I love the feeling that I get when a disempowering world view is proven false. Maybe you can identify with the feeling of despair that I feel when I think about the 3.7 miillion animals euthanized each year. Now, I love pets and animals. I’ve donated to the ASPCA and my local animal shelter a number of times. I have three dogs that I’ve adopted when they were older than 7, because my heart broke when I heard that dogs over 7 are considered unadoptable. I’m the fourth known owner of my cat, Francis.
And even though I felt like I was doing my part, I hated that so many animals were killed every year, and while I wished it didn’t have to happen, I believed it was a necessary evil. There are too many pets and not enough homes. And we as a community were to blame for not being more responsible.
I found out about Nathan Winograd while reading Seth Godin’s book, Tribes– a great book that informs you that the world needs and wants you to be a leader. It’s a great book. On one of the pages, I folded a corner, because I wanted to find out more about Nathan Winograd. Nathan is redefining the world of animal control in the face of massive resistance from the status quo. He begins with the premise that every animal is worth saving and everything possible must be done to save it. You can read the entire No Kill Declaration.
As a result of his efforts and strategies, in large cities across the United States, including San Fransisco, Reno, and Austin, shelters are transitioning to No Kill Shelter models and dramatically reducing the numbers of euthanized animals. In Chicago, the number of euthanized animals has decreased by 50%.
All of a sudden, I’ve been exposed to an alternate world view. Original World View: even though we try, we have to kill animals because people are too irresponsible. That world view makes me feel like garbage. New World View: a no kill future is possible and here’s how we do it. That’s a world view that gets me excited and hopeful. It’s a future I want to be a part of and support.
Yes, I know Nathan Winograd is controversial and antagonistic. Yes, I know that the major animal organizations including the ASPCA do not support him. But I have to choose between being empowered or being disempowered. I have to choose between eliminating the problem or coping with the problem. I have to choose between believing that there is a way to achieve a future where every animal has a home or believing that were already doing the best we can.
I choose to support Nathan Winograd and the No Kill Shelter movement. As a member of the People with Compassion for Pets Change Gang, I can support them by sharing his movement with my gang, and I hope that as a group, we will choose to support them financially.