Winograd Detractors-Updated

Winograd has polarized the animal welfare and rescue communities across the country. Some love him, some hate him. Some love the idea of no kill, others find it only a marketing tool.

Neither community presents much in terms of proof, although Winograd can point to shelter published statistics.

The naysayers present their observations and hearsay about what others have told them. One repeatedly cites Rancho Cucamonga and only tells of its failure and really does not provide any dates or names with contact numbers.

The pro-Winograd people generally supply statistics to prove improvement. The naysayers say these people are liars and are in it for donations. They also say that these shelters do not supply independent statistics. My comment would be they do provide something while the naysayers do not except acrimony.

If the naysayers want to be believed, they need to supply credible proof other than just hearsay about what others told them.

I am just blown away by how easily the animal community accepts the most ridiculous assertions as fact and get outraged--on any side of any issue.

For example, with regard to my Pierce allegations, I present documents and printed articles. Many have photos.

One cannot claim to know anything for certain without providing proof that their observations are accurate. No one in any scientific community, from physics to sociology to demographics, would ever accept as proof the statement, "Trust me, I know everything." In fact, such an attitude would be laughed at because so many fraudulent claims made without proof or suport.

Foremost among the frauds is Clifton Merritt whose claim to authority is his claim to authority--40 years in the field of animal statistics. He really never provides any proof and when asked, says "Look at my body of work and. "Everyone who is anyone, says I am terrific."

For the Cucamonga claim, you'd need to have statistics as to the shelters' statistics before 2005, during 2005, and after 2005 when Winograd's "plan" was being implemented.

I have seen no facts, only claims by Naysayers, or observations by Naysayer's friends and acquaintances.

On the other side, one commonly accepted belief in the animal rescue community is that manditory spay/neuter is the answer. Yet, during the past three years LAAS has made a dramatic improvement in spay/neuter efforts (36,000 to 44,000 plus 2 city-owned opened spay/neuter clinics, with no real reduction in impounds during those years. Indeed, during the last 8-9 months there has been a dramatic increase in impounds. The spay/neuter people do not explain this.

They hold onto spay/neuter solutions with extraordinary disregard for statistics that go against their viewpoint as lies for donations. They don't even touch recent stats here but talk about failures in some distant town and maybe refer to a news article about success or failure there.

As to the claim that after a shelter is announced no-kill, impounds dramatically increase along with kill rates, this "common sense" point of view is contradicted in LA, and Reno and Philly.

LA's impound numbers have been steady for the last three years and almost totally plateaued for six years (except for the last 8 months) despite the fact of Boks' repeated contentions that LA is close to no-kill. Impounds have not increased at all except during the past eight months and Ed blames that on foreclosures.

According to Naysayers, impound rates should have dramatically increased since May of 2006 when he published his fantastic decrease in killing during his first 6 months, saying LA was rapidly approaching no-kill. It didn't.

It should have dramatically increased in April of 2007 when he announced March was LA's first No-Kill month. It didn't.

In addition, the adoption rate has dramatically increased in LA during the past 2-1/2 years, by a little over 30%, meaning demand has increased. Actually it does not mean demand has increased, it means supply has been made more readily available through increased adoption efforts, new shelters and more outreach. Demand may have been increased a little through PR.

The same with Philly. According to their statistics, which Naysayer denies because she thinks they lie, as does anyone with a different viewpoint or experience lies.

She bases almost all of her observations on her experience with Rancho Cucamonga. She has not seen the Philly, Reno, Charlottesville or San Francisco shelters in the last 2 years. She refuses to accept their numbers calling them all liars because they want to appear to be no-kill to get more donations.

According to the Philly stats, impounds have decreased every year since the Winograd consult while adoptions have increased and eithanasia decreased.

Naysays will send me articles of claimed failures in Philly or Rancho, but these are only claimed, ad hoc, observations of failure. I talked to the reporter who wrote the article that Naysayer sent me, and he said though there were claims of failure of the shelter, even by Winograd, the statistics did not worsen, but only failed to improve with the rapidity they did before. I am sure Naysays did not call and talk to the reporter.

I have given this person a free run to express her opinion. I am sure she will say what I am saying now is denegrating her once again. This is not true. I am constanttly appalled by her lack of facts and how strongly she opposes No-Kill and Winograd without proof, or proof based on hearsay about Rancho Cuvamonga.

She states she has not hatred of Winograd yet complains that Nathan has threaten to sue her twice. Winograd repudiates her opinion and she attacks him. She attacked me by calling me uninformed or not listening to her even though she knows better because she has spayed/neuter 100 times as many cats, or she "laughs" at my inexperience. Only she should be believed.

Experience does not trump science.


Anonymous said...

"Winograd has polarized the animal welfare and rescue communities across the country." Your quote, Ed.

Heros do not polarize, they bring together. That alone is enough to stay away from him, one would think. We need to come together not be split even further apart. A true hero would be able to bring us together. A leader works to bring together, not divide. Duh.

