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25 March 2008


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"Nathan Winograd is not a neutral observer but a strict anti-euthanasia advocate"

And that's a BAD thing?



And what you're doing isn't working, so maybe, just maybe you need to try SOMETHING else?! Even if it's a plan to save every adoptable animal and keep animals healthy and sane until they get adopted? I know, crazy thinking!


No one on any side is claiming that "no-kill" is bad. We all want "No Kill" Shelters. Nathan Winograd's bias does not just stop there though, he is "No pets period" His only goal is to pass mandatory spay/neuter laws and end responsible pet breeding once-and-for-all, so there will never be another pet again.

And I find it even more offensive, that he of all people was appointed to this position and paid for it.

Any real and scientific study can only be done by a third party with no alterior motives or interests.

Nathan Winograd's motives are his own distorted views, and frankly for money as well, to continue to perpetuate his views and force them on everyone.

Every single responsible pet owner, breeder, and pet shop absolutely desires that "No Kill" be the way things should be. There are many "no kill" shelters in many communities without mandatory spay/neuter. Many pet owners however, do not and should not be "forced" to alter their pets, and responsible breeders should not be forced out of business. This is still America, and the freedom to choose what's best for us and our pets should never be taken away, especially based on the word of someone who wants to take our Pet freedoms away.


Sorry - meant to add - above link is to an AR group, mentioning Sims. The mailer referenced in the article was mailed out to all residents, including myself, and this was the first thing that really opened my eyes to the AR movement. They killed that puppy and that kitten for an ad - that's my belief.


It's news to me that Winograd is anti-pet, which means radical AR. He is a radical animal welfare advocate, no doubt, and I think he's terrific.

Now, if you were talking about H$U$ or Peta who refuse to endorse the No Kill program, I'd agree.

I support the sterilization of pets being adopted from shelters and have for years. I'm not keen on juvenile sterilization because there are health concerns and there hasn't been enough study to declare it safe. However, I get that the SPCA/local shelter has a goal and I support it. Risk/benefit and all that.

Mandatory sterlization is a repulsive, intrusive and unnecessary AR-driven idea - the kinder, gentler way to hurry the extinction of domestic dogs and cats.

Incidentally, I detest the misuse of the term euthanasia, as is the practice by media and others.

Gina Spadafori

Andrew writes: "Nathan Winograd’s bias does not just stop there though, he is “No pets period” His only goal is to pass mandatory spay/neuter laws and end responsible pet breeding once-and-for-all, so there will never be another pet again."

Andrew? Hello? You might want to check the program again. Winograd is widely reviled for being on the "side of breeders" by the folks pushing forced spay-neuter of all pets.

The no-kill movement is a way to get (and keep) pets in homes without wiping out reputable, responsible breeders.

Do some research. Start by reading Winograd's "Redemption" and visiting MaddiesFund.org to understand what is being talked about here.


Didn't the Peninsula Humane Society use King County as a model when going for San Mateo Counties mandatory spay/neuter law many years ago? What happened??


Wait did I read this correctly:

• Some of the sickest animals didn’t receive food or water for up to four days.

• High rates of disease among animals were caused in part by a lack of vaccinations, inadequate medical care, and repeated instances of animal waste in cages.

How come folks are not up in arms about these statements. if I did not properly feed, seek medical attention and forced my animals to wallow in feces in their crate for any amount of time I would be arrested and charged with animal cruelty. But it is okay for an Animal Shelter which also enforces animal creulty laws to house animals in such conditions!

If both Winograd and the Citizens group noted such conditions...why are we having a political debate. First provide minimum decent care and then spend as much time debating what political stance the agency will have.

Citizens and Elected Officials of King County... FIGURE OUT YOUR PIORITIES PEOPLE!


This shelter has animals that need medication. So shelter volunteer, who's responsible for making sure the animals get their medication (not to mention food and water) on holidays? After all, hospitals and nursing homes, even prisons still feed and treat their patients, residents and inmates even when its a holiday.

