Nathan Winograd’s Loaded Pet Overpopulation Survey (And Why You Should Take It)

“If you are one of those people who believes you “love” animals but continues to defend killing based on a belief in pet overpopulation, I want to understand why it is that—when the very thing which you have publicly lamenting all these years as the “tragic” cause of animal killing turns out NOT to exist—you do not celebrate, but rather, go on the attack in its defense, even as HSUS—the flagship of the killing establishment—has abandoned you in the belief. Here is my survey for you:”–Nathan Winograd

Nathan Winograd wants to know why you still don’t trust him. I mean, you love animals, right? You hate that they die in shelters–right?  Didn’t you hear? The numbers just don’t add up. There is no companion animal overpopulation crisis. There are more than enough homes for all of the animals who are needlessly dying in shelters–so why aren’t you celebrating? What’s wrong with you?

According to Winograd, the data supports his claims that there are 17 million potential homes for the 3 million animals who are currently dying in shelters’ revolving doors, thus proving that companion animal overpopulation is a myth. Winograd says that shelters all over the country have adopted his patented shelter reform principles and literally ended their euthanasia of adoptable animals–overnight. Yet there are holdouts within the animal protection community who say it’s just too good to be true and Winograd wants to know why. And now he’s asking. Sort of.

Nathan Winograd is challenging naysayers to refute his evidence–in survey form. And while his survey reads more like a cry for help than a pet overpopulation survey, you have to admit it’s an interesting way to frame his argument. So, let’s take the bait. Let’s take his survey right here, right now, together, where our answers may actually count for something. As we go through each question, think about how you would answer it.

The Survey:

QUESTION ONE:

I believe that there are too many animals (“supply”) and too few homes (“demand”). The latest data says three million dogs and cats are killed but for a home. I believe demand exceeds supply because my data shows demand is___________________ [fill in number of homes annually, please state whether this includes replacement homes (a pet dies or runs away), new homes (a first pet) and expanding homes (a second, third, etc. pet), as well as your source].

Answer: No one really knows how many animals (“supply”) are entering our shelters and being euthanized there. While some states require animal releasing facilities to report their intake and disposition of animals to state agencies, others don’t, and there is no centralized national agency counting animals. The National Council on Pet Population Study & Policy identified and mailed intake and disposition surveys to over 5,000 shelters that handled a minimum of 100 animals per year in 1994, and repeated the survey for the following three consecutive years. While the endeavor was remarkable in its ambition, the results were disappointing. With only 20% of the polled shelters responding (even after reminder cards were issued throughout the year), the NCPPSP abandoned the collection of data using survey cards, with the following disclaimer:

It is not possible to use these statistics to estimate the numbers of animals entering animal shelters in the United States, or the numbers euthanized on an annual basis.  The reporting Shelters may not represent a random sampling of U.S. shelters.”

The NCPPSP is conducting new research, tracking the intake of animals and their disposition in eighteen US shelters and weighing the data against the human populations of the communities each shelter serves. The NCPPSP is hopeful that the formula will be useful in developing hypothetical annual and quarterly shelter population tracking trends that will allow them to estimate the number of animals entering shelters in other areas, in the future. Until all shelters report their numbers to their respective states, and each state reports its data to a centralized agency (like the USDA) , we can only guess at how many animals America’s shelters handle every year, even with sophisticated hypothetical tracking formulas.

The Asilomar Accords has designed a comprehensive standardized annual statistics table to track shelter trends, but like the NCPPSP survey, shelter participation is completely voluntary, and fewer than 200 shelters are currently participating.

Estimates for combined shelter euthanasia numbers range from 3 million to 10 million, but no one really knows for certain how many animals are dying in shelters, not even Nathan Winograd. And while Winograd limits the discussion of pet overpopulation to shelter animals, adoptable animals entering shelters account for only a portion of all homeless animals (“supply”). A study published in 2003 puts the number of homeless feral street dogs (“supply”)  in America at 33 million animals. In his book “Introduced Mammals of the World: Their History, Distribution, and Influence,” John L. Long writes that several American cities have homeless feral street dog (“supply”) populations of as many as 50,000 animals. Long estimates that feral cat (“supply”) populations in the US are as high as 70 million animals.

