Wednesday, August 27, 2008

"Crate "em & Stack "em Conference

Join me, mostly me, and a few others at a conference unlike any before and hopefully any after.

Me, myself and I am teaming with whoever will have me with all my failures this past year, to bring together the most closed door shelter directors and the misguided top animal lawyers to teach you how you too can "get those numbers".

Learn from closed door shelter directors how to "crate them and stack them" and how to teach employees to ignore diseases. Being able to manipulate those numbers is a must on your experience. Sure fire way to make sure the "died in kennel" figure rises and therefore is not counted against your "euthanasia" numbers. Learn the basics of shoe selling so you can put together programs such as BOGO, buy one get one free. Don't forget the seniors for seniors program where you put the least adoptable older and sick animals with people who are suckers for a sob story and the least equipped to handle the medical, but that's their problem when they adopt. And don't forget the seminar on how to blame everyone else for problems will help you to deceive those who count, don't waste time on the public, they aren't the problem and I will teach you how to explain the increases in "public surrenders".

Learn how to get the breeding community to support you against the very things that can only help such as mandatory spay/neuter. Learn how to force landowners to rent to irresponsible pet owners. Lead the fight to stop pet limits so everyone has to tolerate hoarding.

Learn tactics such as making of pipe bombs from the activists fighting to provide consulting opportunities on "No Kill". And in addition, a free seminar on speaking the language of "No Kill" so as to evade questions or place focus on other areas not in question.

This is a must attend event from pipe welding activists, hoarders posing as rescuers, closed door shelter directors and staff, lawyers with an interest in money, and anyone else who wants to get a piece of the action.

Speakers and workshops are all conducted by myself, yours truly. RSVP at

This is a satire, a very sad satire.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

It's About Time

This is an interesting article and one to bring up when the breeding community tries to fight mandatory spay/neuter or anything else for that matter. Still new at this so can you copy and paste this site. Thanks.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Does He Think We Are Stupid?

Mandatory spay/neuter does work and is proven to work. How many more times do we have to say it?

I have a saying that you keep your friends close but you keep your enemies closer. Well, today I was checking up on my favorite "enemy", Nathan J. Winograd. Usually his rantings on his blog make me laugh but today I didn't. I am so sick of this man condemning mandatory spay/neuter. Anyone with common sense, and he obviously has very little, will tell you that you stop the euthanasia in our shelters by stopping the influx of animals into the shelter. DUH!!! Can't kill them if they aren't there.

Yet he insists it will bring about more "killing" in our shelters. How does he figure that? He uses LA as an example. Hello, Nathan, they haven't started their program yet but you are saying already the shelters are seeing surrenders because of the law. You are jumping the gun on that one just like you jumped the gun on the article in Austin. And San Mateo, CA, they didn't pass mandatory spay/neuter, opting instead for a difference in licensing between altered and unaltered. Grasping at straws, are we, Nathan? Again common sense tells us that this can't be true, fewer animals in the shelter are fewer that go down. The argument is that people will turn in their animals because they can't afford spay/neuter. I say if they can't afford spay/neuter then they can't afford yearly maintenance or rabies shots. They can't afford to treat the pet if it gets sick. And besides, there are so many programs out there to help people get their pets spay/neuter, this excuse does not hold water. If a person truly cares about their pet, they will find a way. If they don't truly care, then maybe the pet is better off in the shelter. I don't appreciate his defending those people who are so slack in taking care of their pets. Then again, I think he is against it because the breeding community is probably making donations whereas the rescue community can't. And besides, if the influx continues to rise it only means more opportunity for him to spread his BS to the shelters. Truth is, it is his program that doesn't work and has caused so much suffering in the overcrowded shelters per the example of Philly. He's not to blame, everyone else is by not being "committed". Rancho was committed and put the money up to prove they were committed but they failed within three months of implementing his "program". They are still throwing good money after bad trying to make his program work. It ain't happening.

Society has to police itself, if it doesn't, then we make laws. Although we have come a long way with spay/neuter as the only reason for the difference, it has always been an option. Some people are just too lazy to take the pet to the vet for spay/neuter and these are the people that we want to force to take responsibility. It is disgraceful, morally, ethically wrong for Winograd to continue to speak against mandatory spay/neuter. He has no evidence that it doesn't work. He alters the truth of places that have installed mandatory s/n to suit his opinion. I have yet to see him offer good, reliable evidence to the contrary about mandatory spay/neuter. He can't, it's not out there.

