The No Kill Advocacy Center has just completed a review of nationwide statistics regarding the intake and disposition of animals in American shelters. Nathan is, as far as I’m concerned, America’s foremost advocate of rescue cats and dogs fighting to eliminate euthanasia at shelters nationwide through better and innovative management.
In an email to me he says that the number of dogs and cats killed in US shelters now stands at 2.6m, which is down from about 4m five years ago. The important point that he makes is that this figure is the lowest ever. This should please all concerned American citizens.
He says that it is useful to make a comparison to the early 1970s when as many a 20m animals were killed annually at shelters in the USA. The current figure represents an 87% reduction. I suppose you could argue that the figure from the 1970s is so high that it would be was impossible not to reduce it but the level of reduction is impressive. I think we have to give Mr Winograd a big pat on the back for his part in tirelessly fighting in behalf of rescued animals at shelters.
Throughout America, almost 80% of dogs entering shelters are being saved for the first time ever. And more cats are being saved than killed. There are millions of people in the USA who have a local animal shelter which is saving up to over 98% of the animals in their care.
However, he stresses that the needless killing of healthy and treatable animals continues in many American shelters despite the existence of alternatives which the management of the shelters refuse to embrace. He is referring to sterilization of community dogs and cats, working with rescue groups and foster care as examples.
He makes it clear that the numbers of animals dying in American shelters has been and is continuing to decline. Many shelters have embraced innovative ways to reduce the killing of healthy and treatable animals while others refuse to embrace new ideas. Innovative ideas have had a dramatic positive impact on the nation’s overall save rate, he says.
He is encouraged by the progress. He hopes that we are as well; people involved in trying to save the lives of rescue animals. It’s been a long road it seems to me but changes are being made and he says that progress has been “implemented over the objections of the National groups who were forced to evolve their positions to embrace ours.”
He wants people to continue advocating, legislating and demanding shelter reform to push the envelope further.
Please visit his website.
Nathan is the author of Redemption (a fantastic book) and a passionate no-kill activist.