I should probably discuss why I’m answering this question backwards.  Nathan Winograd clearly asks about the “demand” end of the equation in his survey, not the “supply” end. Well, I’m not disputing that there are 17 million American households that may potentially be persuaded to adopt a shelter animal rather than acquiring an animal elsewhere. I’m not disputing it because it’s a pet products industry survey statistic, and purchasing the data ranges in cost from several hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on which marketing research firm you purchase it from. We’ll just have to take Winograd’s word about the 17 million potential homes for now. Some of us have bills to pay.

When and only when the discussion includes all homeless animals, those who enter shelters and those who make a hard living on the streets, can  we even begin to discuss “supply” and “demand” ratios.  So the companion animal overpopulation crisis is officially back on. In anticipation of this startling new development, Nathan Winograd issued the following statement on the online survey form:

“* Even if “pet overpopulation” was real, shelter killing would still be immoral. Advancing a practical over an ethical argument has long been the safe haven for those who want to justify untoward practices. Even accepting the sincerity of the claim, even if the practical calculus was correct, protecting life that is not suffering is a timeless and absolute principle upon which responsible advocates must tailor their practices. Every action they take must be subservient to preserving life. Ethics will always trump the practical and the two are seldom so inexorably linked that an untoward action must follow some fixed practical imperative.”

Let’s move on now.

QUESTION TWO:

“There are roughly 70 communities representing about 200 cities and towns across the U.S. that achieved No Kill, many of them overnight simply by changing the way the shelter operated. Some of these communities are small, some large taking in over 20,000 animals a year and they cover the demographic spectrum (urban, rural, liberal, conservative, affluent, impoverished, municipal shelter, private shelter). They are not “turning animals away” as they are open admission municipal shelters. Animals are not sitting in cages and kennels for years (see No. 5, below). This is logically inconsistent with pet overpopulation since they adopted their way out of killing, many times before a comprehensive spay/neuter program was in place. Yet I can prove that pet overpopulation is real in spite of these successes because ________________________________________________.”

Answer: Let’s talk about shelter admission policies first. “Open-admission” shelters take all strays and owner-relinquished animals on presentation. Many open-admission shelters utilize “drop boxes” that make it possible for persons finding stray animals, or those wishing to surrender owned-animals to relinquish those animals outside of normal shelter hours. “Limited-admission” shelters limit their intake of animals in any number of ways. Shelters that restrict their intake to specific species or breeds are limited-admission shelters. Shelters that restrict their intake based on space availability, or that use scheduling and waiting lists for admitting animals, are limited-admission shelters. Shelters that restrict their intake to healthy animals only, excluding animals who may require humane medical euthanasia, are limited-admission shelters. Shelters that require owners surrendering their animals to pursue all alternatives prior to their relinquishment, or to pay exorbitant relinquishment fees, are limited-admission shelters. Shelters that do not take all strays and owner-relinquished animals upon presentation, are limited-admission shelters.

The “70 or so communities representing about 200 cities and towns” (0.06% of the 35,000 cities and townships in America) that Nathan Winograd refers to in this question, are shelters that have “live release” rates of 90% or higher. “Live release” rates include animals who have been adopted and who have been relinquished to rescues and fosters. “Live release” rates also include animals who are transferred to other shelters and holding facilities, both inside and outside of the community. There is no data supporting Winograd’s claims that shelters are “adopting their way out of killing animals.” Many shelters are simply transferring their way out of killing animals.

