I what least enjoy about many in the animal community is the ease they find at holding onto any concept as the truth and the only way. You can see this in the comments left on this site.
Below is a Peta hit piece on Winograd. The author holds onto concepts which are going to doom many animals in the short-term.
If you accept spay/neuter as the only real solution to ending euthanasia, what if universal spay/neuter is never achieved? Then you will always be having killing as before—although not as much—while trying to find more and more ways to get pets sterilized.
To reject Winograd’s ideas by assuming a priori that they don’t work, or confusing open with private no kill shelters is a disservice to animals as it creates in the mind the inevitable need for killing.
Nathan Winograd's Redemption: No-Kill or No Clue?
"Every year, 6 to 8 million animals are left at U.S. animal shelters and half of them must be euthanized. The statistics alone show the severity of our country's companion animal overpopulation crisis. Yet one so-called animal advocate, Nathan Winograd, is trying to convince the public that overpopulation doesn't exist."
“In his crusade to turn all animal shelters "no-kill," Winograd blames the shelter workers—who have devoted their lives to caring for homeless animals, giving them a chance at a home, and providing them with a painless death when no other humane alternative exists—for the euthanasia of millions of animals every year. This is akin to blaming hospitals for deadly diseases!”
(My commnent: Really? LAAS and County Animal Care and Control are like hospitals? Where? Uganda?)
“This false "logic" lets the real culprits off the hook: people who breed (or fail to spay or neuter) their animals and people who buy animals from pet stores or breeders instead of adopting homeless animals from shelters.”
My Comment: Blame the public? So, until you civilize and “educate” every irresponsible person in the U.S., what do you do to stop killing in the meantime?
“No one wants to see animals euthanized—least of all, those who hold the syringe—but denying that a crisis exists and blaming those who have devoted their lives to ending it solves nothing.”
My Comment: Peta should talk about compassionate treatment of companion animals with their 90% kill rate? Wow! That is hypocrisy.
Too Many Animals, Too Few Homes
“Winograd's calculations ignore the hundreds of thousands of puppies and kittens produced by breeders and sold in pet stores every year. When these animals are added to the millions of homeless animals who enter shelters each year, the number of animals in need of homes far exceeds the number of homes that are theoretically available to them.”
My Comment: How did this person come to this conclusion? No one knows the number of homes theoretically available—no one. There is no such thing as an inelastic or fixed demand for animals.
There are many factors that would influence demand: Cost of getting one (shelter vs. breeder); health condition of the animal at the point of adoption; accessibility of the animals to be adopted; appearance and ambience of the shelter; out-of-shelter adoption centers; adoption events; media coverage; advertising; the death rate of already housed animals; the rate of new homes being built and added population; changes in the law allowing more animals and/or disallowing landlords from discriminating against pet owners; increasing volunteer and foster bases of shelters; allowing Paris Hilton to get more dogs; banning breeders and sales in pet stores.
Actions in each of these areas will increase the demand for shelter pets. You absolutely cannot say that you cannot find a home for at least 90% of animals entering a shelter.
“After the Tompkins County SPCA in New York—where Winograd served as executive director and implemented a "no-kill" policy—became extremely crowded, it began accepting animals by appointment only and stacked animals in cages throughout the facility, including the laundry room and kitchen. According to the shelter's current executive director, the shelter slashed its adoption fees and lowered its standards for the homes in which it places animals—significantly increasing the risk of abuse and neglect—in an effort to move more animals out the door.”
My response is, “So?” If the crowding results in a 90% live save rate, and the health of the animals is maintained by having a high-enough turnover, so what?
Who is the current executive director being quoted? Winograd says there have been four since he left, and that TC is still no kill by the 90% definition. Is the current director accomplishing no kill by raising adoption fees, keeping cages empty and raised its adoption standards, or is the current manager accomplishing no kill the same way as Winograd?
“But when the shelter is full and there is no place to put even one more animal, what does a "no-kill" shelter do? Most simply refuse to take animals in, leaving them at the mercy of people who don't want them.”
“It's true that no-kill shelters don't euthanize animals, but by turning animals away, they sometimes condemn these same animals to terrifying, painful, and violent deaths. Open-admission animal shelters accept every dog, cat, bird, rabbit, hamster, rat, and any other animal who comes through their doors.”
The assumption here is that an open admission shelter cannot be no kill. The whole point of no kill is that it is done at municipal and county shelters, not private no kills.
The concept is fixed as inevtibale: there will be a time in any open shelter where you have to kill for space and you cannot save 90%, or all "adoptable or treatable" animals. This is an acceptance of failure of all no kill attempts. Sp what is the point of even trying?
I really wish we had more hard data about no-kill attempts, successes and failures. We don't. We don't have an overview of what it takes to get there or how to maintain it. Winograd may have his recommendations, but unless the resources are there, it is not going to happen.