A Gentle Hand

November 30, 2012 by  

Six dirty, scared puppies craving attention and a gentle hand were surrendered to the Nevada Humane Society. And that is exactly what they were given. Not surprisingly, Washoe County (Reno), Nevada has a 94% save rate despite a per capita intake rate two times more than the national average, four times more than Los Angeles, five times more than San Francisco and ten times more than New York City. It is one of over 80 communities nationwide representing over 200 cities and towns across America saving in excess of 90% of all animals.

But in many communities, those puppies would have been marched from the front counter to their deaths. They would have been stuffed inside a gas chamber or poisoned with an overdose of barbiturates. Only one state in the U.S., California, has a holding period for “owner surrendered” animals, a law passed over the objections of groups like HSUS.

In still others, they might have been made available for adoption, but they would have faced the very real possibility of being neglected or abused in the process. In fact, the first time many animals are abused is by the very agency which is supposed to protect them from it: the local shelter.

If you do not live in one of those 80-plus communities, you need to do something about it. The No Kill revolution starts with YOU.

Learn more: A No Kill Advocate’s Toolkit

 

Read Friendly Fire

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Have a comment? Join the discussion by clicking here.

My Facebook page is facebook.com/nathanwinograd. The Facebook page of my organization is facebook.com/nokilladvocacycenter. Many people mistakenly believe that the Facebook pages at No Kill Nation and No Kill Revolution are my pages. They are not.

Building a No Kill Buffalo

November 28, 2012 by  

I am taking some time off from traveling for personal and professional reasons, but I have a final, prior commitment to speak, in Buffalo this February. Come in from the cold and warm your heart to the good news that we now have a solution to shelter killing and it is not difficult, expensive nor beyond practical means to achieve.

The event is free and open to the public, and will be followed by a book signing. The seminar that has been called, “a prerequisite for animal lovers, rescue groups and organizations that are serious about changing their communities to No Kill.”

Where: Buffalo, NY
When: Sunday, February 17, 2013
More info/register: www.nokillbuffaloniagara.org

What if We Just Gave Them Away?

November 27, 2012 by  

Our shelters can and should be the safe havens we want them to be. And we are not stuck in having to choose between a No Kill nation and what we have now, a system of death camps where animals are abused and then lose their lives by the millions. Nor do we have to choose between giving all animals away on the street and killing them. Nonetheless, I ask you to join me in a thought experiment.

One of the primary goals of my recently released book, Friendly Fire, is to expose the fallacy which our nation’s large animal protection groups have perpetuated for decades: the myth that our nation’s shelters are a network of compassionate safe havens for homeless animals. As the movement to end shelter killing has grown in size and sophistication, the networking made possible through the internet and social media has allowed animal lovers to connect the dots between individual cases of animal cruelty and neglect in shelters nationwide. These incidents reveal a distinct pattern. Animal abuse at local shelters is not an isolated anomaly caused by “a few bad apples.” The stunning number and severity of these cases nationwide lead to one disturbing and inescapable conclusion: our shelters are in crisis.

Frequently overseen by ineffective and incompetent directors who fail to hold their staff accountable to the most basic standards of humane care, animal shelters in this country are often poorly managed houses of horror, places where animals are denied basic medical care, food, water, socialization and are then killed, sometimes cruelly. The first time many companion animals experience neglect and abuse is when they enter the very place that is supposed to deliver them from it: the local animal shelter.

And yet in spite of this, many people, animal activists included, tenaciously assert that homeless animals are better off entering traditional kill shelters than otherwise. They buy into the rationalization long perpetuated by shelters that killing is not the ultimate form of harm, but rather, allowing animals to be at the mercy of an unkind and uncaring American public. But is it true? In fact, when emotions and traditional dogma that support this point of view are weighed against evidence, it is not.

Consider this: a shelter in one of America’s major cities commits the ultimate form of violence on cats. It kills them. In fact, it kills almost all of them. Roughly eight out of 10 cats are put to death. There is a lot the shelter could be doing to reduce that number: offsite adoptions, adoption marketing and promotion, foster care, a more robust relationship with rescue groups, and more. It refuses. In fact, when people do come to adopt, the presumption is that they cannot be trusted unless they prove otherwise. Their rules are arbitrary.

Not too long ago, the Humane Society of the United States, the flagship of the catch and kill sheltering establishment, launched a campaign to help shelters “educate the public” about adoption policies by creating a poster for shelters to hang in their lobbies. The poster features a chair beneath a light in a cement room. The tagline reads: “What’s with all the questions?” and it tells you not to take it personally. Rather than ask shelters to reexamine their own assumptions, HSUS produces a poster of what looks like an interrogation room at Abu Ghraib, instructing potential adopters to simply put up with it. In the process, good homes are turned away and animals are needlessly killed, while shelters peddle the fiction that there aren’t enough homes.

HSUS will tell you that it is important not to reduce the quality of adoptive homes, but this is just a smokescreen, a way to give shelters political cover for low rates of adoption and consequently high rates of killing. Indeed, no one could reduce the quality of adoptive homes more than HSUS itself, which lobbied to allow Michael Vick—a sadist who enjoyed beating dogs to death, hanging dogs, drowning dogs in buckets, shooting dogs, repeatedly slamming them to the ground, burying them alive, and attaching jumper cables connected to car batteries to their ears and then throwing them in a swimming pool—to get a dog. If HSUS believes Vick would make a good dog owner, who wouldn’t they consider qualified?

But let’s go back to our shelter with an 80% kill rate for cats. Dr. Michael Moyer runs the shelter medicine program at the University of Pennsylvania. In one of his lectures, he asks his students whether they think most people care about animals or abuse them. The question is a no-brainer and the answer, of course, is the former. All the data point to that direction: spending on companion animals is the eighth largest sector of our economy, it exceeds $50 billion annually, and it continues to grow even as other sectors decline. More than that, the success of No Kill around the country in over 200 cities and towns across America, the sheer number of animals who share our homes, and so much more tell the same story. Given that, he asks his students, wouldn’t it be more ethical for a shelter which kills 80% of the cats to simply go out to popular areas of the community and simply hand the cats to people, give them away, no questions asked. (A question I would follow up with is, Wouldn’t it be better for the animals if, given the way they are currently operating, that shelter didn’t exist at all?)

