Nathan Winograd - Author of "Redemption"
Nathan Winograd’s book “Redemption: The Myth of Pet Overpopulation and the No Kill Revolution in America” is a must-read for anyone interested in animal welfare. Here is a recent interview in Stanford magazine by Sonja Bolle. Thank you to the lovely owner of cats Lulu and Biff for sending in the latest information from the States.
Pet’s Best Friend
by Sonja Bolle
If you think of animal-rights activists as rabid, Nathan Winograd disappoints. A cat person in fact, he’s also a cat person in personal style: unobtrusive in appearance, measured in his gestures, fastidious in his quotes. Make no mistake, however: he wants a revolution, and he wants it now.
His cause is pets—“companion animals,” to give them the dignified title he feels they deserve. Winograd, JD ’95, believes that if the public knew that the leading killer of healthy dogs and cats in this country is the system of shelters charged with protecting them, the public would be horrified. And he believes that if people understood that these deaths were unnecessary, he would have his revolution tomorrow.
Through his No Kill Advocacy Center and his recent book, Redemption: The Myth of Overpopulation and the No Kill Revolution in America (Almaden Books), Winograd works to redirect animal shelters to ensure that animals are adopted, not killed. The cornerstone of his approach: stop blaming the public for abandoning and mistreating animals, and make it easy for people to do the right thing.
His love of animals crystalized into activism when he entered Stanford Law School and stumbled across the Stanford Cat Network. “While my fellow students were trying to get on the Law Review, I was chasing cats on campus to get them neutered. That was the education that pushed me on the path to advocate for a No Kill nation.”
After practicing law for a few years—as a prosecutor in Riverside and Marin counties, he saw a great deal that was ugly in human nature—Winograd took a job as director of operations at the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) in San Francisco, which in 1994 had become the first city to end the killing of healthy dogs and cats at shelters. There he worked for Richard Avanzino, whom Winograd calls “the father of the No Kill movement.” Avanzino believed that through community outreach, homes could be found for all the healthy animals surrendered at the city’s shelters.