Let's put Winograd where he needs to be, in with the problem, not the solution. Let the breeders pay him to lobby for them. We don't need people like Winograd putting animal control back into the dark ages which he has managed to do. At least that's one accomplishment he can truly call his.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Austin Fights Back

An interesting article was published in the Austin Chronicle on August 8th by Patricia J. Ruland.

Even more interesting is the response by Nathan J. Winograd to the editor.

Please make note of the Editor's comment. Anyone wishing to make a comment on the story or write to the Editor, please feel free to do so. Letters are definitely encouraged.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

No Kill - Dying a Slow Death

Along with all the animals warehoused in overcrowded "no kill" shelters everywhere. Let's hope it is as painful as what the animals feel.

You may have read these before but I think they are worth repeating. The first link speaks of the financial problems of the Tompkins County SPCA. It appears that in order to reach "no kill" the SPCA had to pay the way for servicing the contracts they had rather than contracting for the appropriate amounts. What government animal control agency is able to do this? They have to operate from a set budget. Some agencies have acquired a non profit status in order to obtain grants, etc., but people are funny about making contributions to the government, they feel they pay enough in taxes. My opinion of this situation is that the TC SPCA was a fall guy for the "no kill" equation. Rather than their pompous former director, Winograd, seeking sufficient monies from their contracts to sustain the program, they were used to further the "no kill" equation. Now they are having to pay for it. The second article explains a lot of what really happened in Tompkins County. Of course, the drama king explains it differently with the infamous "Stop the killing, stop the killing, stop the killing". I have yet to see Winograd admit to one mistake. Do we not learn as much or more from our mistakes as our successes?

I have said for years that the term "no kill" is killing animals. It is lulling the public into thinking they can continue to allow their pets to multiply because they can take them to the "no kill" shelter and they won't be killed. So they allow the cat to have kittens, keeps the kids entertained for a few weeks. Then when the kittens become problems, off to the "no kill" shelter. No guilt and it is easy to tell the kids that the kittens won't be killed at this shelter. Rancho Cucamonga has seen public surrender sky rocket since Winograd was there. The public is coming from outside Rancho so they can surrender their own pets to a "no kill" shelter. Rancho has had two newspaper articles denying they are "no kill" to try to stop the influx of public surrenders. Public surrenders are usually from a person who tries to help a stray. But when the public surrenders are 7 or 8 times the amount of animals the ACO's bring in, then something is wrong. This is another major flaw of Winograd's program that keeps it from being sustainable. You cannot be the only open door "no kill" shelter in the area, it is either all or none in this case.

Article #1:

No Kill Doesn't work in Tompkins Co. NY

by Lori TylerMonday Feb 18th, 2008 4:25 PM

As a previous shelter manager of a shelter Nathan Winograd "saved" and a board member of an SPCA in a neighboring community, I absolutely believe that the "No Kill" movement has failed us in Tompkins Co.- once touted as the "safest place in the US for animals"

I was the manager at the Ithaca SPCA two years before Nathan was hired. Under my management, the euthanasia rate for all animals (not just those deemed adoptable) decreased by about 50%. We were developing programs to achieve "no-kill" before he came along. In fact, the board resolved to stop euthanizing BEFORE Nathan was even working at the shelter.

What he did do was raise money and he built a new shelter (which we had already been planning and had already bought the property for). However, this shelter is not sustainable for the shelter. They cannot afford the operate it- its too big.

Now that Nathan has gone away, the donors have dwindled and they are in a danger of losing their animal control contracts as they have had to ask for large increases in money from the towns and city.

At my shelter in a neighboring county, we have been lured into "trying to keep up with the Jones'" attitude. We tried to change our euthanasia policy to be similar, but we didn't have the programs to keep the animals moving, and we ended up with a warehouse situation and we couldn't care for the number of cats in our care.

We now have more stringent euthanasia guidelines- including euthanizing for issues such as dental disease and poor socialability. "No-Kill" is a euphemism for "limited admission". Animals aren't truly safe if they are being dumped on animal control or left in the street.

I personally want to be part of an organization that accepts all homeless animals in the community and tried to help them- even if that means some will be euthanized. There are worse things in this world than euthanasia- I have seen them. I choose to euthanize over leaving an animal to suffer in a cage, starve on the street, or suffer from a treatable- yet un-affordable to care for disease.

You can limit the number of animals being euthanised in your shelter by creating programs to increase adoptions and reduce the number of animals coming in. It is not, IMO, a front-loaded proclamation- it the the result of sustainable programs within the shelter and in the community.

