Human Face of the "No-Kill" Movement Barks at Mayor, Council Over City's New Task Force

Categories: City Hall
NathanWinograd.jpg
Nathan Winograd
Woke up this morning to find the in-box filled with missives from friends and fans of a man named Nathan Winograd -- "the de-facto face of the 'No Kill' movement," as Huffington Post called him last year, referring to efforts to stop animal shelters from euthanizing strays. Winograd, an attorney who ditched his high-paying job to become an animal advocate-slash-shelter crusader, has written two books on the subject: Irreconcilable Differences: The Battle for the Heart and Soul of America's Animal Shelters and Redemption: The Myth of Pet Overpopulation & The No Kill Revolution in America. And he's served as both director of operations for the San Francisco SPCA and executive director for the Tompkins County SPCA in Upstate New York.

Winograd has his many admirers who believe he is absolutely correct when he insists there is no such thing as "pet overpopulation," merely poorly run animal shelters that didn't do enough to protect and place would-be, could-be pets. "There are more than enough homes for every dog and cat being killed in shelters every year," wrote one born-again San Francisco Chronicle scribe after a chat with Winograd. He has his many detractors too, among them PETA, which writes that "Winograd's calculations ignore the hundreds of thousands of puppies and kittens produced by breeders and sold in pet stores every year." Winograd and PETA have been engaged in a pissing contest for years.

So, what does all this have to do with us? Well ...

Yesterday, you probably recall, the city sent word that it's forming a task force geared toward the creation of the Dallas Companion Animal Project, which is "charged with developing a blueprint for ending the killing of adoptable animals." Dallas CAP is being chaired by Animal Shelter Commission member Rebecca Poling. It also has a new website, which, so happens, features at the top a quote from Winograd, which reads: "No Kill may be defined by what happens to the animals within the halls of the shelter, but it can only be achieved by what happens outside of them."

He's unhappy about that -- so much so he posted to his website yesterday an open letter to Mayor Mike Rawlings and the city council demanding they remove the quote from the website quite pronto. He says it's old, taken out of context -- something he wrote "while I still believed in a supply-demand imbalance between the number of available homes and number of available animal." Which is hardly his only problem with Dallas's task force.

His letter to the mayor and council is titled "The Inmates Are Trying to Run the Asylum," in part because of Poling's involvement, since she was on the commission when it was revealed what a house of horrors the city's shelter had become. (Poling's also been involved with numerous animal-rescue groups, and two years ago received Paws in the City's St. Francis of Assisi award.) Writes Winograd, who's been called "polarizing" more than once in his life:
Mr. Mayor and Members of the City Council, I could have simply written and asked you to remove my name, but I believe I would be doing a disservice to you, your administration, and the kind and generous people of Dallas if I did not also take this opportunity to explain in more detail why the Task Force, which claims to represent your administration and the good people of Dallas, is going down the path of failure. I urge you, on behalf of not only the animals, but the people who love them, to scrap the Task Force and put your faith in people who truly have the best interests of animals at heart and who would authentically represent the cause of ending their killing.
Read the whole thing here.
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Feline Provocateur
Feline Provocateur

Poling may be "involved" with rescue, but has anyone actually seen her working an adoption event? Anyone seen her cleaning cages at a shelter, or at DAS? Instead, she puts links to her own personal business - and her husband's - on the Dallas Companion Animal Project Web site.

Liltangerinenectar
Liltangerinenectar

The portion of the above story that caught my eye was the overladen inbox.  Shades of Memphis, be still my heavy heart.  All the Winograd followers do is send emails, they LIVE to send email.  Never catch one with a shovel in their hand, or a solution to the problem, but they can whine. There is no open admission No Kill Shelter, a sick fantasy that only strokes the ego and lines the pockets of Atty's that are " alledged" to have been asked to not practice in their home state.  But that is alledged.

GSD
GSD like.author.displayName 1 Like

Nathan Winograd is a Standord educated attorney, who can make low income cities no kill in a very short time...sometimes the old, tired and same kill the animals by gas group need new blood and brains to do something more civilized...Americans are obese, lazy, cruel, our kids can't even do math and only about 10% of the population has a college education. The deiinition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results...hey people are diabetic and lumber around with heart disease, yet they keep eating processed food. Americans are not brainiacs. When we do get a brainiac like Nathan, instead of being stupid like usual, why can't we for once act civilized and listen...knowledge is power. If it was old fat people in the gas chambers instead of innocent dogs and cats....no kill would be all over America....we have killed for over one hundred years, this is 2011.....can we not at least try and do what noble and fair?

Liltangerinenectar
Liltangerinenectar

If it was old fat people in the gas chambers we wouldn't have to deal with Winograd.