Anonymous said...

He may not be trying to be a hero (one hopes not) he may be trying to be a theoretician.

No, I'm not comparing Winograd to Galileo, but I'm sure Galileo polarized people too.

I don't think we need a hero. People who don't see animal issues as being as important as we do already think we are softheaded and over-emotional. We don't need a hero, we need good facts and good philosophical positioning. We need solid ways to combat poeple who come at us every day with the same tired cliches: "We care more about animals than we do about people" or "We want animals to have absurd rights like voting and driver's licenses" and that kind of nonsense.

I recently read "Empty Cages" by Tom Regan, and that gave me some good philosophical underpinnings to my stance.

But I don't think requiring or expecting someone to be everyone's hero, particularly in an area as divide and fraught with the failings of ego as animal rights is realistic. I don't want a hero, I want someone who can come up with a solution that's acceptable to taxpayers who don't care about animals, but which actually can save some lives.

Being a hero comes after accomplishing something big.

Anonymous said...

That second comment is the smartest thing I have seen on this blog. Exactly!!!

Ed Muzika said...

Yes, what is this talk about heros?

This is just another Winograd slam.

#2 I agree with you totally, but the critique is that Winograd can point out the problems but he can't help much implementing hiw own solutions.

Many readers of this blog don't get that distinction. Winograd is also a symbol of what is possible.

And golly, I didn't know that "heros" were people persons, such as Lindberg crossing the Atlantic or a fireman rescuing a child in a 4th floor fire.

#1's definition of hero is only meant as another "denigration" of Nathan and No-Kill.

No matetr what, denigrator will chnage the boundaries and topics of conversation to keep you off balance. She wants to win at any cost, because only she knows.

Anonymous said...

Since you bring it up, Ed, I've never understood the notion of blaming Winograd for what happens at shelters where he's consulted, or where his plan of action has been implemented -- years after the fact.

I read Winograd's PACCA shelter evaluation which you posted here some time ago, and I read his book "Redemption" and both seem extremely reasonable. I wouldn't call myself a Winograd follower, but may of his ideas seem very sound, although even with what little I've seen of the public in a year of volunteering at a private shelter, I think he over-relies on the public to be a dependable part of the solution.

But the objections to Winograd I always see here seem to be based on the fact that the shelters he consults with are initially successful, but then gradually start to fail.

This seems always to be attributed to Winograd, as if his principles aren't sound. But it's never explained what in fact happened. Did they keep doing exactly what they were initially doing and some factor, over time, made his principles untenable? Or (and this is key) did they gradually revert to the old way of doing things, because the same pressures were in place, and he wasn't there to counter the backslide?

If that's the case, then that's not Winograd's fault. That's the fault of the people running that shelter and the people of that city's government (and the public). Even if the shelter is run by a Winograd-selected candidate, that person is responsible for maintaining their momentum and principles, not Winograd. Winograd seems like a smart guy, but he can only take a candidate's word based on their previous record and what they tell him their level of commitment is.
He can't see into the future to discover that they will succumb to pressure from civil service or City government or their own inertia and let the no-kill principles slide.

The only thing I think he may be culpable for is hiring people who seem personally committed but who are too inexperienced. There has to be a balance, because you can have all the principles in the world, but if you don't know how to motivate your people (either with a carrot or a stick) to carry out the mission, then you are a principled but ineffective leader.

But that's the failing of that person, not of Winograd's theory.

If you read his PACCA eval, the things he wants to see, i.e. clean facility; employees actually working, not sleeping in their cars; decent signage so the publc can find the place, etc. - these are not esoteric goals. They're basic. The fact that so many cities allow crappy employees to do shoddy work, or no work at all, is a real problem nationwide.

Maybe he needs to add a component to his "No-Kill Equation" that handles this in detail. But how can one man fix a civil service ethos that allows, just in L.A. County, a "person" like Felix Reyes, who was videotaped dragging a Rottweiler with a broken back along the ground, to not only NOT be arrested, but to STILL BE EMPLOYED by L.A. County?

Winograd has some very sound principles, but how can one man defeat evil and corruption on that level? He needs our help too, and he needs all of us to call our Supervisors and make a stink about this. God knows I have...

Anonymous said...

That last comment is interesting. Would this be another flaw in the program of Winograd, not taking into account the reality of unions and their workers? It is definitely something to consider when putting together a program. Government isn't going to change, therefore you incorporate the reality of the situation when writing any kind of plans to be presented to government agencies.

It is getting really boring to me to hear the same-o, same-o about who is to blame if it doesn't work. So easy to be an armchair quarterback. So easy to place blame on others rather than find out what the problem is and fix it.

Anonymous said...

Did you see this article in the Daily Bulletin, the end of last year I think.