Once the population is stable and the community sees your results- the money will come to help you help more animals be adoptable. We are far from this in Chemung Co. It is far easier to get a cat from your neighbor than the shelter and far easier to just leave your cat to breed recklessly than get her spayed. This is where we need to work- not making sweeping proclamations about not killing animals.

Article #2:

Tompkins County (Ithaca) SPCA also moving away from "no kill" language

The writer is the Executive Director of the Tompkins County SPCA.

Abigail Smith

Originally published June 7, 2007

Today I stopped down to see Lou “The Hot Dog Man” to thank him for the fundraiser he recently did to benefit the animals at the Tompkins County SPCA. Upon introducing myself as its new director, Lou threw up his arms and announced to Ithaca Commons that I'd arrived. “We love the SPCA!” he cried, and many seemed to concur.

But not the woman standing behind me. “I don't support 'No Kill' shelters,'” she stated. Blast! There's that bad language again, I thought. “There is no such thing,” she said.

She's right. Several years ago the term “No Kill” was touted all over town — all over the country, really — and it's not true. Most national organizations are slowly changing the words they use to describe a policy that does not accept the practice of euthanizing healthy animals for the sole purpose of making room for others.

We don't kill for space — that's what “No Kill” is supposed to mean. The new term being used is “adoption guarantee.” We guarantee that every single adoptable animal will remain in our care until the day they go home.

I hope the lady at Lou's reads the paper. I hope people know that the SPCA isn't a hospice for suffering pets, but a place that makes tough decisions everyday about sick, diseased, dangerously aggressive or otherwise untreatable animals.

I hope people can forget that marketing campaign from years ago and believe that the SPCA will always make the most humane decision that we can for each animal — including euthanasia.

ADOPTION GUARANTEE?? Doesn't that sound a little like "limited admission"? Can you guarantee that you will adopt out a vicious dog or a terminally ill dog or cat? I don't think so. That leaves you with a "turn away" or translated, a dumped pet. Again a term designed to fool the public. I vote for straight forward language that people understand - we don't accept those we feel are not adoptable. Course then you have to go into the definition of "adoptable" and that is a whole nuther post.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

In Praise of Firefighters

I have to take a moment of your time to praise firefighters. As you may or may not know, this morning a helicopter crashed in Northern CA and killed 9 firefighters with several hurt.

Through the years I have had the opportunity to place pets with firefighters and their families. I have to say that in my opinion, firefighters make the best guardians. They are a special lot and have great respect for all life, not just the human kind. I have seen them rescue cats from trees, puppies in storm drains, and of course, from fires. A life is a life to them.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the families, friends, and pets of these fallen firefighters. I ask that you take a moment also to include them in your prayers.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A Must Read

Seems that the number uno "no kill" city is no longer. The San Francisco Weekly has an article about the SF SPCA that will open your eyes. Now the paper contributes the downfall to the SPCA needing money to finish a white elephant. But it appears to me that they have seen the cruelty of their ways. I suggest that you read this article, it is lengthy, but well worth it. And this is the best tool we have now for the fight against the cruelty of "no kill".

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Being Alone: The Sadness of Dogs

Dogs are such social creatures, meant to be with others of their own kind and with humans, that they feel deprived when these conditions are not met. We have bred the dog to be a communicating animal and we have been successful. Dogs need to speak and be spoken to, to touch and be touched, to love and be loved.

So where would you find depressed dogs? Dogs deprived of the above? Certainly my first thought is at the dog races where they are held in small kennels, only thought of as a product that has to satisfy. They live in an atmosphere of constant tension.

Puppy mills of course would depress any dog and should depress any human.

Experimental labs where contact is minimal and distress is at max due to pain, abuse, etc.

And now, in the so called "no kill" open door shelters. Overcrowding creates tension, stress, feelings of abandonment, fear, and it becomes a living hell for the social creature named dog.

Accepting a "no kill" program prior to installing all that is necessary to make it work is deterimental to all the animals, but particularly the dog. Cats are solitary creatures "by nature" (and who are we to determine what "nature" is), but by all observations, cats don't seek out interaction with humans quite as much as the dog.

Dogs can be anxious or irritable, be subject to panic attacks, can develop phobias if subjected to lengthly stays in shelters. Kennel stress is a bad word to use around the "no kill" shelters. Dogs seek out the companionship of humans just as quickly as they seek out other dogs, and for that matter, other animals. They just don't prosper without companionship. Dogs have actually commited suicide by some accounts. Most of us have seen depressed dogs sitting in kennels in the shelters.

