Hatred for Winograd

An unintended occurance of a visual double negative.

When paradigms shift and the new guard replaces the old guard there is generally a lot of spitting and cursing and ill will, especially from adherents to the previous school of thought as well as from the other contenders to the throne.

Such a shift is currently taking place in our nation’s shelter system and the heir apparent is the No-Kill movement. The shift in thought is a major one, and the expectations of performance in the new school are high. Such radical departures in thought, practice, and benchmarks of success are not easy to swallow and do not happen overnight.

In truth, it might take an entire generation for the “kill to be kind” school of thought and its adherents to vanish from the shelter business. With well funded radical idiots like PeTA killing animals for fun and profit and wayward zealots still preaching the old testament commandments of mass slaughter to fight back the supposed plague of animals, banal temperament tests, and steady sacrifices of the young and healthy to prove allegiance and faith, the vestiges of wholesale slaughter will likely survive the revolution in small pockets of resistance here and there.

The mind-guards of the kill-to-be-kind school are still out there and they’re pissed. They’re pissed that they’ve lost their status as the do goodingist do gooders in the neighborhood, they’re pissed that their record book high scores of saving 30, 40, 50% of animals that come into their shelters are being eclipsed by No-Kill oriented shelters that save 70, 80, and more than 90% of the animals that come in their doors. And they’re super pissed that one of the most articulate and persuasive voices in the No-Kill community is telling them that their religious devotion to absurd ideas is actually standing in the way of progress.

Take this uplifting story about a newly opened shelter in Chicago. It describes the “swanky new” PAWS (Pets Are Worth Saving) Chicago adoption center in Lincoln Park.

The $6 million center is one of about a dozen animal shelters nationwide designed with a host of progressive features: a homey feel, no cages, an abundance of natural light, fresh air and sources of mental stimulation. The design cuts down on the odors, noise and anxiety associated with traditional shelters.

PAWS Chicago is also one of at least 100 animal adoption facilities nationwide using the Meet Your Match program. Developed by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, it evaluates animals’ behavior and interests, and matches them with adopters’ preferences.

The author of the article quotes Nathan Winograd in the story to expound upon the upscaling of the shelter and the changing notions of what a shelter should be.

While lavish shelters have been criticized by some as Taj Mahals for pets, they’re the standard for future shelters, experts said.

Millions of dollars are going to building and renovating shelters from coast to coast as communities recognize the disconnect between the way people feel about their pets and how orphaned animals are housed at traditional shelters, said Nathan Winograd, a national shelter expert in California.

“It’s Americans that are forcing shelters to be more progressive,” he said.

New-style shelters Winograd ran in San Francisco and Ithaca, N.Y., saw adoptions increase by an average of 32 percent and the animals’ time there cut in half the first year, he said.

She even wraps up the article with a quote from another No Kill pioneer:

“The animals do the job,” said Richard Avanzino, 65, who pioneered progressive shelters a decade ago, “but they have to have the opportunity.”

Do you find anything at all objectionable about these two quotes? Are they out of place? Grand standing? Taking credit for other’s work? Gratuitous?

Well, apparently if you’re an acolyte for the old religion and its two greatest churches (the HSUS and the ASPCA), such benign quotes are blasphemy:


Plymouth, MA
Wednesday Dec 5

Nathan Winograd, as usual, is promoting himself and not being honest. He is NOT a “shelter expert.” He has no business even being mentioned in this. His shelter in Ithaca NY is FAILING right now. Overcrowding, turning animals away, losing community support. Nathan promotes himself, and the no-kill religion, but fails to mention no kill’s failures, some of which he is responsible for. Why not interview actual experts that truly get things done, like ASPCA? Nathan Winograd needs to worry about the problems he created in places like Ithaca, not promoting himself. And he needs to worry about the rise in horrific “no kill” hoarders and fake sanctuaries that are warehousing and abusing animals in the name of no-kill.

What PAWS has accomplished has nothing to do with Winograd. Shame on him for trying to promote himself by using this organization.

Does one single thing Rob from Massachusetts says hold water? Is Winograd promoting himself? Not that I can see. The reporter obviously found him or found quotes from him. He certainly wasn’t there signing copies of his book and autographing the puppies that got adopted.

If talking about your success rate can only be construed as irrelevant self promotion if you’re a critic who is jealous of the good that has been done that you or your idols have failed to replicate.