News Article From Rancho

RANCHO CUCAMONGA - Contrary to popular belief, the Animal Care and Adoption Center is not a "no-kill" shelter. Its director, Joe Pulcinella, stresses that the city is making a concerted effort to control the pet population through aggressive public awareness programs and expanding the facilities. But Pulcinella shies away from using the "no-kill" term, saying it can be misleading and can encourage the dumping of animals at the facility. "The public takes (the term `no-kill') literally, and that's a very logical interpretation," he said. "I'd like to say our goal is to build a community in which every adoptable animal finds a home. It's a goal that will take several years to reach." The fact is, though the numbers are declining, the shelter still euthanizes animals due to space constraints. That's disheartening to people such as Nicole Myerchin, an outspoken critic of how the facility has been run by the county and now the city. Rancho Cucamonga wrested control of the shelter away from the county in 2006. It also hired a consultant to map the Animal Care and Adoption Center's path to being a "no-kill" shelter. "If a student goes from an `F' to a `D+,' are you thrilled? No," said Myerchin. "Especially when you know that student is capable of an `A."' This year, 994 animals have been euthanized compared with 1,627 euthanized during the same period in 2005 when the shelter was under county control. But Pulcinella said to immediately go from county-run to "no-kill" is unrealistic and that the center would be overflowing with animals if it did. A new surgical facility - to be completed in January, along with an outdoor meet-and-greet area for dog adoption - should help keep space open and reduce the number of adoptable animals that need to be euthanized. Currently, animals needing surgery are sent to veterinarians, prolonging the wait for those who want to adopt. The new surgical suite will decrease that wait time. The center, which has one part-time veterinarian, also is looking to hire either a full-time or two part-time veterinarians. Pulcinella said he hopes to fill the new position in January. City officials hope the awareness campaigns and the new facilities eventually alleviate the need to euthanize adoptable pets, which is the ultimate goal. But, Pulcinella said, because it is a municipal facility, the center does not and will not turn away animals found in the city. That means euthanizing adoptable pets remains a necessity for now. will help (909) 483-9376

Anonymous said...

Another article on Rancho.

Newborn kittens could use fostering

Diana Sholley, Staff Writer
Article Created: 07/05/2008 05:28:21 PM PDT
Mournful cries pour out from every room. No words, just heartbreaking pleas from tiny victims that seem to form a single appeal: Take me home.

It's kitten season, and this year's explosion has hit local animal shelters hard. More than 125 kittens are currently housed at the Rancho Cucamonga Animal Care Center. Litters of up to seven kittens, some with mamas, some without, fill kennels in four rooms and spill out into the hallway. That's not counting adult cats.

"It's not unusual to see a line of people outside the center waiting for us to open," said Barbara Hansen, programs coordinator for the Rancho Cucamonga Animal Care Center. "We'll sometimes take in 30 (animals) or more a day."

Hansen realizes that pet ownership is a big responsibility and takes long-term commitment. Though people who want to help may not be in the position to adopt a pet, Hansen says there is a way they can make a big difference in a small amount of time for little or no cost.

She and the care center staff are asking for community members to open their hearts and homes to foster care.

"It can be anywhere from a few days to a few weeks," Hansen said. "We provide everything you need: carrier, litter, food. (The kittens) just need a small spot in your home, a laundry room or a bath room. Feed them, socialize them, keep them safe until they are about eight or nine weeks old when they can be adopted."

Some foster parents are nervous their first time, not

knowing what to expect, but once they do it, many are hooked.

"Fostering was always something I considered a nice thing for others to do," wrote Terri Jacobs in a letter to the Daily Bulletin. "I decided to start helping because there aren't enough `others' to care for the hundreds of baby kittens too young for adoption. ..."

Jacobs has become a regular foster parent for the Rancho Cucamonga Animal Care Center.

"These kittens are such innocent, vulnerable creatures that at least deserve a chance at life," Jacobs continued. "I'm happy to be able to give some of them that chance."

Having to see all the homeless pets that are temporarily housed at the Rancho facility sometimes takes its toll on center director Joe Pulcinella. He'd like to educate the community on two words that would reduce pet overpopulation.

"Spay (or) neuter your pet," Pulcinella said. "It's the most important thing any pet owner can do."

Pulcinella read a recent statistic from a local animal advocate group: Fifteen dogs and 45 cats are born for every human birth.

If anyone is interested in adopting a pet, Pulcinella hopes a shelter, any shelter, is considered before a pet store or breeder.

"You would not only be saving a life, but you'll be getting value, variety and services," he said.

Besides a huge variety, the Rancho center has a veterinarian on staff ensuring each pet leaves altered, with its shots, an internal and external exam and a microchip implant.

There are plans to expand the foster program to adult cats and dogs with minor behavior problems, giving each pet the opportunity to find a forever home.

"I don't like the term `no-kill shelter,"' Pulcinella said. "I prefer to think of us as building a community in which every adoptable pet finds a home. We just need the community's help."