I recently polled dozens of the shelters Nathan Winograd claims are “not  turning animals away,” and many stated that they do in fact limit their admissions. Some decline to accept owner-surrenders for medical euthanasia, and many limit their admissions due to space constraints. Some schedule admissions, or have waiting lists that are weeks and months long. Several accept either stray animals or owner-surrendered animals–but not both. A few limit their admissions to animals who fit their established adoption profiles, or require a medical screenings prior to admission. All rely heavily on rescues and fosters to make room for new animals. Nearly all of the shelters I contacted were candid about their realities: They limit their admissions so that they can limit their euthanasia. They limit their admissions for the health and safety of the animals who are already in the shelter. Shelters limit their admissions to give the animals they already have the best possible shot at being adopted, but at the expense of the animals they have to turn away.

Shelters that limit their admissions can focus their limited resources on “live release” rates, but the animals they refuse to admit may still go on to be euthanized elsewhere. They are not ending the euthanasia of adoptable animals in their communities, they are simply redirecting it elsewhere.

Shelters are turning animals away, and they’re admitting to it. Over 34,000 cities and townships are euthanizing greater than 10% (the national average is 50%) of the animals their shelters admit, and there are still more companion animals than potential homes for them.

QUESTION THREE

“There are communities with per capita intake rates 20 times higher than New York City that are No Kill, higher than the intake rates in most communities. This is logically inconsistent with pet overpopulation. Yet I can prove that pet overpopulation is real in spite of this information because ______________________.”

Answer: Detroit has fewer human residents than New York City and they are dealing with a homeless feral dog population between 20,000 and 50,000 animals, and a feral cat population that is even higher. These animals aren’t represented in Detroit’s shelter statistics. Tens of thousands of homeless feral street dogs in a single city is logically consistent with companion animal overpopulation.

QUESTION FOUR

“Since puppy mills and pet stores that sell milled animals are only in it for the money, they wouldn’t exist if they weren’t making money by selling animals. And given that they wouldn’t be selling animals if there weren’t plenty of homes available, if pet overpopulation is real, why do puppy mills and pet stores exist? My answer is ______________________________.”

Answer: There are nearly 316 million people living in the United States today, 271 million of whom own cell phones. There are over 700 million operable used cell phones in the US–roughly 2 for every man, woman, and child. The average American cell phone user replaces his or her cell phone every 14 to 18 months, even though with proper care cell phones are designed to last up to five years.  Apple cannot make iPhones as fast as Americans want to buy them. There is no cell phone shortage, yet there are factories churning out new cell phones, and there are cell phone kiosks in every American mall, and in nearly every department and electronics store. Though some consumers may be considering purchasing a used cell phone, new cell phone manufacturers and providers are constantly assessing ways to tap that pivotal market.

There’s psychology behind consumerism, and trends in consumerism are closely studied. Information about our daily consumer choices is collected and sold to marketing research firms, and then resold to retailers throughout the world. But what motivates our choices as consumers?

Motivation has been defined as “a need that is sufficiently pressing to drive the person to act.” In “An Overview of Needs Theories Behind Consumerism,” by By David Ward (PhD), and Marta Lasen (BA), it is explained that our human needs fall into several basic categories; biological and physiological needs, safety needs, belongingness and love needs, esteem needs, cognitive needs, aesthetic needs, self-actualization needs, and transcendence needs, and what we acquire and why we acquire it is based on those needs. The data shows that we consumers acquire goods and services not only based on need, but also based on our incomes and opportunities. Pet stores and breeders give us lots of opportunities to acquire pets, and they breed them with our “needs” in mind.

Americans spent 2.14 billion dollars on live pets last year, according to American Pet Products Association, Inc. The pet industry is clearly a lucrative market, and animal breeders work very hard every year to increase their share of it. If the animal protection movement were matching the pet industry’s marketing budget for promoting live animal sales, dollar for dollar, promoting adoptions, we could still only expect to have 50% of the undecided market. That’s 8.5 million potential homes–for 100 million potential animals. Best case scenario.

Who’s promoting animal adoptions on a national level? The HSUS, and PeTA. Two of the groups most attacked by Nathan Winograd for not doing enough for companion animals.