Is Winograd not being honest? Rob conveniently forgets to outline what exactly Winograd is lying about. Or perhaps his rant about the current status of the Ithaca shelter is supposed to be a dirty little secret that Winograd is lying about. Rob apparently has special knowledge of Ithaca’s failings that aren’t known to the rest of us. I certainly can’t find anything on the Internet that would lead me to believe that the sky is falling in Ithaca.

Oh, but we do have accusations that Winograd is CAUSING problems, like hoarders. Oh please, these people have mental conditions that existed long before Winograd and the words No-Kill ever came into being. That they justify their behavior by stealing labels that don’t describe them has nothing to do with Winograd or the real No Kill movement.

Winograd and the greater No Kill movement don’t facilitate these people, they don’t offer them aid or comfort, and they in no way encourage their activity. And I have yet to see one shred of evidence that such hoarders are on the “rise” as a result of the growing popularity of No Kill.

In fact, as far as justification for hoarding goes, I would guess that most of these people would justify their hoarding because kill shelters kill A LOT of animals. If there is a thriving No Kill shelter in your community, wouldn’t that remove all incentive for a sane and rational person to hoard? People justify hoarding to prevent kill shelters from killing. Hoarding has nothing to do with No Kill.

If hoarding has any causal link to the shelter system it is most assuredly in response to the horror that traditional shelters kill so many animals for such paltry reasons. It seems to me that the flunkies who ran the old concentration camp shelters are simply merging the motives of two of their enemies. The hoarders who existed before No Kill and the revolutionaries who finally broke down the wall and exposed institutionalized animal genocide for what it is.

Take a gander at the venom spewed against Winograd at Britanica.com’s page describing Animal Shelters and the No Kill Movement:

Shelly Williams Says:
January 15th, 2008 at 12:42 pm

This is the most misinformed load of crap based on personal opinion I have ever read in regards to national animal sheltering issues. I can’t believe Encyclopedia Britannica would allow such garbage on it’s website! Did the writer read anything besides Nathan’s sham of a book? Communities need to support their local animal shelters and help them do a better job, not condemn them for handling one of the most difficult issues existing in our country.

Oh, so there it is. The kill-to-be-kind God is dead and the old priesthood doesn’t want to take any criticism for their years of loyal servitude. In fact, they’d prefer it if everything just continued as it did before. Apparently they are still waiting for their messiah, and people who perform miracles like Winograd and Avanzino must be evil mages sent to tempt them away from worshiping their cruel, wrathful, vengeful, and uncaring God.

Winograd is no messiah, rather he is a visionary. He doesn’t claim to possess special or unattainable powers, he simply delivers results the likes of which have never been seen. He doesn’t demand our worship and he has given away every secret he has. He’s not here to atone and die for our sins, or likewise demand that our dogs and cats do so. That is the method of the old testament of sheltering. Sacrifice, sacrifice, sacrifice. Suffer the plagues of excess animals and know that they are punishment for your sins.

Cleanse thy conscience in blood.

Winograd is not a messiah because he asks us to take nothing on faith and we don’t have to wait until the afterlife to enjoy the fruits of conversion. The No Kill message is in the here and now, it is at our finger tips, we could do it tomorrow and we don’t need divine guidance to get there. We just need to stop killing.

Stop the killing.

That’s it.

So to Rob and Shelly: Shut the fuck up and stop the killing. Evey moment you waste demanding that we all sing kum-bay-a and save egos instead of animals, find jobs for bureaucrats instead of find homes for pets, soothe the guilt of the Humane Societies and SPCAs for their decades of selling out their morals and killing because it was easy and convenient and kept the checks rolling in, is a moment wasted.

The HSs and the SPCAs are more worried about covering their asses and coming out of the Revolution with their reputation and budgets still intact than they are about getting results. The ones that aren’t have already moved on and don’t have idiots like you trying to prop them up.

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About Christopher

Christopher Landauer is a fifth generation Colorado native and second generation Border Collie enthusiast. Border Collies have been the Landauer family dogs since the 1960s and Christopher got his first one as a toddler. He began his own modest breeding program with the purchase of Dublin and Celeste in 2006 and currently shares his home with their children Mercury and Gemma as well. His interest in genetics began in AP Chemistry and AP Biology and was honed at Stanford University.