The students, of course, are horrified. Indeed, Google “Free to a Good Home” and you’ll get a litany of articles about the “high cost” of “free to good home,” mainly the threat that you may be putting animals in the hands of people who will harm them. But if the worst thing that could happen to them if we gave them away is the very thing that will happen to eight out of 10 of them if they stay at the shelter, is the cost-benefit analysis even close? If the cats stay at the shelter, eight out of 10 will be poisoned to death. That’s an 80% chance of harm. If they go out into the community, won’t it be less than that, Dr. Moyer asks? The answer of course, is yes. From the Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine to the ASPCA, from Maddie’s Fund to the experiences of shelters across the country, every study that has looked at the issue has concluded that waiving adoption fees—in other words, giving the animals away for free—does not impact either the quality of the quantity of the adoptive home, but does increase the number of lives saved.

Of course, there is a lot shelters could be doing short of Dr. Moyer’s hypothetical. I have long been a proponent of adoption screening because I, too, of course, want to ensure animals get the best homes possible. But in shelters where animals are being killed by the thousands, and where they are horrifically neglected and abused in the process, I’d rather they do “open adoptions” if it means getting more animals out of there and doing so quicker because in truth, there is no greater threat to companion animals in this country than the so-called “shelter” in the community where those animals reside. Shelter killing is the leading cause of death for healthy companion animals in the U.S.

Dr. Moyer, however, isn’t talking about offsite adoptions. He goes further. Wouldn’t it be more ethical (meaning more cats would be saved) not to have people come to your adoption booth, but to literally stop people in the street and hand them a cat? Literally, hand each person who walks by a cat. Again, if the certain outcome in the shelter is that eight of the 10 will be killed, can’t we assume that more will be saved, in fact more will be loved for the rest of their lives, if we do that?

He is, of course, using a rhetorical device to teach his students to become critical thinkers, to challenge their knee-jerk assumptions and to weigh the evidence. If we did that, how many animals will become cherished companions? While not a perfect analogy, a national study showed that animals were least likely to be given up if they were acquired as gifts. Moreover, humans are capable of very deep and very noble impulses. Given how much Americans love their animal companions, wouldn’t it be more likely that they would save those cats than not?

How many will be abused? According to national data, we share our homes with 165 million animals. Only about six million or so of those ever enter shelters—and only four percent of those animals arrive with evidence of neglect or abuse. I am not downplaying it and any abuse is horrific. The fact is, however, the first time many companion animals experience neglect or abuse is when they enter a shelter. In other words, keeping them out of such places all together would actually lower the incidents of companion animal abuse.

And were animals to be given away in such a manner rather than placed into the places that abuse and kill them, how many of them will be released on the streets? And how many of those who are will actually find a home from there? In fact, the likelihood of being reunited with their owners is greater for cats if they are allowed to remain where they are rather than being admitted to the shelter. In one study, cats were 13 times more likely to be returned home by non-shelter means (such as returning home on their own) than by a call or visit to a shelter. And another study found that people are up to three times more likely to adopt cats as neighborhood strays versus adopting from a shelter. At the same time, the risk of death for street cats in communities has been found to extremely low, with outdoor cats living roughly the same lifespan as indoor pet cats. In other words, the risk of death is lower and the chance of adoption higher for cats on the streets than cats in the shelter. In a study of over 100,000 alley cats, less than one percent of those cats were suffering from debilitating conditions.

When I ran a shelter, we did adoption screening. The No Kill shelters I’ve worked with, both private and municipal, also do adoption screening. When the lives of animals aren’t on the line, we have a responsibility to do so. But the idea that increasing the quantity of homes decreases its quality is a fiction: a ruse promoted by HSUS and others to justify killing and paint the lifesaving alternative as darker. Quantity and quality can go hand in hand. But when a shelter refuses to comprehensively implement alternatives to killing: when they refuse to hold their lazy and incompetent staff accountable to results, when they neglect and abuse the animals in their care, when every challenge to overcome is used as an excuse to give animals the needle or to stuff them into a chamber in order to gas them to death, in short, when they refuse to adopt their way out of killing as many shelters in America have and every single one of them can, the last place we as animal lovers should want our community’s homeless animals to end up is inside the walls of those shelters.

Had shelters never existed, and it was proposed that a system of abusive death camps be opened to round up and kill millions of them, how many of us would support such a notion? How many of us would argue that the homeless animals for whom there was hope, whom we saw being fed, cared for and even adopted by our neighbors, would be better off entering a facility where they are likely to be abused, and likely to be killed? In fact, over 150 years ago, when the impounding and killing of homeless animals was a new concept, the great Henry Bergh, founder of the animal protection movement in North America, fought the existence and proliferation of such institutions, arguing that stray dogs should be left alone, once famously and without hesitation asserting, “Let us abolish the pound!”

Of course, we do not need to create death camps. We can create true shelters in the dictionary definition of the term. That is, of course, the ideal and the goal of the No Kill movement. And then we can screen homes to make the best matches between people and animals. But that is not what we have. And we cannot pretend otherwise. In 2012, what our nation’s shelters can be and what they are are worlds apart.

In Davidson County, North Carolina, the pound not only kills nine out of 10 animals, it does so in one of the most brutal ways possible, putting different species into the gas chamber to sadistically watch them fight before turning on the gas. In Memphis, Tennessee, animals are forced to cannibalize other animals to keep from starving to death. In Chesterfield County, South Carolina, cats are beaten to death with pipes and dogs are used as target practice. In Dekalb, Georgia, workers kill cats by “holding them down with a foot on the back, sometimes breaking their bones.” In Cabel-Wayne, West Virginia, animals are simply thrown into the trash alive and sent to the dump in garbage bags. As I document in the 270 pages of Friendly Fire, these are not aberrations. How can we, as animal lovers, condone animals being placed at the mercy of such institutions? How can we prefer such treatment to the compassion the evidence shows they are far more likely to get from your average, animal-loving American?

In other words, given the current obstinacy we face from shelter directors and their allies at the large national groups which fight us in our reform efforts, two questions become logically inescapable: Wouldn’t our nation’s homeless animals be better off if these shelters did not exist? And wouldn’t the animals be better off if we took them to populated areas and simply gave them away?

Our initial, emotional response, conditioned by years of misinformation about the true nature of animal shelters and the blame laid at the feet of the American public by the nation’s large animal protection groups may cause us to initially say “No,” but all the evidence says the opposite. And if it was our life on the line, so would every one of us…

For further reading:

Good Homes Need Not Apply

No Fates Worse Than Death

The Wild Life of the Feral Cat

Friendly Fire

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Have a comment? Join the discussion by clicking here.

