 mates before selecting one they want to mate with. They are often found in New Guinea although it is unsure just how many of these birds there are. As far as scientists know, the population has remained stable.

Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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Spending Time Outdoors Has So Many Benefits, Physically And Mentally

The recent study was published in the International Journal of Environmental Health Research emphasizing how spending time outdoors could reduce emotional stress and increase a person's overall happiness.

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Recently, I have come across a riveting article from Time stating that even spending as little as 20 minutes outside in a green area i.e. a park can instantly make you feel more cheerful. This article struck me a lot because we often rely on medications for effective treatment as opposed to anything natural. In my opinion, the best form of treatment lies in organic and pure substances. There can be nothing purer than spending time outdoors. In fact, we get most of our Vitamin D from the sun.

As a matter of fact, the recent study was published in the International Journal of Environmental Health Research emphasizing how spending time outdoors could reduce emotional stress and increase a person's overall happiness. This recent finding serves as a great reminder to people who prefer to stay indoors thoroughly engrossed in their own world. I agree that staying indoors has its own perks and sometimes you just need that "Me" time all by yourself. But, being outdoors radiates an abundance of positive energy that is highly encouraged to maintain the exuberant zest for life.

No matter how busy I'm with classes and work, I always jump at the prospect of going outside and spending that time feeling the scorching sunshine on my face. Sometimes, that's all we need! Along those lines, the article mentions how just being physically outside means a lot even if you are not doing anything. There is no need to always exercise while spending time outside in order to feel ecstatic about life.

Personally, I love the outdoors and it feels awesome learning the fact that there is a valid scientific reason as to why I start feeling happier than before. It is indeed remarkable how nature plays a huge role in regulating your moods and approach towards life. Hence, I would strongly encourage everyone to broaden their horizons more and plan on spending more time outside. Even if it is for 10 or 15 minutes. After all, being outdoors opens the door to a healthy lifestyle. Those few moments spent outside can make you feel more empowered than you ever were!

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