Liltangerinenectar
Liltangerinenectar

I think I need to clarify that.  What I was trying to say was "if it were fat old people, Winograd wouldn't be caring"  Why do people always try to compare people care and animal care as though they were mutually exclusive ?  I did check Winograds reader/follower profile and most of his folks are fat and old, so am I.  However if you were to look at me I would fit right in at a no kill event, so for those who are fat and old sensitive, that is not a life sentence for stupidity.

Concerned for Dallas Pets
Concerned for Dallas Pets

I hope people read through the entire letter; sadly, this DO reporter did a disservice to the Dallas shelter pets with his slanted view of this article. This is not about whether Winograd is like or not, or whether people agree with his approach or not. What no one is reporting is that a No Kill Dallas group was already in place and building coalitions. The Chair of DAS Commission knew about the NKD group, because he had met them several weeks ago and discussed their plans with them. Rebecca Poling knew, because she heard them speak at a meeting a week ago today. Most of the board members knew, because there was NO secrecy in the NKD plans. They were meeting people and attending events, and telling everyone that would listen about their plans for a no kill Dallas using the No Kill Equation (dislike Winograd if you must, but his equation works and we see the success in FOUR TEXAS communities that have implemented it already - the plan Rebecca Poling is presenting has a history of failure - see for yourself, on the website DCAP links to plan they are following, there is ONLY ONE shelter that has gone no kill using their model compared to the No Kill Equation which has many more in communities of all sizes and economic demographics). So, while Skip, Rebecca, Jody Jones, and most of the Dallas Companion Animals Project board members knew about No Kill Dallas' - they never mentioned DCAP to anyone. It was their secret and they invited none of the current Dallas no kill advocates to first meet to determine how the two groups could find the goals they shared and work together to save lives and improve the overall image of the City. Jonnie England posted on the Facebook.com/NoKillDallas page inviting followers to join their page. DCAP has been divisive and secretive and are splintering the Dallas animal advocate community. This is what they have offered in their first few days as an official organization for the City that will rely on the community for their success. No Kill is the goal and it's about saving lives. So why is it DCAP has chosen to act in this way. I believe they need someone more professional, more transparent, and more willing to work with the community. The City really needs to take a second look at this Task Force and decide if the current members will truly represent Dallas. I hope they will.

Randy DeCarlo
Randy DeCarlo

The blowhard speaketh. Winograd was "Operational Director" for less then two weeks and Tompkins is an over crowded limited admissions no kill shelter that runs yearly deficits in the hundreds of thousands of dollars but who cares about details?  I've never really understood the madness of screaming at the same politicians your trying to win over - Winograd might want to invest some of that money he'd dragging in on books sales with a good anger management therapist.

Honesty Helps
Honesty Helps

Winograd attacks anyone who disagrees with him, including one respected humane worker that he refers to as an "alleged animal abuser". The "alleged" gives it away, he is making an accusation without any evidence, trying to hurt this person's credibility. He does nothing but tear apart the humane community. He hates everyone. I suggest that anyone thinking he is the "Savior" put some real research into it, find out what happened in Philly, Rancho Cucamonga, Indy, etc. Our animals can't afford the price that Winograd asks.

Concerned for Dallas
Concerned for Dallas

Winograd is an attorney so he writes like one; the use of the word alleged by an attorney generally refers to one who is considered guilty, but has not been formally convicted. Take some time to read through his work. Yes, he uses the attack method in his writing, which I do not care for myself, but look at the success he advocates for. I don't agree with the attack approach, but I understand his frustration at watching thousands of pets die and people wasting time on methods that have always failed, while there are proven methods that do work.

Liltangerinenectar
Liltangerinenectar

I note you say Winograd "advocates for sucess"  He attacks without rhyme or reason, he is divisve without offering any solution that has functionality.  He causes tremendous animal suffering while they are hoarded in cages for years ( Reno Craigslist ) increased the burden on surrounding shelters when his No Kill turns animals away ( Virginia and Ithaca )Increases strays hit by cars through closing drop boxes. ( Austin)  He is just a win/win a minute.  The problem with Winograd is we read the book then we saw the truth.

graycat
graycat

Success? Proven methods that work?  Ask the people of Baton Rouge who spent 2 years working up a  plan, based on Winograd's No Kill Equation, only to have things fall apart after a month running the shelter. Ask Reno, where they have 800 cats in their "shelter" and even more in fosters and thrown out on the streets.  We are under the gun in Memphis and trying to keep him out as best we can.As for the word "alleged", attorneys use that to keep from being sued. It has nothing to do with guilt or innocence; it protects the person making the accusation. It's also a term frequently used by the tabloids. Wingograd would be great tabloid material himself, except that he and his followers have hurt so many people.