My Facebook page is facebook.com/nathanwinograd. The Facebook page of my organization is facebook.com/nokilladvocacycenter. Many people mistakenly believe that the Facebook pages at No Kill Nation and No Kill Revolution are my pages. They are not.

 

Pardon Our Dust

November 24, 2012 by  

From Friendly Fire by Nathan & Jennifer Winograd

For those on the outside looking in—for a legislator who wants to get support for a bill to save lives, but finds himself battling against the very organizations that should be his most passionate supporters; for a reporter who is featuring a local shelter’s high rates of neglect and killing and wants reaction from the large national organizations, but finds herself hearing those organizations deflect criticism; for the public at large which sees a heart-wrenching commercial and wants to help, only to read an article online critical of that organization—the divided nature of the animal protection movement can be frustrating. “Why can’t they put aside their differences and get along?” they ask. Indeed, it is tempting to dismiss these conflicts as nothing more than bickering or battles of ego. But they are nothing of the kind. There is a deep and truly contentious dichotomy within the movement today, a difference of philosophy, a clash of values that is considered and conscientious and reflects an irreconcilable divide in who we are and what we believe.

Right now, the animal protection movement is in the throes of an important evolution. What might seem like self-destructive behavior is actually evidence of progress. For the first time in more than a century, some in the animal protection movement have recognized that we have a serious crisis in our nation’s shelters—rampant neglect, cruelty and unnecessary killing—which others have chosen to ignore, downplay, excuse and obfuscate. More importantly, we have recognized that there is a solution. The animal protection movement is awaking from a long slumber, and the old-guard animal protection groups which grew very wealthy and powerful in spite of delivering very little progress for shelter animals, are deeply threatened and fighting back. As history shows, this is what happens in every social justice movement and the animal protection movement is no exception.

Social progress is rarely made in a steady, linear fashion. Often, it proceeds in fits and starts, depending on leadership. When a movement is founded by strong, sincere and determined leaders with a clear vision, measurable goals and the will to achieve them, people become inspired and motivated, the movement grows and change ensues. Over time, however, the organizations these leaders founded can become bureaucratic, with none of the zeal that once characterized them. Instead, they become complacent, content to bemoan the sad state of affairs, raise money doing so, but not seek the substantive change that might solve the problem upon which they fundraise.

Since 2001 when the nation’s first No Kill community proved that a better, kinder and gentler form of animal sheltering is possible—where shelters are temporary way stations to a better life, rather than death camps—that success has grown into a nascent revolution, one that offers a solution to shelter killing that the large national organizations, for all their decades of existence and all the millions in their bank accounts, never have. Rather, they have assured us that such a notion—a No Kill nation—was so impossible, even the act of considering it was of no value; or, in their own words, “not worthy of a passing daydream.” As No Kill advocates struggle to bring change to a stagnant movement plagued by calcified, harmful and disproven dogma that, quite literally, kills, we are fighting the same battle as other successful reformers in history who, likewise, had to start their work by first cleaning house.

It is the battle William Lloyd Garrison, the founder of the movement to abolish slavery and grant equal rights in the United States, had to fight when he called for immediate emancipation in spite of powerful so-called “anti-slavery” societies that in reality preached racism and condoned the status-quo. It is the same battle faced by the suffragist Alice Paul when she was condemned by the leaders of her movement for the “indecency” of protesting in front of the White House, action which, after years of capitulation to politicians by suffrage leaders, finally ended with the 19th Amendment. And it is the same struggle faced by Martin Luther King, Jr., whose “Letter From Birmingham Jail” to his fellow clergymen revealed his own struggles with the leadership of the civil rights movement, powerful people who were threatened by the urgency and immediacy of his calls for equality and his bold actions to achieve it, people who had become power brokers selling an agenda for the future, and not today. And so it is with the No Kill cause as well.

When the early founders of the animal protection movement died and their organizations took over the job of killing those they had been formed to protect, a fiery zeal was replaced with a smoldering ember that gave little light or warmth and the humane movement went to sleep. People like the tirelessly devoted ASPCA founder, Henry Bergh, were replaced with individuals who care so little for animals as to allow tremendous cruelty and killing to continue unabated, even when they could use the power their positions afford to stop it. After over 100 years of this antiquated and deadly paradigm, the grassroots of the animal protection movement is finally waking up.

Today, we are a movement in transition, struggling to reach our fullest potential by overcoming internal forces that for years have prevented progress and substantive action behind what until now has been mere empty rhetoric. The battle now raging within the animal protection movement is a battle not of degree, but of kind—evidence of hopelessly incompatible contradictions within the movement itself: one championing death, and the other, life. This tension is vital to help the movement reclaim the determination, spirit and goals of its early founders. And it will end only when the need to distinguish between “No Kill” and “the animal protection movement” no longer exists, because both sides will have finally become what they should have been all along: one and the same.

For further reading: Friendly Fire

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Have a comment? Join the discussion by clicking here.

My Facebook page is facebook.com/nathanwinograd. The Facebook page of my organization is facebook.com/nokilladvocacycenter. Many people mistakenly believe that the Facebook pages at No Kill Nation and No Kill Revolution are my pages. They are not.

 

Happy Thanksgiving

November 21, 2012 by  

Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours: Me, Jennifer, Riley, Will, Pickles, The Amazing Kenny, Popoki, Commander Seymour Higgins and Eileen. Our family vegan Thanksgiving menu is simple, traditional, iconically American, and oh so delicious. It is rooted in and inspired by Thanksgiving in middle America, the dinner we grew up eating every year, without the harm to animals. Our mashed potatoes are fluffy, our gravy is thick, our yams are covered with marshmallows, we’ve got crescent rolls that give the pillsbury doughboy a run for his money, a hearty turkey-flavored non-turkey, stuffed with stuffing, and, of course, pumpkin pie with whipped topping.

Photo credit from All American Vegan: a Norman Rockwell inspired Thanksgiving at the Winograds, updated for today’s modern family.

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Have a comment? Join the discussion by clicking here.

The Keys to the Kingdom

November 15, 2012 by  

Chippewa County is located on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It isn’t a wealthy community: the average per capita income is only $19,334. And it is cold. It gets an average of 99 inches of snow every year. In January, the average temperature is six degrees. But what it makes up for in big dollars and warmth is something worth much more: big hearts and a burning desire to save lives. In 2011, Chippewa County had a 95% rate of lifesaving. The year before it was 93%.

