Blogging About Critters Since 2007

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Is Shelter Appreciation Week a Sham?

Nathan Winograd has an interesting piece in the Examiner about the recent HSUS Animal Shelter Appreciation Week. It's not that he's unappreciative of people that work with animals, but rather the state of many of the shelters that are being appreciated.
HSUS’ latest public relations gimmick is part of a larger attempt by the very animal control officers responsible for this neglect and abuse to reform their image from one of “dog catcher” to “humane law enforcement.” They are trying to change the image of their agencies from “pounds” to “shelters,” from “animal control” to “animal care and control,” even while they refuse to reform their regressive and abusive practices which—were they to end—would naturally lead to the respect and gratitude they claim to be seeking.
The article documents a number of recent abuses nationwide, as well as the difficulties reformers have faced in trying to stop abuse at shelters.

Nathan Winograd is an advocate for no-kill shelters (and is the author of several books on the subject). You can read about his background here.

1 comment:

Hillary said...

There is no question about the need for reform in some animal shelters, and the recent examples cited by Nathan Winograd are upsetting. But it's unfortunate that he would use National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week as an opportunity to provide blanket condemnation of animal shelters everywhere.

I work at the HSUS and know from first-hand experience that shelter workers do important but difficult work with little recognition or compensation. Daily life at most animal shelters is stressful, fast-paced, and physically and emotionally demanding.

Many shelters are doing better than ever at increasing their adoption rates and forging creative partnerships in their communities to provide a stronger safety net for homeless animals.

To animal shelter staff, volunteers, board members, and supporters throughout the country, I say thank you.