Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Redemption: The Myth of Pet Overpopulation and the No Kill Revolution in America

In this riveting book, Nathan Winograd discusses animal sheltering in the United States and how this once compassionate movement is now the number one killer of companion animals. He goes on to speak of a new revolution of animal rescuers and how the idea of “No-Kill” is not only possible, but it returns to the very roots of why animal welfare programs were created…the commitment of the human/animal bond.

Between 1993 and 1994, Nathan took over the San Francisco SPCA and embarked on the No-Kill path. "If a community is still killing the majority of shelter animals, it is because the local SPCA, humane society, or animal control shelter has fundamentally failed in its mission," he writes. "And this failure is nothing more than a failure of leadership. The buck stops with the shelter's director." After seeing the SFSPCA embrace the no-kill ideology, Nathan took over the SPCA in Tompkins County, New York, and, literally overnight, ended the practice of killing due to lack of space.

Nathan’s book makes the case that insufficient shelter management leads to overcrowding; which is then confused with pet overpopulation. He states that instead of warehousing and killing animals, shelters should be implementing innovative programs (proven effective) to find those homes that statistics show are out there. Based on data from the American Veterinary Medical Associa¬tion, the American Animal Hospital Association, the Pet Food Manufacturers Association, and the latest census, there are more than enough homes for every dog and cat being killed in shelters every year.

"If all shelters not only have the desire and embrace the No-Kill philosophy, but comprehensively put into play all those programs and services that...I... collectively call the no-kill equation, then we would achieve success," says Nathan. He challenges us to demand more of our shelters, to insist an end to the use of killing as a form of population control, and he tells us to stop allowing our tax dollars and donations to support shelters that refuse to implement programs that have been proven to work to end the killing.

Nathan Winograd has spearheaded the No Kill Advocacy Center located in California to end the killing of pets in animal shelters. For more information please visit and for more information on Nathan and Redemption, please visit

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