You will see the Rancho Cucamonga, CA shelter mentioned often. I do this because Rancho is truly a muncipally owned open door shelter, subject to public records request. Those shelters run by non profit groups are up for suspect because they do not have to answer to the public, they don't supply public records request, and donations are at stake if they admit they are doing a poor job. Thus the Rancho shelter is the best example to use because it offers proof.

Rancho has on the city website their numbers for 2006-2007 ( It lists the volunteer hours and if you average it out, it comes to about 10 hours a day. Now this shelter has about 19 staff members but keep in mind that working in animal control is a high risk job. Injuries, maternal leave, etc. usually puts all animal control agencies with less than a full staff. I think two positions would usually be vacant due the above. And then there are usually at least one position that needs to be filled. We will subtract the field ACO's who are not physically at the shelter. And the front desk has to be staffed at all times and that requires two people. So that leaves around 11 staff available to interact with the animals.

The last time I looked at I saw 130 dogs and 306 cats. There were also several "others", rabbits mostly. If each dog is allowed 15 minutes a day interaction, that would be 32 man hours. If each cat is allowed 15 minutes a day interaction, that would be about 86 man hours a day. So you would need about 118 man hours a day to just provide a bare minimum of 15 minutes of human interaction. If dogs are together, they still need supervision. So Rancho with approximately 88 man hours a day with staff and 10 hours a day with a volunteer, cannot possibly provide adequate interaction that prevents kennel stress in dogs. Rancho's staff also has other duties outside of providing interaction and one on one contact with the dogs. Even though cats are somewhat different than dogs with their needs to interact, they still suffer from lack of attention.

I do hope you are getting my drift here. I am reading on Oreo's blog about how many dogs and cats are there in the Washoe and NHS shelters. How many employees and volunteers are there? Rancho boasts of over 400 volunteers. The problem is they are required to bring their parents when they come to the shelter. Thus accounting for only an average of 10 volunteer hours a day.

As I stated at the beginning, dogs are social animals. It is not so much that we needed them as they needed us. For good, stable mental health, dogs must be able to interact with us everyday. They must not be allowed to sit in a kennel for 23 hours and 45 minutes everyday. An ideal situation would be that they are taken out certainly more than once a day.

Not only do we disrespect the dog in "no kill" shelters by ignoring the need for interaction more than 15 minutes a day, if that, but these shelters put the dog in more jeopardy from fights, disease, and bad adoptions just to get them outta there. Overcrowding has resulted in vet schools thinking in terms of adding another course, Shelter Medicine in Overcrowded Shelters.

Dogs have many more needs than just food, water, and shelter. The need for human and dog companionship is just as great a need as food and water. Those of us who accept the dog as an equal know this, those who just use dogs as their venue for their personal agendas support this abuse in the "no kill" shelters. One of the purposes of this blog is to put the guilt back where it belongs rather than let these people off easy. Your personal agendas are not saving animals, it is causing more suffering. The suffering is not necessary but these people refuse to accept that there are alternatives that do not cause additional suffering.

It is often said that humans are so arrogant when they seek out life on other planets when they don't understand the life on our own planet. "No kill" doesn't understand, refuses to understand, and therefore has become the problem. I see the shelters such as Rancho and Reno as more along the lines of abuse than helping.

Being alone is the worse thing that can happen to a dog, worse than euthanasia, worse than abuse. And they are alone if a shelter has not and cannot prepare in advance before accepting to go "no kill". This is the one biggest flaw of the movement, not understanding what is needed and making sure that it is there before opening the doors. Anything less amounts to abuse.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Dixie Cup Love

I felt the comment on a previous post deserved it's own space. The phrase "Dixie Cup Love" so well describes the state of our animals today. When you consider that fifty percent of marriages in this country end in divorce, it only stands to reason that it applies to the animals as well.

People who take vows and break them so easily will do the same to their pets. How often do you hear of custody of the family pet being in the divorce decree? I have known one and yes, the pet was in the decree. The wife got the child and the husband got the 10 lb. fluffy poodle, Dew-Dew. Fortunately the husband loved the dog and took Dew everywhere. Dew was quite a magnet for the ladies it seems. He lived the good life, traveling the country, attracting the lovely ladies for his dad.