QUESTION FIVE

“When shelters do a good job, when they keep animals alive long enough to be adopted, when they market their animals, when they have good customer service, when they fully implement all the programs of the No Kill Equation, animals live instead of die. And they are not sitting in cages or kennels for year. Average length of stay runs from 8 to about 14 days, about the time a dog spends in a boarding kennel when his family is on vacation. My response: ________________________.”

Answer: In an important paper regarding shelter cat stays, Dilara G. Parry writes: “At the San Francisco SPCA, where I have worked for the past 6 years, a cats’ average length of stay is 21 days. However, at any given time, five to ten percent of our cats have been in our facility for longer than 90 days, a stay we consider long-term. About two percent of our cats stay past the 120 day mark. And we have had cats stay as long as 240 days. When we analyze those cats who have been here longer than 90 days, we find that 8 out of 10 had presenting behavior problems. Other factors that contribute include serious medical concerns and/or old age.”

And some animals are staying in cages and kennels for years:

“Many of our readers were heartbroken to hear the tale of an 8 year old dog languishing in a rural Missouri pound after spending her entire life in confinement. Our inbox was flooded with your questions after we shared her Petfinder listing recently, and it was apparent that many of you were on a mission to spring Hailey from her kennel at the Dogwood Animal Shelter. We’re happy to tell you that mission has been accomplished.”~ Life with Dogs

Still, many shelters that are limiting their admissions to focus on adoptions are having great success. I applaud their efforts. I get why shelters don’t want to euthanize unwanted animals, and there are many unwanted animals. Open-admission shelters deserve love too, though, because they aren’t turning unwanted animals away, leaving them to fates that may be worse than death. I say this a lot, but as long as people consider animals to be disposable property, euthanasia will be the by-product of their ignorance.

Now it’s time for you to take the survey, on your own, and with your own answers. But instead of answering it on Nathan Winograd’s website (where your valuable insight will fall on deaf ears), answer it on your own blogs and discussion forums, where it may actually do some good. Spread this survey far and wide, and ask your friends to answer it for themselves. Oh, and I encourage you to be as emphatic as you want. Your CAPS LOCK is welcome here.

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36 thoughts on “Nathan Winograd’s Loaded Pet Overpopulation Survey (And Why You Should Take It)

    • I agree that people aquire pets for many reasons, some of those reasons may or may not be selfish. I’m not comfortable being the judge of somebody, and their motive,.for pet ownership. I would be more inclined to say that people get dogs for reasons that meet their needs and are not informed better on the dog they select, be it purchase or pound. I mentioned recently on another thread. I met this lovely early 70’s couple who had adopted a strong breed a year earlyer at 8 months…… the dog ” matured ” during a vet appointment and almost killed another dog passing by. Those people took that dog for altruistic reasons, they adored that dog and had been bringing it to water therapy for a year to the same place; however the dog ” grew up”. and turned into a PB that was dog aggressive. The dog i’m sure will not be kept a long time in that home now……..We cannot be so quick to blame the public, that’s Nathans job
      Frankly I blame the decline in adoptions to the economy and the fact that shelters are not being able to manage their populations in a way that keeps more dogs adoptable.

      • Maybe I’m oversimplifying. What I was trying to say in my comment, people that adopt homeless animals are my heroes because they saved a life, people that buy pets it’s for usually selfish reasons.

      • No, you’re not oversimpifying it, You said the same thing you did earler.People that adopt are heroes, and people who buy are selfish.that’s what you said;and I’m sure how you feel. This may be an area where we need to agree to disagree and move on.. That is absolutly not how I feel. There is a whole class of people who adopt to make themselves feel good, I deal with them every time the return an animal.

      • So much of what we experience in our region colors out outlook, we just have a very high return rate that came with the off site impulse adoptions. I am almost starting to think we should go back to a 24 hour cool off period 🙂

  1. Excellent analysis! Others please also take a look at the link to the Austin Town Lake facility (Autsin is No Kills crown jewel) being on probation due to health concerns for the animals. For those who are not in the shelter business it maybe a bit hard to understand but the objection to no kill has nothing to do with admirable efforts to save all possible animals. It has everything to do with cramming animals into poor conditions where disease runs amok and the animals suffer. I have seen this numerous times myself and it is not pretty to watch healthy puppies and kittens slowly die simply for gain of a few politicians who did no homework before adopting the philosopy and getting their one photo op.