It was not always like that. Cats were often killed on intake. There were very limited times that the “pound” was open to the public. The facility had no outside area for dogs. The dogs rarely if ever left the building. Volunteers were not allowed or welcome even though many tried to help. Despite promises of change, including the building of a new facility, things did not improve and in some cases, worsened. According Deborah Green, one of the leaders of the No Kill initiative, “A wonderful new facility was built in 2003 but unfortunately the old employees and their philosophy came with it.” As many as eight out of 10 animals were killed.

After members of the public agreed to find a foster home for a pregnant dog and committed to saving all of her puppies, staff killed the dog instead. That is when everything changed. The old regime left and Holly Henderson was hired. Deborah Green calls Holly’s hiring the “best decision the County ever made.”

According to Green,

She has had the interest of the animals as the first priority from day one. I have seen what having the wrong people in charge can result in. The goal has to be that “every animal that is savable must be saved”. You have to be dedicated and strong, unwaiverable, to make that happen and that is Holly. Holly has always found a way to make it work no matter how much effort or work it entails. The continued success of … the Chippewa County Animal Control Shelter is due to Holly and all her hard work and determination.

Meet Holly Henderson.

Holly came to the U.P. from Santa Monica, California. Although she did not bring sunny weather with her, she did bring a refreshing “can do” attitude, and a dedication to saving lives. She also brought a new mindset: she embraced the community. In fact, Holly is a self-admitted “broken record.” Whenever she needs help, whenever things look tough, regardless of the challenges, her answer is always the same: she reaches out to her community. Holly attributes all of Chippewa’s success to the support of her staff, the willingness of the volunteers, and the kindness of her community.*

When I took over the animal shelter in Tompkins County, the then-shelter manager once told me that volunteers “were more trouble than they are worth.” Needless to say, she was replaced. And a dozen or so regular volunteers quickly became hundreds. They were key to our success. In Reno, the Nevada Humane Society has grown their volunteer program from a small handful to nearly 8,000. They are key to their success. But Holly goes one step further: she doesn’t just embrace volunteers, she gives them the keys to the kingdom. Literally. She literally gives the keys to the shelter to a dedicated core of volunteers so that they can come and go as they please. “These are professional people,” Holly explains, “[When they take a] genuine interest in the shelter and the needs of our pets I make sure they have access to the facility at their convenience.”

According to Holly,

It allows key volunteers to come into the shelter when it best suits their schedule. For example, Don and Sharon, a husband and wife team, come in after hours to ‘interview’ cats for their Petfinder posting as well as writing a personality description for their cage. Don also keeps a long path mowed through the grass for volunteers who walk dogs.

 

We also have another team, sisters Kristin and Tammi, who come in Sunday evenings, a day we are closed to the public, to let our dogs out for their potty break. Kristin also does our incredible pet pictures for our Petfinder site.

Prior to coming to Chippewa, Holly’s only previous shelter experience was as a volunteer for a kill shelter in California. When she found herself in charge of the shelter in Chippewa County and having to make the decision of who lives and who dies, she did not fall back on excuses. As she has done over and over again, she reached out to her community for help. No matter what the topic and what area of shelter operations, Holly never takes credit for her success. She is always pointing at others:

I know most of my answers are now beginning to sound like a broken record but I so often hear the complaint of ‘it’s not possible to be no-kill being a municipal organization, we don’t have the budget, we don’t have the staff…’ There is such an easy answer to this question, Volunteers! I absolutely cannot do this job without their help, plain and simple. You can’t and you won’t get to no-kill without them.

In fact, I asked her if she had one piece of advice for other shelter directors, especially those who continue to kill healthy and treatable animals, it was—you guessed it—volunteers:

There are so many incredibly talented, kind, professional people out there willing to put their time and money into your organization.

 

What I came to realize after reading ‘Redemption’ is that it wasn’t enough to not [kill] adoptable animals; we owe it to them to provide more than just shelter. We need to make sure they stay with us the shortest amount of time possible as well as providing the best care possible, physical and emotional. As long as I am at the shelter we will always work, strive to become better; and in a municipal organization such as ours I can’t get there without volunteers.

Directors may claim volunteers are welcome in their shelter. Holly is willing to give them the keys to it.

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* Holly mentioned and thanked so many people in the interview that, unfortunately in the interest of length, I could not include them all. But a special thanks from Holly to Dr. Christopher Hall, Dr. Mandie Wehr, Marilyn Carter, Don and Sharon Brunner, Kristin Green and Tammi Proulx, and many, many others.

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Have a comment? Join the discussion by clicking here.

My Facebook page is facebook.com/nathanwinograd. The Facebook page of my organization is facebook.com/nokilladvocacycenter. Many people mistakenly believe that the Facebook pages at No Kill Nation and No Kill Revolution are my pages. They are not.

 

Oreo and 60,858 Others

November 13, 2012 by  

Today is the three-year anniversary of the ASPCA’s killing of Oreo, an abused dog, who a No Kill sanctuary offered to save. Since the ASPCA killed Oreo and then killed Oreo’s Law, legislation which would have made it illegal for NYS shelters to kill animals who rescue groups were willing to save, 60,858 animals who had an immediate place to go have also been killed.

Excerpted from my new book, Friendly Fire:

  

Meet Oreo. Oreo was a one-year-old dog who was thrown off the roof of a six-floor Brooklyn apartment building in 2009. Oreo suffered two broken legs and a fractured rib. Several of the neighbors in the building reported having heard the sound of her being beaten. The ASPCA nursed her back to health and arrested the perpetrator. They also dubbed her the “miracle dog” and fundraised off her plight. But the miracle was short lived.

According to ASPCA President Ed Sayres, when Oreo recovered from her injuries, she started to show signs of aggression. After the money was counted and safely deposited into ASPCA bank accounts, Sayres made the decision to kill her. (Although there were videos taken of Oreo, the ASPCA has refused to release them and the only public documentation of Oreo is photographs of ASPCA employees hugging her—their own faces inches from hers—which do not demonstrate any aggression). The New York Times reported the story the day before Oreo’s scheduled execution. The reaction among animal lovers was strong and swift.

If it was true that Oreo was still traumatized and untrusting, who could blame her? She needed time. Although the ASPCA could have cared for Oreo as long as it took to get her to trust again, Sayres refused. But others came forward to offer what the ASPCA would not: time and space to learn that not all humans are abusers. Pets Alive, a No Kill sanctuary near the ASPCA which specializes in rehabilitating aggressive dogs (and, if that proves impossible, safely caring for them for the rest of their lives), contacted the ASPCA to ask if they could save Oreo. They made numerous telephone calls and sent numerous emails. They were ignored, hung-up on and lied to. Two volunteers of the group even went to the ASPCA but were escorted out after Sayres and others in charge of Oreo’s fate refused to meet with them.