Liltangerinenectar
Liltangerinenectar

Oh things can get worse than MAS, way worse than MAS  Feline, Like Austin putting the Euth dogs on Craig's list, or Reno having 800 cats, or Shelby County Kentucky not having money to feed their animals when Montana quit letting them transport.  How bout East Baton Rouge having to kill one hundred animals after being No Kill for two months. Rockwall Texas dropping their No Kill flag in 3 weeks.   I would love to have been a fly on the wall in any of those places. Maybe we should start looking more closely at your little Plano Texas mairacle ?

graycat
graycat

Then  you need to see MAS itself. A still picture- especially those that are cherry-picked to show the most provocative- hardly ever tells the whole story. MAS has had and still has many problems. But a lot of good people who do care about the animals work there. They have made a lot of improvements, but of course it's never enough for those who want "their way or the highway".  I wonder what they'd say if there were web cams in Reno? 

Feline Provocateur
Feline Provocateur

Under the gun in Memphis? From what I can see of MAS - courtesy of the shelter webcams - things cannot get any worse.

Tamara Barnes
Tamara Barnes

We were led down the task force path here in Eugene, OR.  The result is a bunch of rules, and procedures but not No Kill.  What we have is a public shelter that takes in 66% fewer animals than it did just a couple years ago.True they are killing far fewer, but that only makes sense because of the 66% that don't get assisted.  Oh yea they went from open admission to closed.  Task force, bleah.... Dallas don't do it!  Citizen committees are a powerless waste of time and the powers that be construct them that way.  True No Kill is THE WAY.  Don't settle for anything but.

Honesty Helps
Honesty Helps

But Tamara it sounds like Eugene is "No Kill" because the first thing "No Kill" does is close the doors and to hell with all those strays outside. Push those cats outside into the community to carry diseases, this is "No Kill". Maybe you're having a hard time accepting the truth about it, because evidently your citizens committee was drunk on the koolaid of Winograd.

go Nathan
go Nathan

Hi, Well all an animal has is life, once you take away it's life, there is nothing. An animal can't go to college, rear a family or even choose what is for dinner. They can run, play, love and be loved....cats who are feral would rather run and chase also feral squirrels who aren't killed, then to be rounded up and executed....wouldn't you rather run and play then to be gassed? No kill advocates open the doors to the shelters. What is your educational level? I say, before you make blanketed statements, educate yourself on all matters....go to the shelters, see the pets....they don't even have names, just numbers..........  

lorlee
lorlee

I don't know Ms. Poling, but years ago served on the Animal Shelter Commission.  At the time, the Board met only quarterly and had virtually no power, so I don't think the failures at the Animal Shelter should be laid at her feet.  The failures are the responsibility of the City Manager who appointed unqualified and incompetent people.  Until the buck starts stopping at the top, nothing will change. 

(as a side note, there are 4 very adoptable dogs that have been dropped in my neighborhood if anyone is interested.  We are trying our best to keep them out of the shelter system because I know what happens there)

GSD
GSD

Well she is calling people fakes who are trying to stop the killing, which means she is at least immature and cheesy....

Suttree
Suttree

set a slanking craven half bald yap dog out from that shelter to fend off the daily compunction.

Mike
Mike

Maybe we'd have a few more dollars for the animals if the City Manager would get that deadbeat jerk, the former director, off the payroll?  Sitting at home doing nothing for over a year?   What does it take to get fired from a city job in Dallas?  We only fire criminals, malfaesance on the job does not matter?

animal advocate
animal advocate

Tyrone McGill's salary is over $60,000 annually and he reached that point last JUNE - making it 16 months now that the taxpayers have been paying him to sit at home - and no end in sight.  He may spend some of his time playing golf with Mary Suhm's pal Forest Turner (who gave him the position in the first place - even though McGill had never had a pet in his life).  The way this city is run is enough to make a sane person turn to alcohol.

GSD
GSD

It does not take much money to save animals, it's cheaper to adopt them out then to kill them, but people are lazy and killing is easiest....it would take just adopting out a small percentage of shelter animals to eliminate strays, instead shelters adopt out a few and kill the rest...the inside imployees are a lot of times cruel...I mean the aren't the super educated....or humane because if they were they would stop killing....they don't care and are not compassionate. 

Kevin John Gilhooly
Kevin John Gilhooly

From what I've seen in the past ten years, the greatest challenge in animal rescue is to stop the rescuers from squabbling within their own community and focus on the task at hand.

Feline Provocateur
Feline Provocateur

This is true. Yet the leader of the new task force continues to squabble with other groups, as she's done since the late 1990s. Now, if anyone dares to NOT agree with her views 100%, she promptly yanks their comments from the DCAP Facebook page and Web site. 

For example, she recently censored No Kill San Diego's Facebook comments on the DCAP page. San Diego is a county that has dramatically reduced their euthanasia rates over the past 20 years. Why delete comments from groups who could help us here in Dallas? 

This sort of immaturity does not focus at the task on hand. Instead, it's pretending that a serious, large, complex problem can be solved with no help from anyone else - not even those who've done the work and solved the problem. She should be soliciting help, not turning it away.

GSD
GSD

You are right, but many people are highly immature.

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