Book: The Myth of Pet Overpopulation

Redemption: The Myth of Pet Overpopulation and the No Kill Revolution in America is the last book in a long, long time that I couldn’t put down. It starts with a short history of the movement in the US to stop animal abuse in the mid 1800’s. Then it moves through how the organizations which we entrust with animal welfare have come to a conclusion. The conclusion is that there are too many cats and dogs, far more than people could ever want as pets and so most of them must be killed. According to the author the number of cats and dogs killed annually by animal shelters in the US has reached 5 million.

Nathan J. Winograd, a lawyer, and animal shelter director in US, challenges many of the assumptions held by shelter directors and staff in the United States. He built on the achievements of others to develop
a way of sheltering that says healthy cats and dogs do not have to be killed for lack of space. In short, he does it by first unplugging from the cushy million dollar contracts to kill animals on behalf of the city and country. Then to develop high volume/low cost and free spay neuter programs, stop euthanizing feral cats, start TNR programs, expand adoption and fostering programs, capitalize on volunteers, and build a staff that believes the public are an asset not a liability.

Winograd has many critics and detractors. If you believe him, the major organizations have used propaganda to undermine his credibility and distort his results. I had many questions as I read through this. Still I found it challenging and inspiring. I’d recommend it for anyone interested in any way with animal welfare.


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