On a cold, Friday November morning in 2009, Oreo was killed; not by her abuser, but by those whose mission it was to protect her. The kennel that the sanctuary readied in anticipation of her arrival lay empty and unused that day, filled with a soft bed, a pool of water and several toys for her to play with. Instead, Oreo’s body was discarded in a landfill.

As word spread among animal lovers about what had happened, the furor and condemnation of the ASPCA was severe. No Kill rescue organizations, tired of shelters killing animals they wanted to save, adopted Oreo as their mascot and sought the introduction of a bill that would make it illegal for a shelter to kill an animal a rescue organization was willing to save. The New York State legislator who introduced the legislation dubbed it “Oreo’s Law.”

Although Oreo’s death was the catalyst, the legislation was desperately needed statewide. A survey of New York State rescue groups revealed that 71 percent had been turned away from shelters, which then killed the very animals they had offered to save. In one case, a rescuer described how the shelter manager specifically walked a dog her group wanted to save right past them and into the room where animals are killed. It was estimated that if Oreo’s Law passed, roughly 25,000 animals a year—most of them young, friendly and healthy—would be saved rather than killed by New York shelters.

Ed Sayres—spiteful over the backlash against his killing of Oreo—declared that he would use his leverage in the State Capitol to defeat the bill. And although the public support for the bill was overwhelming, with calls to New York legislators shutting down the email servers in the Assembly not once but twice, Oreo’s Law was defeated by a coalition of shelters and other organizations including Best Friends Animal Society, spearheaded by the ASPCA…

Since then, 60,858 animals who rescue groups were ready, willing and able to save have been killed by NYS shelters instead.

Buy the book by clicking here.

Learn more:

50,000

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Have a comment? Join the discussion by clicking here.

My Facebook page is www.facebook.com/nathanwinograd. Many people mistakenly believe that the Facebook pages at No Kill Nation and No Kill Revolution are my pages. They are not.

“A Breathtaking Piece of Work”

November 11, 2012 by  

Animal Wise Radio calls Friendly Fire a “breathtaking piece of work.”

YesBiscuit says “No kill advocates will want to make a space on their bookshelves for this one.”

Buffalo Humane writes, “All I can say is WOW!”

While my first book Redemption shows how the killing of roughly four million animals a year in our nation’s shelters is a preventable tragedy, a problem with a solution that is viable, affordable, and practical, Friendly Fire tells the corollary to that story: that the largest obstacles to that solution are the very organizations which should be leading the charge to implement it.

Buy the book by clicking here.

Learn more by clicking here.

You’ve Got To Be Carefully Taught

November 8, 2012 by  

By Nathan & Jennifer Winograd

“You’ve Got To Be Taught to Hate And Fear,
You’ve Got To Be Taught from Year To Year,
It’s Got To Be Drummed in Your Dear Little Ear
You’ve Got To Be Carefully Taught.”

 

— Oscar Hammerstein, South Pacific.

My son has to do a speech for a class on the U.S. Constitution. All the kids picked their topics, wrote their drafts and yesterday, they read their reports aloud to the others for feedback, in anticipation of next week when they will have to read it in front of classmates, schoolmates, teachers and parents. One of the kids read a speech on the need for animals to be given legal rights, a topic after my own heart. According to my son, his classmate spoke about abuse, about killing, about all the ways animals are exploited, dogs and cats among them. He talked about the many organizations that work to protect them, among which he mentioned one by name: PETA.

It was time for feedback and my son—the son of Redemption and Friendly Fire, the son of many discussions around the dinner table, the son who accompanied me on my national book tour, the son of a former shelter director, the son of the No Kill Advocacy Center—gave him an earful. The poor kid’s jaw nearly hit the floor. As my son recounted what had occurred, it became crystal clear to me: this young, aspiring animal rights advocate, who spoke of the evil of animal abuse, of exploitation, of how wrong it was that as a society we kill our best friends, had not yet been “carefully taught” to exclude dogs and cats from his sphere of concern. He had not yet been taught to champion their killing.

In his research about animal rights, he had not learned that PETA seeks out and kills thousands of animals a year—seven each and every day, a total of over 27,000 in the last decade. He had not yet come across PETA’s call for the round up and systematic slaughter of healthy street cats. He had not seen an image of the basket of cookies PETA sent a shelter in celebration of a proposed mass slaughter. He had not been told that if a dog has a blocky-head and someone labels that dog a “pit bull,” the dog can and must be taken from their family, killed, and then disposed of in a landfill or supermarket dumpster. He had not yet become indoctrinated with the view that killing is just like being put under anesthesia for spay/neuter except that the animal never wakes up, so it is not only ethically acceptable, it is morally obligatory. He had not yet read that saving animals is akin to hoarding, that shelters that save lives are “hellholes” while those that end them needlessly, even abusing them in the process, are filled with “angels.” He had not yet been spoon fed the line that only “fanatics” want to save dogs and cats. He had not yet been corrupted to believe that while some animals were worthy of compassion—animals such as cows, chickens, pigs, and fish—others were not; others, like dogs and cats, should be poisoned, should be needlessly butchered, should be put to death, so long as those putting them to death call themselves “shelters” or “animal rights organizations” and as long as those who champion such killing are vegan. In short, he had not yet been schooled in the fundamental lesson of the PETA philosophy: hypocrisy.

Because he loved animals, he did not want to see any of them killed and he had not yet bifurcated that belief to exclude companion animals. Instead, he believed they shouldn’t be killed either, calling for “due process” and “equal protection under the law” for all animals, regardless of species, regardless of who was doing the killing, regardless of reason. He was an animal rights advocate in its purest form—one that spoke and thought from his heart and not a head corrupted by the teachings of people who have contorted the meaning of the words and that noble effort beyond recognition. For him, the animals—all animals—still came first, and saving their lives the ultimate goal, while the idea that we should seek out dogs and cats to kill or that we should defend those who do was not a ghost of a thought in his loving, young, and uncorrupted mind. Thankfully, in his research for his paper he had yet to encounter members of PETA’s clone army—inauthentic animal “rights” activists who troll the internet and social media, vilifying those who remain consistent in their love across the animal kingdom.