And who cleans on the cages on a holiday? Last time I checked, animals will poop regardless if its a holiday - they're just not into them.


You know, where there's smoke there's fire, and just the fact that so many people keep having to make so many excuses and explanations about the findings at the King County shelter in and of itself speaks volumes about whether or not changes need to be made . . . . . .


"I think it should be realised that some people, regardless of the position he holds, are feeling resistant to the ‘cult of personality’ that seems to be growing around Winograd."

"Cult of Personality"? Are we talking about saving animals lives or are we talking "personality conflicts"? I know which one I'd prefer to talk about.

Winograd is the only one out there saying and proving that "there is a better, safer, more humane way", and your worried about a "cult of personality"?


Comment by emily — March 26, 2008 @ 10:54 am

"some people, regardless of the position he holds, are feeling resistant to the ‘cult of personality’ that seems to be growing around Winograd. It only takes one person going on at you about his ideas like it is the second coming of Christ for a negative emotional response to start to form."

I remember when clicker training was first starting to catch on a similar sort of phenomenon. It was just that it was SO exciting to realize you could get such amazing results in training your animals and that you did NOT have to use punishment as part of it. What a "paradigm shift" (talk about overused phrases!) it was, and it WAS exciting! No doubt about it.

Problem was, you just wanted to tell the whole WORLD about this Great New Thing, and in the face of all this gushing excitement, people sort of got turned off. Clicker trainers were referred to as "clicker evangelists" and a lot of trainers were very upfront about how offensive they found this almost religious zeal that clicker trainers exuded. So yes - the excitement tended to be counter-productive.

Most of us eventually learned to turn it down a few notches, and eventually the "message" started getting out despite the "messengers" (VBG!)

But looking back, what a shame that we had to be so careful NOT to be excited about information that was - simply - quite exciting. No matter though - if we didn't want to drive people off, we had to moderate our presentation. That's just the way it was.

And that's what comes to mind when I read emily's comments about people who are so clearly excited about sharing Winograd's ideas and how successful they are. The excitement itself turns people off. Fair? Maybe not. But as my Daddy always used to say, "Life ain't fair". And THAT is just the way it IS!


Andrew, have you even read "Redemption"? Winograd says that MANDATORY s/n is counterproductive to saving animals' lives. He does - however - support widespread availability of LOW COST s/n.

Let's just keep the facts straight, shall we?


Comment by Andrew — March 26, 2008 @ 1:30 am

"Any real and scientific study can only be done by a third party with no alterior (sic) motives or interests."

Also - by the way - the committee wasn't commissioning a "scientific study". Rather, the specific wording of their objective was "a shelter consultant must be promptly hired to provide further, detailed advice on how to IMPROVE (emphasis mine) KCACC standards of care and to revitalize KCACC's policies and programs." This is not a description of a "scientific study", and given the wording, hiring someone with a "bias" TOWARDS the saving of animals' lives was perfectly appropriate.


I think it should be realised that some people, regardless of the position he holds, are feeling resistant to the 'cult of personality' that seems to be growing around Winograd. It only takes one person going on at you about his ideas like it is the second coming of Christ for a negative emotional response to start to form. Enthusiasm is nice, expertise and a record of success is great, but it can cross over into fawning about the personality not discussing the goals and method.


Comment by CLynch — March 26, 2008 @ 10:38 am

If I'm understanding your question correctly, it was the other way around. San Mateo went into effect first, with King County hot on its heels.


The pictures don't lie - the cages are filthy and the animals are being kept in deplorable conditions. You don't get that much build up of dirt and fecal matter overnight. Yes the building is old and needs to be replaced. But that is no excuse for those cages and runs not to be clean.

I agree that Nathan can be a polarizing figure (I personally disagree strongly with his stand against Maddie's Fund and the ASPCA's no kill programs). But love him or hate him, the pictures don't lie.