  2. Normally I don’t learn post on blogs, but I wish to say that this write-up very compelled me to check out and do it! Your writing style has been surprised me. Thanks, very nice article.

  3. Excellent response. Too bad most followers of no kill will never read it as near as I can figure many are not too interested in checking anything out and tend to take all at face value. One additional comment. Even if the math were to add up which it does not. One would have to assume that the available animals were basically monolithic widgets ie. all the same. Unfortunately people have this odd habit in many cases of actually wanting something specific (breed, size) etc. If the shelter does not have it they simply call somewhere else. Without going into the morality of that one way or another it is the reality.

  4. This is a survey designed to help Winograd develop new lies and propaganda.

    He is trying to find out where people have detected the flaws in his propaganda so he can rewrite it using whatever necessary lies or false numbers are required to fool them again.

  5. “Shelters that limit their admissions can focus their limited resources on “live release” rates, but the animals they refuse to admit may still go on to be euthanized elsewhere”

    The euthanized ones are the lucky ones. Most of the animals that no kill shelters refuse to take get abandoned to suffer and die outside, are killed inhumanely by owners, or end up in the hands of hoarders where they suffer and die slowly and painfully. Some end up in research labs.

    No Kill simply means that animals get pushed off counted lists and out into the cold, where no ne ever knows how they suffered and died.

    No Kill means kill, just keep the deaths off the statistics so that people like Winograd and his breeders can hide the truth and perpetuate their myths.

  6. And would you have an email address where I could request info? I am looking for a list of all of the ‘no-kill’ shelters in the U.S. It seems you have researched these shelters/communities. Would you share everything you’ve found? Shelters sometimes wear a no kill sign yet their community shelters or other communities handle the overload and carry out euthanasia, as you well know. 20 years ago my mentor told me she would rather euthanize an animal than adopt him or her out to a life of neglect and cruelty. I agree. Dealing with animals in rural non-sheltered counties I would give anything for a safe place to take animals. Regardless whether the facility is no kill or not. Many people do not understand the despair of standing on a one lane country road at night with an abandoned dog in your arms, and no where to take the animal. Few urban residents have ever dealt with animals in non-sheltered communities.

      • If you google Animal Ark they are a web site that says they categorize all the no kill shelters. Their no kill maps appear on the no kill pages from time to time so I am not sure of the association. They also like to use the word no kill communities which is kind of nebulous and be sure and read the fine print on what they call no kill shelters as it relates to their admission policies. Kind of vague too. That said I have communicated with the person that runs the site via their blog and they have not appeared to be reactive to intelligent questions.

  7. I offered to explain to nathan winograd and a local no kill group why it is detrimental to all dogs and cats to claim that overpopulation is a “myth”. I very nicely offered to talk with him by phone and meet with the local rep, offering to take the local rep to lunch. My offers were declined and the local rep attacked me saying she couldn’t understand why I was opposed to no-kill. I then emailed nathan and informed him the only other groups I knew which denied pet overpopulation were the kennel clubs and I wanted him to explain the connection. He threatened legal action against me. What nathan and other no kill folks need to understand is this: rural area, non-sheltered communities are vulnerable in a number of ways. The urban based no kill group has easy access to the media, mainly tv. The outlying rural areas are not given equal media representation, ever. (by the way, the local rep did not even know the meaning of “non-sheltered”) When the urban based no-kill group broadcasts the nonsense that overpopulation is a “myth” on our tv stations it makes it more difficult to convince rural local officials that shelters and animal control measures are needed. The officials could conveniently say there are plenty of homes and no shelter services are needed. When I explained this to the local no kill rep she said “it’s not my fault you can’t get your local officials to work with you.” She definitely lacks compassion and common sense. To say the least. Every day is Hurricane Katrina in non-sheltered/non animal control serviced communities.

