Sunday 5 November 2023

America's animal shelters don't care enough about saving lives (according to a celebrated animal shelter advocate)

The voice of America's displaced pets and the conscience of the animal sheltering industry, Nathan Winograd, claims that "uncaring and corruption are endemic to the [animal shelter] industry [in the US]"
A New York animal control officer was arrested for stealing Hope, a family’s 9-year-old dog. After Hope was found by a neighbor and taken to the local shelter, the officer sold her to people in Ohio. When Hope’s real family came forward, the officer told them that she had died. Hope is now back with her family. While animal control insiders want to pretend that the officer is a rare bad apple, the tragic fact is that uncaring and corruption are endemic to the industry. And though the facts of this case may be somewhat unique, uncaring and corruption aren’t. - Nathan Winograd

Nathan Winograd was motivated to claim that America's animal shelters don't care enough about saving lives and that there is corruption at an unacceptable level within the animal shelter industry, by a story currently on news media which reports that an animal control officer, Casterline, 51, stole a Yorkshire terrier whose name is Hope and then sold the dog to an unsuspecting purchaser.

Hope had been lost in Corning, California, and then found and taken to a local SPCA (Chemung County) from where Casterline picked up the dog and took her home and then eventually sold her to a family in Ohio.

I believe that this is little Hope. So pleased that she/he is back with their true owner. Image: Nathan Winograd's email.

The original owners of the dog became suspicious and telephoned the local police who investigated. Through a telephone number they discovered the family in Ohio who had bought Hope. This family released the dog which must have been difficult to the police.

The true owner of Hope had become very distressed because Casterline had told them that their dog had died.

Hope was then reunited with the original owner while Casterline was arrested for various misdemeanours including theft and he will be tried in the criminal courts. He has resigned his job.

The big issue here is perhaps not the story of Hope which ended well, but the statement by Nathan Winograd. He clearly has a very negative viewpoint of America's animal shelters.

And I think it comes from the fact that he is a world expert in no-kill animal shelters and he insists upon high standards and the employment of various methods to ensure that the maximum number of shelter animals are rehomed and their lives saved.

He criticises many animal shelters for failing to use efficient and widespread methods to save lives. He accuses them of being lazy and hiding behind rather feeble excuses such as there are too many dogs and cats coming into the shelter and not enough adopters to take them off their hands. Often this isn't the case. It's just an excuse. An excuse to wriggle out of responsibilities. That would be the argument of Mr Winograd.

Another excuse is that the animal is unadoptable because of their behaviour. But shelters create bad behaviour in animals because they are relatively inhospitable places with strange noises and lots of commotion. A shy animal will become reclusive and difficult. They will be deemed unadoptable. Or the animal might become aggressive when approached because they become defensive thanks to the environment in which they are temporarily incarcerated.

This, too, will allow the shelters to kill the animal being deemed unadoptable. This applies to both dogs and cats. For example, in New York City shelter the authorities deemed it acceptable to kill animals that were 'mentally stressed'. They decided it was better to kill them than to take them out of the shelter and place them with a foster carer where they wouldn't be mentally stressed. It is that kind of thing I'm talking about.

Nathan Winograd should know because he is an expert as stated.


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comments are always welcome.

Featured Post

i hate cats

i hate cats, no i hate f**k**g cats is what some people say when they dislike cats. But they nearly always don't explain why. It appe...

Popular posts