Attack of the Clones 

It is now as predictable as PETA’s killing itself, that every time No Kill activists cry foul in blogs and on Facebook pages about that killing, our movement experiences the influx and scrutiny of the PETA-lovers. Content to ignore our movement unless it is to defend those who kill, content to ignore that the No Kill movement is the single, most effective and uncompromising voice for the rights of dogs and cats, we are nonetheless paradoxically lectured and scolded by these individuals, people who put their allegiance to an organization that deliberately poisons thousands of animals every year, an organization headed by a seriously disturbed individual, before the values they claim to represent, as they condone PETA’s killing, and indeed, even celebrate it.

Try to imagine the scene at PETA headquarters, stacked high with furry bodies, on the day of the regularly scheduled visit from Tidewater Pet Cremation Services to which PETA delivers an estimated 30,000 tons of dead animals every year—no doubt making them one of that business’ “best” customers. How is it that the organization generally regarded as the nation’s largest “animal rights” organization is in fact creating piles of dead animals, killed by their own hand, while other animals rights “leaders” and legions of grassroots activists look the other way or defend them in this effort?

Stop almost any American on the street, and chances are pretty good that within just a few seconds of striking up a conversation about PETA’s killing—that once the person you are talking to overcame their initial disbelief that PETA routinely kills animals—she or he would be quick to condemn it. Yet strike up the same conversation with self-professed “animal rights activists” and you are likely to get a litany of excuses that condone and defend it. Unfortunately, those who should be the first and loudest to condemn PETA’s actions and fight for No Kill policies in our nation’s shelters are the least likely people to actually do so. To too many animal rights activists, animals have a right to life up until the moment they cross the threshold of either PETA headquarters or one of our nation’s shelters and then, they no longer do.

Who and what is to blame for this obvious contradiction? After all, no one enters the animal rights movement believing that cats and dogs are the exception to the rule. In fact, many people become animal rights activists as a result of a deep and meaningful relationship with a dog or a cat. Rather, it is a philosophy one must be schooled to accept and to champion. Animal rights activists who defend PETA’s killing of 2,000 animals a year and the killing of another four million in our nation’s pounds have to be taught to unlove dogs and cats.

I’ve written elsewhere how the need for identity and allegiance often trumps the lives of the animals for many animal rights activists. I’ve also written how PETA trains its supporters to squash their natural empathy for companion animals in order to convince them that killing them is the ultimate act of “love” because the animals “might someday suffer” and in fact, that killing is a “gift” because the animals themselves “want to die.” And I’ve written how supporters of PETA navigate the five stages of guilt to close off any critical thinking about their own corruption and hypocrisy: anger, defensiveness, denial, assertion of authority, and more anger. In other words, they will do as they are told. We know what went wrong for these individuals: they were carefully taught. But what went wrong in the movement?

Tragic Betrayals 

As we write in Friendly Fire, although the last decade has seen the No Kill movement make unprecedented progress solving a crisis responsible for the deaths of millions of animals every year, there continues to be a deep bias against and ignorance about the No Kill movement within the animal rights community today. And while there are thankfully a growing number of animal rights activists who are making the leap to supporting No Kill, overall they remain the exception. Of course, PETA’s anti-No Kill propaganda is to blame for some of this confusion. The fact that PETA continuously equates No Kill with hoarding and animal suffering while lying to their followers about the “necessity” of killing cats and dogs is the primary factor contributing to this troubling paradox. But it is not the only one.

Like Ingrid Newkirk, many of the founders and employees working at our nation’s animal rights organizations came to animal rights by way of sheltering. This meant that they not only brought to the cause the historical excuses used to justify the killing of animals in shelters, but having had many animals die at their very hands, they needed a way to justify their own untoward behavior in light of their competing beliefs. To champion a cause that claims that animals have rights while at the same time having killed thousands of animals themselves required them to adopt an inconsistent philosophy to reconcile what in reality are diametrically opposing values. This view became firmly cemented within the animal rights movement when other animal right leaders, deferring to the “expertise” of their friends and colleagues who had worked in shelters, bought into the rationalizations and failed to challenge them. And so a deadly philosophical dichotomy emerged within the animal rights movement: one that held that all animals have a right to life, except those who enter shelters. This killing, it was argued, was necessary where the other kinds were not and those doing the killing were not to blame, but rather unsung heroes courageously performing the public’s dirty work.

In fact, efforts that focus on dogs and cats are often viewed with disdain and somehow “less animal rights” than other issues. Many animal rights activists erroneously believe the thousands of shelters across this country are in fact meeting the needs of these animals who therefore require no further advocacy or attention on their part. And they believe this because the people and organizations they trust to keep them informed about important issues affecting animals refuse to do so when the victims are not in factory farms or laboratories, but inside our nation’s animal shelters.

Today, healthy debate within the animal rights movement is discouraged in favor of “movement unity” and deference to the agendas promoted by large, powerful organizations. It is a top-heavy movement—and therefore intolerant of dissent, suspicious of change and prone to censorship. While many animal rights activists, lacking a sophisticated understanding of the pressing need for No Kill reform, underestimate and dismiss the cause as a mere “animal welfare” issue, leadership of animal rights organizations are not so naive and are far more calculating. They willfully ignore the No Kill movement and fail to champion its more widespread implementation precisely because it challenges the historical narrative they have used to explain and excuse shelter killing since the movement’s inception. In the animal rights movement today, innovations that threaten the prevailing paradigm are rejected in favor of the status quo.

You will find no mention of No Kill in the newsletters of large animal rights organizations. You are unlikely to find it mentioned on their websites, on their Facebook pages, nor any of the other ways these organizations regularly communicate with their members, except—in the case of PETA—to denigrate it. Likewise, No Kill is notably absent from the agendas of national animal rights conferences. Because the guidelines of these conferences mandate that speakers not criticize other animal protection organizations—even when doing so is required to expose their actions which harm animals and deny them their rights—No Kill advocates are under a gag order that prevents them from sharing the true causes of shelter killing as well as its proven cure—rejecting old philosophies and those who embody them. Within the animal rights community today, it is not what is right that matters, but who is right—even when they are clearly wrong. As a result, many animal rights activists continue to parrot the charade that the killing of innocent dogs and cats is acceptable, consistent with their beliefs that one should never kill pigs, cows or chickens.

This conspiracy of silence combined with an historical embrace of both the excuses used to rationalize the killing and those who promote them have coalesced to render the No Kill movement essentially invisible to most animal rights activists, except when it is being bashed and misrepresented by PETA. The so-called leaders of the animal rights movement keep grassroots activists ignorant and impotent, denying them the information necessary to see through PETA’s nefarious agenda and the tools they could use to assure lifesaving success at the shelters in their own communities. And while dogs and cats may come away as the most obvious losers, they are by no means the only ones.

