Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Redemption by Nathan J. Winograd

I just finished reading the book Redemption by Nathan J. Winograd. Wow. What a great book!  Definately "...a must read for anyone who cares about animals or about creating a more compassionate society."

He gives us an in-depth story of animal sheltering in this country. From its very beginning to the current situation. A movement that was born of compassion and then lost its way. It's the story of the No Kill movement, which says we can and must stop the killing. He explains why pet overpopulation is a myth and why public irresponsibility is not why animals are being killed in shelters. He explains the reason why the killing continues; how "those in power--the directors who run the shelters, the health department bureaucrats who often oversee them, the local governments which fund them, and the large, national non-profit animal welfare agencies which provide them political cover, are failing. Failing to learn from the past. They are failing to implement the programs and services with a demonstrated track record of saving lives and/or to demand that shelters do." He also explains what it takes for us to become a No Kill nation and has given us examples to prove it.

Nathan Winograd, a former criminal prosecutor and corporate attorney and also a lifelong animal rescuer, left the law to follow his passion and dedicate himself to the task of helping animals. He has helped write animal protection legislation at the state and national level, has spoken nationally and internationally on animal sheltering issues, has created successful No Kill programs in both urban and rural communities and has consulted with a wide range of animal protection groups, including some of the largest and best known in the nation. In 2001, he became the Executive Director of the Tompkins County SPCA. Under his leadership, Tompkins County became the first community in the nation to save all healthy dogs and cats, sick and injured treatable dogs and cats, and feral cats. By the time he left, Ithaca was the safest community in the nation to be a homeless dog or cat. In 2004, he started the No Kill Advocacy Center, dedicated to creation of a No Kill nation.

I want to thank No Kill Houston for bringing my attention to this book. It's been a real eye-opener and I highly recommend this to anyone who cares about animals! Bett Sundermeyer, President of No Kill Houston, has given copies of this book to the mayor and city council members with the hope of changing our shelters here in Houston. Nathan Winograd was brought here to do an assessment of Houston's BARC in September of 2009. Read Nathan's report.