    • I guess this is not surprising even though it is sad. No kill supports breeders and simply does not want to have any discussion about thier policies as any questioning could point out some of the fundamental flaws in thier logic. Even though their program does speak to spay and neuter they rarely mention that and continue to focus and heavily advertsie the “no pet over population statement” To the casual reader that clearly means no worries I can adopt from a breeder if I want. Goal achieved while they still can say they are for spay and neuter. It is a common stategy for them too to simply insult anyone that asks a question by suggesting the are for kiiling unless of course you are for no kill which means buying all the flawed logic. Remeber their goal is not to achieve lower EU rates. Their goal is to perpetuate the no pet over population story to support the breeder lobby. As an animal lover I take heart however on the fact that in trying to say their are not too many animals and advertising EU rates they have actully drawn attention to the over population problem. As people begin to ask why I believe breeders will be seen as a significant part of that peorblem.

  8. I was sceptical from the minute I learnt Nathan Winograd denied there was an overpopulation of domestic animals & as I’ve read more of his writings, my scepticism of his motives has risen. Why does a person who purportedly places the interests of those for whom he advocates above all else, act extremely defensive when questioned. It provides an interesting sociological study to witness the number of syncophants who meekly regurgitate his rhetoric. It is entirely illogical to claim that those who believe there is an overpopulation issue are then automatically against ‘no-kill’ – in fact the very opposite is generally true.

    • Many of the people I know that follow no kill are very maternal (the term fur babies is used by some to describe the animals). While I do not criticize this I think it makes them fairly blind to anything beyond a focus on an individual animal or two. They simply do not understands the reality of running an open admission public shelter or the suffering a unfounded mandate to go no kill can cause. While I hope someday all shelters will be no kill legislating it simply will not work since it does not address any of the real problems.
      If you google no kill failures this becomes fairly obvious.

  9. Jo-That is a typical no kill tactic. If you question anything about their logic you are automatically branded a killer in order to drive naive people back to the emotional issue of killing. Remember too if no kill loses the no pet over population story then the lobbying money stops as that was designed to protect the breeders. Book sales stop too! It has been interesting to watch the amount of energy no kill is now putting into trying to support the no pet over population story and to attack PETA and HSUS who may not be perfect but are clearly against the breeders. If you view no kill as a lobby for the breeders then their actions actually make a lot of sense. If you think about it why would no kill spend scarce resouces to attack organizations that have no problem with reducing the killing rate (no kills professed goal) but do object to breeders. I think it becomes pretty clear.

  10. It is a relief to find people who have not been duped by the no-kill, no over population stance. Seems we are a minority, or the bullying reaction to questioning has successfully quietened other dissenters. I’ve posted veganmeanie’s loaded survey on many facebook sites as it deserves to be widely published.

    • Jo or Randy, if you would like to join an active Facebook no-kil discussion group go to my facebook page and let me know by personal message. It’s place to freely discuss the pros and cons of Nathan Winograd’s ideas for a No Kill Nation. Here we go under the assumption that Winograd’s no-kill movement is NOT the only legitimate standard for animal sheltering. Most communities have not and will never adopt Winograd’s ideas, but cities, counties, and states are eager to put plans in motion to end the killing of healthy and treatable pets with methodsthat Winograd is unwilling to consider or accept. This forum is to help formulate new ideas without fear of attack or being banned because you have a different opinion than the administrator. Keep the language clean and you will not be banned by us.

  11. For what it is worth I don’t sense that a lot of folks “buy” the no pet over polulation theory since it is counter intuative to what they are seeing. It has been interesting to monitor several shelters that have gone no kill and in some cases have been taken over via privatization or volunteers in order to accomplish that goal. While privitization and no kill are really two seperate issues I find it interesting to note that after some of these groups “walk in the shoes” of the previous shelter employees their tune starts to change a bit as they realize that they cannot adopt their way out of the volume that keeps comming in the door despite using every marketing trick on the planet. The other major point which we have not covered here is that no kill claims no cost. If you are going to save 90% then some are going to require medical expenses, longer holding times etc. and that does not come at no expense. (ask Austin) I will commend no kill for their marketing efforts but the rest of the program of no pet over population and no cost simply does not fly.