I don't care if you call it No Kill, Less Kill or OverKill - this facility is a disgrace!!! I've volunteered at shelters that were in old converted houses, not in the best condition, but I can at least say that these places were clean, the animals had plenty of food and water.

KCAC volunteer

have been a volunteer and foster parent with King County animal Control for the last 3 years. I participated in the Ciizen's Advisory Committee process and Mr Winograd's volunteer surveys.

I believe Mr Winograd has some valid points which are the same recommendations which were outlined in the Citizen's Advisory Committee Report. The shelter is in horrible shape and very outdated - it was built in the 70's. they are very understaffed and underfunded. The rest of King County is housed in new buildings while the shelter is not a great environment for the animals.

Mr Winograd's accusations of animal neglect and abuse, abuse of volunteers by staff, and animals going without food,water, or medication are FALSE! Myself and many other volunteers know this to be true. I was in the ISO ward on the day he claims to have found empty dishes and old food in cages. Of course he would find this before the cages were cleaned on a Presidents Day holiday! The cat in slide 22 is one of my foster cats - Uncle Jessie who I brought home on President's Day. He was sick with URI so his faced was covered with bloody snot, he is now well and has been adopted.

Think about this - the ASPCA and HSUS did not apply to complete the assessment of the shelter system because they felt that the mandated Euthansia rates could not possibly be met in the time frame required. These rates were developed by No Kill King County and Nathan Winograd.

Nathan Winograd has an agenda to privatize the shelter system in King County not do whats best for the animals!!!!

Gina Spadafori

"I was in the ISO ward on the day he claims to have found empty dishes and old food in cages. Of course he would find this before the cages were cleaned on a Presidents Day holiday!"

So ... you claim he's lying and yet you admit he was telling the truth? Care to pick one?

"Nathan Winograd has an agenda to privatize the shelter system in King County not do whats best for the animals!!!!"

"Privatize the shelters system" ... could it be that this situation is about of government employees (and their friends) doing anything to hold on civil service positions? From the posts we're getting here, it seems the people who are against the Winograd report are all about keeping the shelter (and the jobs) on the government payroll, no matter the cost to animals.

Nathan Winograd can be an ass, of this I have no doubt. But at least he has the courage to point out what isn't working and suggest alternatives that give priority to caring for animals -- not pleasing the animal-control officers and their unions.


if Winograd's NO KILL is so great, why are the shelters he's proud of mentioning (every other sentence - sf, ny, reno) moving away from it? Even the Humane Society of Tacoma/Pierce County (king county neighbor) has had to redefine their "no-kill" mission statement after being inundated with abandoned animals.

As a volunteer at the king county shelter, i can tell you first hand that many of the observations winograd made were skewed and false. as were statements made by other volunteers (no all the volunteers complained or have issues).

yes, the kennels were dirty, but it was also 7AM in the morning.

dogfood piled on the back bay (referred to as being stored in unsanitary conditions) was actually being thrown out because it came donated in such poor condition.

he's really good at commenting on the negative, while avoiding or skewing the positive.

case in point - he refers to the tukwila petsmart not being utilized, but conveniently forgets to mention the other 4 off site locations that are managed by volunteers, the adoption events, and the summer adoptathon.

i totally agree that the shelter is a dump and needs a more effective management with accountability and policies in place. no argument there.

but, i also question how the whole process by which this consulted was selected and his ulterior motives. Given the controversy that seems to follow him - i'm not sure i'd want to use his report as the end all - be all, but as one of many to make final decisions.

and, i think that the blog you mention does more than just pick on winograd - you should start reading from the beginning (november). not just pick and choose the information most appropriate information to comment on...


"Of course he would find this before the cages were cleaned on a Presidents Day holiday!"

