Nathan Winograd was kind enough to take time out of his very busy schedule to Skype with us on a Sunday morning!  Do you know who Nathan Winograd is???  Mr. Winograd is an attorney and former animal abuse prosecutor who decided that he wanted to help animals who were in shelters.  Mr. Winograd works directly with shelters on reform, works on legislation*, he litigates against shelters,  he is an author and an advocate for shelter animals and he founded the No Kill Advocacy Center. 

 

Here are some of the very important pieces of information we learned during our conversation with Mr. Winograd:

 

  1. Approximately 8 million animals wind up in shelters every year with approximately one-third being reclaimed by their owners

  2. Approximately 2.7 million are adopted, 1.4 million being dogs

  3. Approximately 2.6 million are euthanized, 1.2 million being dogs

  4. THE NUMBER ONE REASON DOGS ARE SURRENDERED IN THE UNITED STATES IS DUE TO BEHAVIORIAL ISSUES.**

  5. Behavioral issues present most often due to boredom, frustration, lack of exercise and lack of socialization with other dogs and humans SO model shelters have seen a DECREASE in behavior issues when dogs are exercised 4 times a day, permitted to play with other dogs and socialized with humans, given Kongs or the like to keep them busy, AND one model shelter in Ithaca NY even has dogs that live in “apartment like” kennels with couches, TVs, other dogs and glass doors.  ALL of these approaches make for happier, healthier, calmer and more well behaved dogs!  THAT RESULTS IN MORE ADOPTIONS!!!!

  6. SO THE HUMANOIDS ASKED WHAT IF THESE APPROACHES WERE TAKEN BEFORE A FAMILY GOT TO THE POINT WHERE SURRENDER SEEMED LIKE THE ONLY OPTION??? A shelter in Reno Nevada set out to answer this very question!!!!  The shelter asked families wishing to surrender what the reason was for surrendering (not commonly asked by shelters).  If behavior issues were the reason, the shelter offered to help them, whether in their home or in group classes.  GUESS WHAT HAPPENED?  56% OF OWNERS WHO WANTED TO SURRENDER THEIR DOGS DECIDED TO KEEP THEM IN THEIR FAMILY ONCE THE BEHAVIORIAL ISSUES WERE RESOLVED!!!!! ISN’T THAT AMAZING???!!!!

  7. One more important piece of information we learned: dogs with specific behavior issues such as fear or aggression have been successfully trained by model shelters using consistent methods and trainers and simple programs like basic obedience!  

 

SO we now know that:

 

  1. Behavioral issues can be solved in many cases rather easily with exercise, the right atmosphere and keeping dogs stimulated.

  2. Training with committed consistency works to address and resolve additional behavioral issues such as fear or aggression.  

  3. An estimate of the potential number of dogs that could be saved from surrender, and possible euthanasia, each year in the United States if behavioral issues were addressed by their families could be over 1 million!!!!

 

The Humanoids went in search of a model shelter using trainers with consistency and we found the Long Beach Animal Shelter (see our visit under the next tab)!

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*one of the bills he drafted was signed into law under former President Clinton, the “Safe Air Travel for Animals Act”

**IN FACT SOME STUDIES SUGGEST THAT UPWARDS OF 65% OF THE DOGS SURRENDERED ARE DUE TO BEHAVIORAL ISSUES.

Nathan Winograd

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