Wednesday, October 1, 2008

For The Beginner - "No Kill" 101

On the wonderful blog,, there was a comment that I found interesting and disturbing. I just had to put in my two cents worth on this subject. Now there are two opinions as to this commenter as to whether they are sincere or whether they are a "plant". To fill you in, there is a "hateful" website just recently to go up in the King County, WA area. As you may or may not know, there has been a great support group for keeping the public shelter open and they have been fighting against the Winograd report. In my opinion, they have proved their points about the Winograd report and more.

I would like to being by stating that negative publicity for a shelter dooms the shelter animals. A responsible family man will not take his family to a shelter when he thinks his family will see horrible things. He will go to a rescue group and adopt. Does this help the shelter animals? The public does not come running to "save" these animals, they run the other way.

But for this commenter, seems she is just now entering the game and thinks that the supporters of the shelter are radicals as opposed to the new site that is trying to destroy the shelter. She has leanings toward the Winograd program and his followers. I really can't understand why if she has read this blog and did her followup. I will be the first to admit that Winograd's program looks doable on paper. But when faced with reality it turns into a program that creates more suffering than necessary and is not sustainable as proven by a track record.

I ask this commenter to look at the only truly open door, publicly owned shelters that have adopted the "No Kill" equation. These are the shelters subject to public records requests and thus, the only shelters where we can learn the truth. Non profit shelters are NOT subject to the public's requests. They rely on donations for doing a good job and therefore, they don't talk about the bad. No one donates for doing a bad job. So the truth is not known until it is too late, such as the case in Philly or Lied, NV.

When I started researching Winograd's program, I went to the alternative newspapers, they investigate better than the dailys. I went to the minutes of meetings for cities and counties and found information of bad service. I didn't rely on the website proclaiming success. I called and personally talked with people in the area who were "in the know". It was a long and tedious process but it told me that the "No Kill" movement was not to be believed and was doing more harm than good in many ways.

Winograd fights against new legislation regarding spay/neuter and in the same breath says he supports spay/neuter. It is said that mandatory spay/neuter will increase impounds and thus, increase euthanization. Maybe so, we really don't have much to make that determination. Oh yes, his camp throws out a lot of stuff to support their side but if you look closely you will find that this propaganda is just that, propaganda. Although we estimate that 30-40% of the shelter population are purebreds, deliberately bred, Winograd is now the darling of the breeding industry. How does this help? Stopping legislation that would curb this population can only be defeating reducing the shelter population and will probably cause it to increase.

Winograd's statement that there is no pet overpopulation has caused more damage than we could have ever imagined. The elected officials are now saying if there is not a problem why do we need to address it? If there is no overpopulation, then lets throw our spay/neuter program out and use the money for potholes. For years I have fought to get government to sponsor spay/neuter programs and using the overpopulation of pets to convince them. Now that is changing because part of the humane community has set Winograd up as "guru" and he says the opposite. Those of us who have worked tirelessly for decades to reduce the shelter animals, and according to all information it worked beautifully, are having our work degraded and called worthless by Winograd's unfounded statements. Look at the figures over the years and then tell me that spay/neuter doesn't work. Population, both human and animal, have increased yet shelter animals have decreased.

I saw the days when animal control was the sheriff taking the unwanted dog or cat to the landfill and shooting it. I have seen the gas chambers and they still exist. These are the shelters we need to work on for changes. Rancho Cucamonga was the shining star of the Inland Empire in California. They no longer are. Their budget went from $770,000 a year to over $2 million when they adopted the Winograd program and they still can't make it work. He yells they aren't committed but they have shown commitment to the tune of over $12 per person, per year whereas the recommended amount is $5-7 per person per year. The public surrenders have gone from 50-100 a year to over 4000. Public surrenders were nice people picking up strays and bringing them into the shelter. Now it is owners bringing in their pets as strays to avoid the hard looks of a "no kill" staff, a lecture, and a surrender fee. There are repercussions to every action and this is one to "no kill", to take the pet to where they "don't kill them". The poor pet is left without a history or a name. Taking the responsibility off the public as the problem such as Winograd states leaves them free to not alter, have those litters, keep the kids entertained, and then take them to the "no kill" shelter. It is deceiving the public and making them even more lacking in their responsibility to alter. Since the open door, publicly owned shelters are subject to public records, the truth has come out. Winograd's program has volunteers as it's backbone. Rancho is only averaging 10 volunteer hours a day. You can say it is because of a lack of commitment to solicit volunteers but I say that it is being unrealistic to place all your program on the backs of unreliable volunteers which most are. There are good ones but they are few and far between.

Another problem I have with Winograd's program is that he doesn't believe in educating the children, the future pet owners. He says to educate the adults instead, they are the ones currently with pets. We all know that recycling became a household word because of the programs directed at children, and same here. All I have seen from the Winograd program is a lack of interest in the future.

Opposing legislation that can serve us in the future by saying it will increase shelter population now is irresponsible. If people can give up their pets so easily because they have to alter them by law can mean one thing, they don't care for the pet to begin with. What kind of life does their pet have? It is tossed outside or chained up. There could be some surrenders like this if mandatory spay/neuter is introduced. But at least give these poor pets a chance at getting another home. I would venture a guess that in most parts of the country, one can find help financially for spay/neuter. I don't see this as an argument against mandatory spay/neuter. And yes, it can be enforced, if nothing else complaint driven. Give the public something to sink their teeth in and they will become the enforcers. It's the future we need to see here, not get stuck in the present such as Winograd is.

Winograd's program is not the answer, if it was, then more shelters would be on board. I suggest that you go to the East Bay SPCA website,, and read their take on the subject of "no kill". It is realistic. Do your research but do it with both eyes open.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The whole lie about mandatory spay/neuter laws "increasing" euthanization is just that- a complete falsehood.

Nathan Winograd got that fabrication from the breeder lobbyists.

The breeders don't like mandatory spay/neuter laws because it means they have to become honest and get licensed as breeders.

Since many of them are running illegal businesses, hiding them, and easily able to hide income, not report it, and NOT PAY TAXES- they don't want licensing to expose their illegal businesses and tax fraud.

(Which is BIG in many cases)

Many are breaking other laws and regulations, too, like zoning laws.

They can get away with it because they are unregulated and unlicensed, and can hide.

So breeder lobbyists flat out came up with PROPAGANDA and crazy stories of increased "death" to try to fight against mandatory spay/neuter.

It is pure, 100 percent falsehood.

Mandatory spay/neuter laws have worked really well in lots of different areas.

But the breeders always try to cook up lies, and if they get gullible people to swallow the lies, they think they can fend off regulation.

Breeding is a business. They'll make up any lie to protect the business.

When Nathan Winograd hooked up with the breeder lobby, he took on their $$ interests and their propaganda.

He opposes breeder regulations on behalf of the breeder lobbies that support him and push to get him consulting money.

He sold out.