In a nutshell, Mr. Winograd believes that if you do certain things whole heartedly and have leadership committed to the idea of not killing animals that can be placed in homes, you can reduce the number of companion animals that are killed in an animal shelters. Over 4 million animals were killed in animal shelters in the United States in 2010. Winograd believes more lives can be saved and the leading cause of death for cats and dogs is not being killed in an animal shelter.
Winograd has worked in several shelters around the United States, both as a leader and a consultant. His formula for action is for animal shelters to do the following things and make a commitment from kennel floor to boardroom to not killing healthy animals for whom it is possible to find homes.
1. high-volume, low/no-cost spay/neuter
2. comprehensive adoptions
3. foster care
4. use of volunteers
5. marketing/public relations
6. medical care and rehabilitation
7. behavior care and rehabilitation
8. neuter and release (TNR)
9. working with rescue groups
10. pet retention efforts
11. proactive redemptions
|Mom cat and kittens at KC Pet Project|
I am still digesting what Mr. Winograd said and still reading his books. One thing is clear to me. You can't just do one of these items listed above--you need to do all of them, and not halfway. Some of them interlock as well. However, the spring is when the scope of the problem is truly appreciated. It's not just that there are many animals, it is just that it isn't their fault they have ended up in the situation they find themselves and it becomes a matter of proper stewardship and care to find a solution to homeless pets that does not involve killing them.
Kansas City Pet Project is less than six months old in operating the Kansas City Missouri shelter. They are still building their base of donors, volunteers, and foster families. If you are interested in helping the shelter in anyway, visit the website, www.kcpetproject.org or call 816-513-9821.
For more on the work of Nathan Winograd visit www.nathanwinograd.com.
Adoptable dog at KC Pet Project