Take all the best methods from American animal shelters and make them obligatory through law

Nathan Winograd, who in my opinion, is probably America’s greatest animal advocate, certainly in respect of animal shelters and companion animals, has drafted a framework legislation called the Companion Animal Protection Act (CAPA) which can be used by any legislative body to create their own laws in order to make shelters follow best practice with the goal of saving lives and improving animal welfare.

“Model Legislation to Improve the Performance & Life-Saving of Animal Shelters” – Winograd’s description of CAPA

Companion Animal Protection Act
Companion Animal Protection Act. Photo and text: Nathan Winograd.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

It must be a good idea. I like the concept of taking everything that is good in the best shelters and drawing up a law which incorporates those excellent methods so that state legislators can impose them on all animal shelters within their state (or smaller municipality) thereby dramatically improving the running of these organisations.

You would have thought that everyone involved in the running of animal shelters would take up this excellent idea and make it their own because the objectives must be to save the lives of companion animals who unfortunately find themselves at animal shelters. However, this is not the case. Nathan Winograd on his Facebook page states that the ASPCA is lobbying for animals to die. A dramatic statement.

New York State

He refers to New York state. The legislators of this American state, which I believe is one of the more advanced states with respect to animal welfare, are considering adopting the Companion Animal Protection Act. However Nathan Winograd says that the CEO of ASPCA, Matt Bershadker, is spending donor funds to kill off the bill because he believes that it isn’t needed. He believes this because he says that the New York City pound is “a model of compassionate sheltering.”

Winograd says that this is a lie. You can read his full Facebook post below. There’s no point me reciting it.

Some leaders in animal welfare object to the legislation

On Nathan Winograd’s website he also explains, in another example, why so-called leaders in the animal rescue and welfare charity business do not support his proposed legislation. He refers to the “Legislative Chair” of the New York State Humane Association (NYSHLA) as one example.

Mr Winograd states that this person opposes legislators (in general?). She makes false claims about the proposed legislation but she makes these claims based on a “bungled reading of the law, calling basic, commonsense measures such as not killing an animal when there is an empty cage ‘unreasonable’ and suggesting that asking shelters to do what they have been entrusted by taxpayers to do is too ‘burdensome'”.

This woman, also claims that Nathan Winograd’s legislation would lead to more hoarding cases and the animals are better off dead. These arguments have been proved false when similar legislation was passed in California.


Nathan Winograd also refers to the success in Delaware, a state which passed their own version of the CAPA in 2010. Since then the state has seen a decline in killing of shelter animals by roughly 80%. He writes that the Delaware Office of Animal Welfare (DOAW) notes that the law “established common-sense statutes to improve the health and wellbeing of animals temporarily housed in shelters,” including “vaccination upon intake,” “veterinary care for sick or injured animals,” and “holding periods to allow owner reunification or transfer.”

DOAW state that their legislation has improved the quality of care that shelter animals receive. It has saved thousands of animals because but for the law they would have been euthanized due to outdated practices. They confirm that prior to the introduction of the legislation healthy cats and dogs were being euthanized very quickly sometimes even while the owners were looking for them.

Comment: I’m a great supporter of Nathan Winograd. I genuinely hope that his brilliant draft legislation is taken up by many more US states. You can read about CAPA by clicking on the link below:

Companion Animal Protection Act

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