  12. Animal Ark is run by a guy and his mother. The guy is affiliated with Nathan Winograd, and has been trying to promote his business that way.

    Animal Ark is only a source of the usual Winograd piles of

  13. veganmeanie, I would be careful about engaging in personal communictions with anyone who innocently appears to be information gathering or asking questions.

    Winograd sends his stooges to do this to collect personal information about those he perceives as his enemies (anyone who dares challenge or question his lies) and Winograd and his stooges have been involved in harassing and terrorizing their enemies. and collecting personal data about them to attack them and do harm.

    You don’t want some breeder and their friends stalking you. That is Winograd’s constituency.

  14. The overpopulation is a myth scam was invented by breeders to avoid regulation.

    Look up patti strand on sourcewatch and her breeder organization NAIA

    They started this and it got handed on to Winograd.

    This is the AKC puppy mill arm.

  15. I figured animal ark was associated with no kill since no kill uses their “map”. From personal experience I can see at least one area (Waco Texas) on the map which at least at the muni shelter is not no kill because the “rescue” quit because the city would not give them substantially more money. The rescue went back to being a no kill rescue (read limited admission) and essentially left the City in the lurch since the rescue could not make no kill work at no cost. I find it odd too that animal ark wants to use no kill communities as their definition of no kill. I assume that means if their is a no kill shelter in the area the community gets labeled as such and it makes the no kill movement look bigger than it is. Appreciate the advice on communicating with no kill sites. I rarely do it and stay on the “naive” side of the questioning. One point of interest from a no kill blogger on Winograds site. When a post had obviously been deleted and I asked why she claimed that people make outrageous comments (like asking a question, lol) to try and get people to cuss etc. to get Winograd’s site banned. I commented back to her that it looks like that blogger would leave their post up if they wanted to incite a response. Also asked if the moderator could delete posts. Seems like that would be more logical. She agreed the moderator could and could not quite figure out why someone wanting to start trouble would indeed delete their own post. Obvious answer to me. Moderator deletes to make it look like all agree with the site. Too bizzare and naive follwers for sure. This spring will be interesting. Two I am keeping my eye on are Austin and Rockwall Texas. That will be a test for both to see if they can handle the volume in the spring. I hope they can for the animals sake.

  16. Brilliant analysis. Thank you for this. Here’s another point to consider:

    The whole “We can adopt our way out of killing” strategy was conceived by Maddie’s Fund with research conducted by DraftFCB. DFCB was formed by the merger of Draft, a direct response agency with Foote Cone & Belding, a general advertising agency.

    DraftFCB approached the problem as they would with any client whose success depends on increasing sales (in this case, adoptions). Their strategy was to steal business from the “competition”–i.e., to convince people who are getting their animals from “other sources” to adopt from a shelter instead.

    In the business world, if you’re the competitor who sees your sales shrinking because customers have gone elsewhere, you cut back on production. You don’t keep flooding the market with products that people aren’t buying.

    But this doesn’t apply to animals. Regardless of where people may be acquiring them, pets keep reproducing at the same rate, creating a perpetual over-supply–a point that you make under Question 1.

    DraftFCB did not take into consideration a supply of “product” that self-generates.

    Maddie’s Fund and Nathan Winograd have based their entire philosophy and approach on this flawed strategy and have deluded tens of thousands of people into believing it’s possible to empty shelters if they only worked harder.

    And by doing so, they have shifted the priority away from measures that can actually solve the problem: a sweeping, pervasive emphasis on spay/neuter, programs to help owners keep pets in their home, a robust, community-wide licensing/ID tagging initiative and other tactics that reduce intake.