For it is the public’s love and compassion for companion animals that could create profound social and legal precedents that would benefit all animals, such as laws making it illegal to kill them. A recent survey revealed that three out of four Americans already believe that shelters should not be allowed to kill healthy animals. Were such laws to be introduced, their passage would provide an important framework for future animal advocacy. History and the human rights movement predict that such a door, once opened, will, with time, be pushed ever wider to accommodate other species of animals currently being exploited or killed in other contexts. Yet the nation’s largest animal rights groups work to ensure that this door remains firmly shut, not only leaving vast potential that would benefit all animals lying untapped, but sacrificing their most fundamental ideals for the reputations of those who defend the killing and have schooled an entire generation of animal rights activists to do the same.

And it will only change when we force that door open, a task that will be made much easier when animal rights advocates are exposed to the truth before they become corrupted. It will be easier when animal rights advocates rekindle the compassion they once had for all animals before they were given the Orwellian lesson that killing is an act of love, rather than the act of violence it truly is. It will be easier when they take PETA’s famous question, “Why is one animal called dinner and another called a pet?” and ask it in reverse to come to an unassailable conclusion: If it is wrong to kill a cow or chicken or pig or fish (and I believe that it is), it is also wrong to kill a dog or cat.

A photograph from Friendly Fire:

A dead mother cat and her two perfectly healthy kittens killed by PETA employees in the back of a van, a donor-funded death squad on wheels, minutes after promising a veterinarian that they would find them homes. According to the veterinarian’s testimony in court under oath, prior to giving them to PETA, the cat and kittens were in no danger of being killed. 

For further reading:

Friendly Fire

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Have a comment? Join the discussion by clicking here.

My Facebook page is www.facebook.com/nathanwinograd. Many people mistakenly believe that the Facebook pages at No Kill Nation and No Kill Revolution are my pages. They are not.

Frenemies

November 2, 2012 by  

Go on the website or Facebook page of HumaneWatch or the Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) and you’ll find a litany of articles and postings attacking the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) for their hypocrisy and corruption. Not only do they attack HSUS generally, they attack HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle, specifically. Read Wayne Pacelle’s blog and you’ll see plenty of articles attacking CCF, Humane Watch and their founder, Rick Berman. At first glance, you would think that they are mortal enemies. You’d be wrong. Scratch beneath the superficial surface, dig a little deeper and you’ll see that in fact Wayne Pacelle “loves” and needs Rick Berman. Why? Berman provides him the political cover he needs to avoid accountability and continue to mislead supporters.

Today, the number one cause of death for healthy dogs and cats in the U.S. is the local animal shelter. In spite of this, HSUS will readily admit it is the nation’s biggest cheerleader for these very shelters and it has proven that by defending them publicly even when they abuse and kill animals. They recently gave an award to a shelter which kills 9 out of ten animals and illegally and sadistically puts different species of animals in the gas chamber together to watch them fight before turning on the gas, calling it “A Shelter We Love.”

HSUS also fights reform efforts nationwide, including legislation introduced by animal lovers in several states mandating simple, common sense procedures which would protect shelter animals. HSUS successfully defeated animal protection legislation that would have banned the gas chamber, banned breed discrimination, mandated that shelters not kill animals when non-profit rescue groups are willing to save those animals, and which would have prohibited the common practice of killing animals when there are empty cages, a thoroughly reprehensible sheltering protocol which HSUS endorses unequivocally, while simultaneously disparaging the motives of anyone who questions these actions.

HSUS has a history of referring to people who want to reform deplorable sheltering practices as “divisive” and even “crazy” and asserting that such people hurt animals by creating strife and fostering discontent within the animal protection movement. They also tell their followers that people who criticize them are not animal lovers, but people with a secret agenda to destroy the animal rights movement.

When an animal lover recently wrote HSUS upset that they had betrayed the dogs abused by Michael Vick by lobbying to have them killed and then later embracing their abuser (even urging him to adopt a dog from a shelter), HSUS did not respond to the issue. Instead, they hid behind the CCF, stating,

The misinformation spread by those who oppose our animal protection work is astounding—and the same things you post are ones that our opponents at the so called center for consumer freedom spread. These are people that defend the seal hunt, don’t see puppy mills as a big issue, and while they say it’s good to support your local shelter, back in 08′ over 92% of their funds went to one man, and his PR firm – a man that is also the founder of CCF. An issue like animal protection is bound to have people who disagree, who have conflicts, and that is important as sometimes different perspectives lead to great changes being made. That should not however, mean siding on the side of people trying to defend the very cruelty we are trying to stop.

In other words, while animal lovers were angry that HSUS was given a $50,000 grant by the Philadelphia Eagles for providing political cover for their star quarterback—a sadist who enjoyed beating dogs to death, hanging dogs, drowning dogs in buckets, shooting dogs, repeatedly slamming them to the ground, burying them alive, and attaching jumper cables connected to car batteries to their ears and then throwing them in a swimming pool—HSUS responded by arguing that those who criticized HSUS for their cozy and financially beneficial relationship with Vick are not concerned animal lovers, but people who support puppy mills and seal killers.

In fact, no matter what the issue, HSUS invariably responds to criticism in the same way—by creating a diversion. First they defame those who are holding HSUS accountable for their actions, stating but never giving proof how the concerns are “misinformation” or how, exactly, being concerned that HSUS did something which harmed animals translates into supporting puppy mills or wanting baby seals to be clubbed to death, and then they simply change the subject. They sent a similar statement to someone who complained to them after HSUS sent dogs they claimed to have “rescued” to a shelter which killed them by gassing. Ignore the issue, smear the messenger, then change the subject. It’s an effective sleight of hand used by HSUS over and over again, and is a shield that comes courtesy of the Center for Consumer Freedom.

Providing Pacelle the political cover to deflect criticism is not the only way Pacelle and HSUS manipulate CCF attacks to their own advantage. Playing the wounded innocent whenever the CCF goes on the attack with newspaper or television ads exposing HSUS corruption, HSUS asks their supporters to dig a little deeper to show their support. And invariably they do, not only by donating plenty of money, but often coming to their defense publicly as well. Through blogs, twitter and Facebook, so-called animal lovers duped by HSUS troll the social media, disparaging the motives of anyone—myself included—who criticizes the large national groups such as HSUS, thereby creating unwarranted suspicion of No Kill and those working to create an authentic and uncorrupted animal protection movement.

