Nathan Winograd is the author of "Redemption: The Myth of Pet Overpopulation and the No Kill Revolution in America" and director of the national No Kill Advocacy Center. He is a graduate of Stanford Law School, a former criminal prosecutor and corporate attorney, and was director of operations for the San Francisco SPCA and executive director of the Tompkins County SPCA, two of the most successful shelters in the nation. Photo courtesy Nathan Winograd.
We've all read by now the various arguments about the "myth of pet overpopulation" that first surfaced in Nathan Winograd's 2007 release of Redemption.
The Myth of Pet Overpopulation did not originate with the release of Redemption but was first circulated in a book written by Patti and Rod Strand fourteen years earlier in a book called "The Hijacking of the Humane Movement Animal Extremism.
The Hijacking of the Humane Movement Animal Extremism: (1993) Author:
Does the NAIA support the rescue community? Here's a quote praising the defeat of the Puppy Mill Protection Act in 2002:
NAIA also notes that campaigns to stop pet overpopulation have been so successful they have caused a shortage of puppies and small dogs in many shelters. Rather than declare success and close their doors, some of these shelters now pay for puppies and dogs and import them from other cities, territories and countries so they will have dogs available for adoption. NAIA believes some of the rescue groups and shelters participating in this relocation process are acting as dealers and pet stores and should be licensed accordingly.
Even if, one chooses not to make the connection between puppies sold through pet stores (puppy mill products) and the problem with high kill shelters how does one support the cruelty involved in forcing breeding stock to live out their lives in cages?
While Redemption rightfully rails on shelters that kill with empty cages shouldn't we be equally outraged with dogs forced to live out their lives in a cage simply to supply puppies to areas where there are dogs being killed in our public shelters?
Nathan Winograd's and the leaders of the No Kill Movement's silence on this issue is deafening to all the dogs who suffer through this miserable puppy mill existence. You can't rail out against the abuse that goes on in our shelters while ignoring often times worse abuse at the hands of kennels run by greedy puppy miller where the only motivation is profits.
|The Shelter Statistics Survey, 1994-97|
|This Survey, initiated in 1994, by the NCPPSP gathered the names of shelters and organizations believed to be sheltering animals. Only shelters that housed more than 100 dogs and/or cats each year were included. The final list had 5,042 names. All responses were kept confidential. Information linking the names of shelters with their responses was not released.|
A survey card was constructed requesting shelter name, address, contact person and phone number. In addition, data were requested for the number of dogs and cats entering the shelters through animal control, owner relinquishment or other methods, and for the number of dogs and cats exiting the shelters through adoption, owner reclamation, euthanasia or other methods. Kittens and puppies were counted in the cat and dog categories, respectively. The data card was sent to the initial list of shelters in February 1995 requesting data for 1994. Reminder cards were sent out later that year. Changes to the mailing list were continuously made in response to shelter comments. The study was repeated for 1995, 1996 and 1997. The collection of data by means of survey cards was halted due to the low percentage of response by animal shelters.
While others might conclude that a fifteen year old study of a small sampling of shelter numbers that was halted due to a low percentage of responses by animal shelters is something we should blindly follow. Most shelter and rescue advocates admit that our personal observations in the trenches of our own local shelters consistently tells us an entirely different analogy of pet overpopulation. We can not agree with any analogy that there is NOT a pet overpopulation crisis in our own communities based on on those observations. Not only are all the public shelters constantly full but most of the rescue groups and humane no kill shelters are full as well.
I can not find any degree of truth in the denial of a pet overpopulation crisis in Florida either. How do you explain away the fact that over 78,000 dogs and cats are killed in South Florida alone? When you start adding the numbers of dogs and cats killed the numbers are startling.
"Drats the squirrels and nuts are taking over" was created to explore these issues and to open up an honest dialog for discussion. There has been an effort by the "No Kill Movement" to stifle this conversation by accusing anyone who questions any of the positions taken with accusations of "not knowing the facts, not having read Redemption, being part of the problem and being advised to shut up.
Stay tuned for the rest of the story - shutting up is not an option.
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