    • Well said Devon, my short answer ( not so well thought out as yours ) is animals mulitply much faster than homes……

  17. Wonderful article. I find what separates no kill advocates and HSUS supporters is hands on experience in a high intake, high volume shelter. There may be 17 million people who buy dogs each year, but they want Goldendoodles not an untrained, unruly pit mix. I have photographed many dogs who were put to sleep for space issues despite networking them like crazy, to call overpopulation a myth is highly irresponsible.

  18. Nathan Winograd and others base what is called the ‘pet ‘overpopulation myth’ on a single industry ‘survey’.
    This survey was conducted in 2007 by Draftfcb , an in -agency consumer opinion gathering entity attached to FooteConeBelding.
    It was massive consumer-opinion evaluation conducted for the benefit of corporate pet-products clients’ future marketing campaigns.

    It was NEVER intended to be anything else.
    It was consumer-product market data.
    It certainly was NOT originally intended to be used as shelter data.
    And it will NEVER be made available to the public.

    Many steps down the ladder later FootCone incorporated bits and pieces of the survey data into a public-service project via the Ad Council called the Shelter Pet Project.
    All ad agencies do this sort of thing periodically.

    Bits and pieces of that data were cherry-picked by the HSUS/Maddie’s /Shelter-Pet Project..a public service campaign facilitated with donated creative input from the Ad Council.
    THAT data was then cherry-picked by Nathan Winograd who interpolated the out-of-context data into ‘proof’ that pet-overpopulation was a myth.

    The ’17 million people looking for a pet’ figure was, specifically: ‘ The number of polled consumers considering the acquisition of a PET’.
    ALL types of pets.
    The 17 million NEVER specified dogs and cats only.

    From the original survey: “- American Pet Products Manufacturers Association (APPMA) Releases 2007-2008 National Pet Owners Survey (NPOS), the Most Comprehensive Consumer Research Examining Demographics, Buying Habits, and Other Traits of U.S. Owners of Dogs, Cats, Fish, Birds, Horses, Reptiles, and Small Animals ” “The 2007 National Pet Owners Survey, conducted by the American Pet Products Manufacturer’s Association, broke down the pet preferences of Americans. In the United States, people own:

    142 million freshwater fish 88.3 million cats 74.8 million dogs 16 million birds 24.3 million small animals 13.8 million horses 13.4 million reptiles 9.6 million saltwater fish”

    The 2007 survey data DID NOT specify cats and dogs only.
    It specified all types of pets.

    Winograd inflated/misrepresented/flat-out lied about the total number of people looking to acquire a PET into the total number of people seeking only to acquire a cat or dog.

    And did so in order to fabricate an equality between the number of people looking to acquire a cat or dog with the number of adoptable cats and dogs euthanized in shelters KNOWING that his muppet lemming peanut gallery would never question his shenanigans or have the brains to do their own investigation.
    This creep is such a wanker.

  19. Obviously there is a pet overpopulation issue but killing them is not the answer. They did nothing to deserve to be put to death. There are other alternatives. I believe that animal sanctuaries are the answer. I myself am in the process of finding a home with enough land so that I can have a cat sanctuary. I think there are a lot of people like myself out there in the world that if they had help from animal organizations they would be happy to have sanctuaries. Peta is a powerful rich organization that could help start sanctuaries all over the globe but instead they write about why it is best to kill these animals. I’m sorry but I can’t support that. I also think that Peta has to stop using their money on those stupid shock ads that no one pays attention to anymore and start doing some actual good with it. Stick with me for a moment I know I am going off on Peta right now but I swear I am not a supporter of any one camp I support and love animals period. I confronted Peta for what they did in north carolina , for what they did to Maya and the other animals that day, for their kill rates, for their stand on feral cats, what I got in return was blocked. I got a nasty response and blocked. I have no respect for them because of that. As far as Winograd goes like I said of course we have a over population problem, to think that everyone will adopt a dog and cat is ridiculous. However as I stated before,killing is not and should never be the answer. You can not call yourself ethical if killing is your answer. Neither one is right so I found my own answer and I am trying to save lives in my own way and I hope more do the same.

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