My Photo


follow us in feedly

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Best Of KC Dog Blog

Become a Fan

« Weekly Roundup - Memorial Day Weekend 2010 | Main | Denying adoptors, or making it work »

June 01, 2010



I love Winograd's goals in theory, but as someone that has seen literally 20-30 dogs come into the KC shelter daily it's hard for me to visualize how they can adopt out that many daily, particularly when many of them are sick (Heartworm$) or have behavior issues. I haven't read his book, but to say pet overpopulation is a 'myth' runs counter to everything I've personally experienced, both at the shelter and walking down my urban street full of sickly feral cats and discarded dogs. The city certainly doesn't have the resources to put towards creating the adoption utopia he envisions. But it's a great goal to work towards!

mary frances

Thank you for posting all this - The account "I was there" is powerful - Valerie Hayes is a gifted writer but more so a great person - and the interviews (part I and Part II by Hayes of Winograd) are basically a how to for building No Kill - I'll be distributing copies.....



It's interesting that you say that because I think that Kansas City (metro-wide) provides an awesome example of how it COULD be done just about anywhere if the whole community is involved in making it happen.

Last year, the Ray of Light program in KCK turned what once was the 2nd highest kill shelter in our city into a no kill shelter virtually over night by making such strong efforts to adopt out animals.

In KCMO, taking the shelter from city control to private control led to a 35% decrease in shelter killings in the first year -- just because they are making an effort to adopt animals out. And this has been almost solely without civic support as the metro continues to have very restrictive pet limit laws, BSL throughout the metro that makes it very difficult to find homes for bully breeds, and ordinances like the pit bull MSN that is causing 20-30 pit bulls a month to be brought into the shelter needlessly.

Do we have a lot of work to do? Absolutely. But it's doable if we can get city leaders involved in changing the policies that are leading to so many impounds and that are preventing many of the animals from getting into homes.

And I HIGHLY recommed you read the book. I have an extra one I can loan you.


Maybe I just feel gloomy today, but I don't believe the city has the desire to spend the $ and energy it would take to become No Kill. Look at the awesome job they've done with our school system. Look at their current animal control enforcement efforts. They are NOT focused on the No Kill goal because it doesn't make them any $. Sometimes it's hard to be a liberal when all government seems to do it make problems worse.


Interestingly, I think it could be done with less money, not more. If the city would simply repeal the law that is allowing them to confiscate unaltered pit bulls, get rid of their quota system making there be a minimum number of animals brought into the shelter by each officer, quit confiscating healthy, happy pets in homes over the pet limit, and quit making it illegal to care for feral cat colonies - they could cut about 25% of their intake almost's not a money issue, it's policy issue.

mary frances

Also I want to add - I have distributed many copies of Redemption and just ordered copies of Irreconcilable Differences as well - and Alana No kill shelters are not utopian goals if they exist - they're happening now. Keep the faith..


Thank you so much for posting this, Brent, and thank everyone for their comments. I have to say that I am almost overwhelmed by the response to the "I was there" article--the comments, the emails, the things people have told me directly. I've held off replying to them, because I didn't know what to say.

I knew that I had a compelling story to tell, and I knew that many people had had similar negative experiences with shelters, but I couldn't have predicted the degree to which people would take up the story as their own, or what a huge relief it would be that they did.

A few days after it was published, I was out walking my dog, and I suddenly realized that I felt tremendously relieved. I'd read, but not yet replied to the many comments and emails the article has gotten (still have to work through them all), every last one of them positive. I'd been carrying this story around for almost ten years now, and now it no longer belongs to me, it's everybody's. That really means a lot to me and I thank everyone who took the time to read it, to comment on it and to pass it along.

My criticism of "Redemption" has always been that it did not portray just how bad things were prior to Winograd's arrival--his portrayal was downright charitable towards those who deserve no charity, which serves to downplay what he accomplished there. If No Kill could happen at that shelter overnight, it can happen at any shelter overnight with the right leader and community support, and community support is pretty much a given if a shelter has the right leader and asks for it.


It costs money to round up family pets who aren't bothering anyone and to house and kill them. It costs money to catch and kill feral cats. It also destroys community support for the shelter. If a shelter is run by a nonprofit, they should consider whether a person (or any of their friends) who has had their dog taken away and killed would donate anything to the agency that did the dirty deed, or whether anyone who takes care of feral cats would do so either. It is costly in so many ways to have a crappy policy like this.

The comments to this entry are closed.