But the point is that we are definitely a disposable society. And the programs for our shelters need to reflect this. No animal should be turned away from our shelters, ever. To think that a lecture during an owner surrender will save the day is ridiculous, beyond ridiculous. I recall the story of the man who tried to turn over his dog only to be turned away. He then took the dog into the parking lot of the shelter and started beating it. The man was frustrated and took it out on the dog. Is this what we want?

Social change is one of the hardest things to accomplish, yet we have to have a social change in order to help the animals. Just to keep harping on animal control and the shelters to make changes isn't going to get the job done. We need to work for a social change. If you can influence just one person, then you have done a great thing. Look at Oreo and Music Man. Oreo influenced Music Man and now he is working to influence others. Just that chance meeting at the dog park can end up with many people changing their attitudes toward animals. Don't pass up any chance to bring people to the light or you will end up in darkness.

Shelter Overcrowding Increases Euthanasia

Thanks to Oreo, this article was sent to me and the critters.

It points to another flaw in the "no kill" equation. This is the suffering I most often refer to. Read it and then give your take on it.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Living Up to the Name of This Blog

It's been a long, tiring, but rewarding trip to get to this blog today. So many disappointments but much more successes keep one going after several decades of trying to make the world a better place. My chosen venue is helping people to help animals.

So many have said in the past, why help the animals when so many people need help? I have pondered that question many times and hope that all of you have also. It is called teaching mankind the lesson of humanity and humility.

We, the human species, have so many flaws. The biggest flaw is the lack of humanity toward our own kind and any other creatures we encounter. Chosing to teach this lesson through the animals does make sense in that we have to start somewhere. Animals don't solicit the competitive spirit or the jealous spirit, or just the plain "I am better than you" spirit. Since these aren't part of the relationship between mankind and animals, it is easier to teach lessons using the unconditional love of animals. If we can teach mankind to be humane toward animals then possibly we can learn to love our fellow man.

My concern in this day and time is the attacks being leveled on the animal shelters and animal control agencies. I spent many years blaming animal control for the problems but I have changed. Becoming friends with a wonderful person helped me to see that animal control is not the bad guy. We have been raised with words such as pound and dog catcher, negative words, to describe a terrible job that we, yes, we, the public, has cast upon a few people who have to clean up our mess. I have heard of terrible ACO's but have not met one personally. I have met some who were more animal lovers than others but none that I felt would deliberately hurt an animal. So therefore, let it be said that I am pro-animal control in that I feel attacks on animal control and shelters only serve to hurt the animals more than is necessary.

So many depend on "riling" up the public to pursue their agendas. Spreading the bad serves little good on this issue. Does a responsible father want to take his family to a shelter and chance to see "barrels" of dead animals? So what happens is this responsible father takes his family to the local Petsmart or Petco to adopt and another shelter animal has to die because he didn't want to expose his family. Why do people insist upon condemning a shelter to the public knowing that it will keep the public away? Because some are not in a real world, but rather a perfect world where the public would come running to save the animals. It doesn't happen in this world and this is the one I live in.

Yes, we have an obligation to change our shelter system but it can be done in such a fashion as to encourage people to adopt at the shelters instead of turning them away. And no, I am not talking the movement of "no kill". I hate that term, it is deceiving. Roger Caras, long time President of the ASPCA and authored over 60 books, would not use this term to describe the ASPCA after they relinquished animal control to the City of New York. Although he said that the ASPCA fits the "no kill" definition, he preferred to not defer to the term. I have seen him quoted as saying the "no kill" movement is a hoax. I say George Carlin would have a field day with the term.

Spay/neuter, I can't say it enough, is the way to stop the influx of animals into our shelters. New programs such as free basic obedience training, low cost clinics for vaccinations and spay/neuter, financial aid for senior citizens to pay medical vet bills, required education prior to adoption, etc., could help get us where we want to go. Stopping pets being given away for a can of beer outside a liquor store, stopping pets from being smuggled in from Mexico, stopping the backyard breeders, and working with the kennel clubs for more responsible and less breeding. Establishing the value of animals again is important, making it harder to get a pet rather than easy. Our society doesn't respect easy come and then it is easy go. We are a society that lives for disposable. But if it takes work to get and hold on to a pet, then we have a little more respect and value for it.

Okay, folks, your turn now. I'm just getting started. Let's talk.

Welcome to our blog.

Like any new blogger I am feeling my way through this. Maybe later we can add pictures or post documents and links, but first lets get started. And remember,
Honesty Helps