WHO DO YOU LOVE?
Like every social justice movement that has come before it, the cause of animal protection should be—first and foremost—a movement not of organizations and personalities, but of ideals—a belief in the right of animals to be free of suffering and abuse, and most importantly, to be free to live their lives. These values are the heart of our cause, the reason we exist. Animal protection organizations and the people who work at them are means to this greater end, not the end itself. As I have written so many times before, it is not who is right, but what is right that should dictate our behavior and our allegiance. When individuals and organizations authentically represent the goals of our movement, we should stand by them. When individuals and organizations fail to do so—as HSUS has done over and over again—not only should we expose them for the frauds that they are, our duty to animals dictates that we must.

While I do not embrace or support the Center for Consumer Freedom or what it stands for, that doesn’t change the fact that when it comes to their criticism of HSUS and PETA’s support for shelter killing and in the case of PETA, their own killing of thousands of animals every year, the CCF is correct in their criticism. While the motivations may be entirely base, what they are saying is in fact true, even though on everything else they are entirely wrong: we should ban the Canadian seal slaughter, we should close down puppy mills, we should eliminate the killing of animals for food, and we should ban hunting. To borrow an old saying, even a broken clock is right twice a day.

Moreover, it is not the Center for Consumer Freedom which is thwarting our effort to achieve a No Kill nation or build a better world for companion animals; rather, it is the leaders of organizations who are supposed to protect animals but instead betray them. It is also the legions of gullible grassroots activists who mindlessly come to their defense and eagerly dismiss all criticism of these organizations as a vast conspiracy of animal exploiters, thus allowing those betrayals to continue.

Every time the Center for Consumer Freedom places an ad in a newspaper that exposes the grisly and disturbing truth about PETA’s killing or the truth about HSUS’ fraudulent fundraising, our response should be to address the hypocrisy and corruption being reported. Why? Because, tragically, they are true, and because those actions hurt animals: in the case of PETA because they literally inject thousands of animals a year with a fatal dose of poison and, in the case of HSUS, because they divert money donated with the best of intentions into their bloated coffers where it will be used to undermine, rather than further, the welfare of animals.

Ignoring the corruption within our movement will not make that corruption go away, nor will it ever stop it from causing real harm to animals. Only by refusing to tolerate that corruption and demanding change can we ever hope to do that. Moreover, it is naïve to ignore that it is already well within the power of HSUS (and, for that matter, PETA) to stop the ads that expose their hypocrisy and misdeeds if the leadership of those groups truly wanted to—by simply bringing their corruption to an end. Instead, HSUS has found a clever way to deflect all criticism for their actions so they don’t have to change, so they can continue to fraudulently fundraise, continue to undermine the effort to save the lives of dogs and cats in shelters, and even continue to get those who should be their most vocals critics—grassroots animal activists—to defend them while they do so. Pacelle knowingly serves up ammunition against himself to CCF on a silver platter then uses that same silver platter as a shield to defend himself against valid criticism by arguing that any censure of HSUS is simply part of a vast conspiracy by animal exploiters. That is why—although I am a vegan who believes in animal rights, who believes in an end to the killing of animals for any reason, and who believes in everything that the CCF exists to oppose—I believe defending HSUS (and PETA) for their hypocrisy and corruption hurts animals. The animal protection movement is hypocritical and it is inauthentic in its embrace of the killing of dogs and cats. And too many people who claim to love animals defend these groups anyway, putting their allegiance to organizations and the people who work at them before the very lives of animals.

Indeed, in promoting the corruption of our movement, the CCF has placed themselves in a Catch-22. Were the CCF to actually succeed in forcing reform, the animal protection movement as a whole would grow stronger. Should CCF succeed in reforming those practices of HSUS and PETA of which they are most critical, their success would also be their own loss and the animals’ unequivocal gain. And that is why, in reality, Berman and CCF do not want HSUS or PETA to reform. If they did, they could no longer attack them or the movement for hypocrisy and they would be forced to start fighting on the merits of the cause alone. And as the history of our country demonstrates, we are on the winning side of that debate. Those who work to eliminate the suffering and death of others—to build a kinder, gentler, and more just world—eventually triumph. But how can we get to that point if those in positions of leadership within our own movement are inauthentic, promote killing, and time and again sell out those they are supposed to be protecting? As long as there people in positions of leadership whose actions demonstrate that they do not really care about animals and who continue to sully the reputation and authenticity of the movement that they are supposed to represent, we are hobbled, and the longer animals will continue to suffer and die.

And so my plea to every animal activist who has been schooled to reject any criticism of HSUS as a vast conspiracy by the Center for Consumer Freedom, HumaneWatch, agribusiness or the pharmaceutical industry, is this: do your homework. Decide for yourself if you really want to defend HSUS once you learn about the many ways this group has truly harmed animals, undermined the efforts of those of us who want to bring killing to an end and defended those who systematically kill thousands of animals every year. Educate yourself about the tremendous success the No Kill movement is having in its efforts to protect the lives and well-being of millions of animals every year. And give yourself permission to entertain the notion that you have been misled, and that, like so many movements for social justice that have come before ours, it is in the voices of dissent—in this case, the voices of No Kill advocates—where you find truth and authenticity, and not the halls of power.

With genuine animal lovers at the helm of our nation’s large animal protection groups instead of pretenders like Wayne Pacelle, we could begin to exploit the vast, untapped potential in our society which would allow us to build a better, kinder and gentler world for all animals. Americans deeply love dogs and cats, and consider them cherished members of their families who deserve legal protection. They are ready and willing to give this group of animals their legal rights. And not only will doing so save the lives of millions of dogs, cats and other shelter animals every year, but, just as significant, it will create an important legal foundation which can be leveraged for the benefit of all animals, no matter the species, whatever the manner of exploitation. Right now, Wayne Pacelle is standing in the way of us saving those lives and creating that valuable precedent.

And every time you defend him, you are, too.

For Further Reading:

ABOUT HSUS:

The Indictment of Wayne Pacelle

Legalized Torture

The ‘Albatross’ About Our Necks

ABOUT NO KILL SUCCESS:

It’s Even Better Than You Think

No Kill 2.0

No Kill News

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Have a comment? Join the discussion by clicking here.

My Facebook page is www.facebook.com/nathanwinograd. Many people mistakenly believe that the Facebook pages at No Kill Nation and No Kill Revolution are my pages. They are not.

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