Is this a sincere attempt at excusing the conditions Winograd describes? In the multiple vet clinics and one animal research facility I worked in, we (the people who cleaned cages, fed, administered to and socialized the animals) had to work weekends and holidays - no exceptions. Which makes sense because you know, the animals are counting on people to care for them. Do shelter employees and/or volunteers get weekends/holidays off? WHO TAKES CARE OF THE ANIMALS?!

KCAC volunteer

Have you even been to our shelter? Do you know the situation? Obviously No.

What I am saying is that when Nathan visited the shelter-it was prior to the officers cleaning, feeding, and medicating the animals.

I was in the shelter that day - so I know what I saw. I don't work for the shelter, I'm not defending a bad operation, or "shooting the messenger". NO ANIMALS ARE BEING NEGLECTED!

If they were I would have reported it. I know many of the other 100 volunteers would have also. We spend our free time helping animals get adopted - not abused.

Christie Keith


If they were I would have reported it. I know many of the other 100 volunteers would have also.

And they did. Have you read the report? I have. There are many volunteer statements and complaints documented in it.


"Have you even been to our shelter?"

Many times. The dogs always had poop in the runs, they were often crammed in (two dogs in a one dog space), never saw anyone tending to their social or exercise needs, and one of the dogs I pulled from there had the worst case of kennel cough my Vet had ever seen. Every dog that was in her practice the day I brought that rescue in came down with kennel cough.


It seems to me that at issue here is not that "Winograd's NO KILL is so great" but rather that the King County Animal Shelters are so dreadful. Fixing THAT has to be priority number 1 to my mind.

As far as "how many of us would be so willing?" - I don't know but I know there are LOTS of applicants for county jobs because people like the benefits that go with them. A friend of mine from a vet clinic tried to get a job at King County Animal Control for years, spending her spare time on ride-alongs with the officers and such, but was unsuccessful due to the huge number of applicants each time an opening came up. I guess there may be more people willing to sacrifice than one might think.


...the toilet's backed up...shoot the messenger!

By all means, let us assemble a committee to discuss the findings, and to verify that no one is culpable for the mis-management of a government program.


I lived in Seattle from 1990 to 2001 and Ron Sims should know all about being biased. He is a MSN advocate trying to use his position to sterilize pets against the owner's wishes while letting his charges in the shelters languish and die. I pulled more than one dog from King County shelters and the conditions are awful.



oh- forgot a tidbit of info for 2catmom and anyone else concerned.

there is staff cleaning and feeding and medicating the animals at the shelter 365. including holidays. let's thank them for the sacrifice.

how many of us would be so willing?

Gina Spadafori

"there is staff cleaning and feeding and medicating the animals at the shelter 365. including holidays. let’s thank them for the sacrifice.how many of us would be so willing?"

Depends ... how many people need a job?

Pardon me, but my brother's a firefighter. I'm going to thank him for his sacrifice -- 24/7 shifts and working the holidays -- LONG before I thank someone who has to come in on the weekend to do a job I do every day ... feed and clean up after animals. Does your staff even LIKE animals? It sure doesn't seem that way. You make excuses for inhumane conditions and you are angry at anyone who points them out.

Maybe you all could transfer to some nice desk jobs and stop making all these "sacrifices."

I don't know what's going on up there in Seattle, but sure seems like you folks are very defensive about a bad operation ... and very much in a "shoot the messenger mode."

"if Winograd’s NO KILL is so great, why are the shelters he’s proud of mentioning (every other sentence - sf, ny, reno) moving away from it? Even the Humane Society of Tacoma/Pierce County (king county neighbor) has had to redefine their “no-kill” mission statement after being inundated with abandoned animals."

That's because -- as Winograd and Richard Avanzino continue to point out again and again and again -- no-kill shelters aren't the answer. No-kill communities ARE.

Your neighboring shelters are being inundated with animals because your operations horrify people, and people don't want their animals to suffer and die inside your walls.

Perhaps if your shelter became a SHELTER, not a warehouse and kill factory, things would improve for all pets in the region.

Suggestion: Learn something about what no-kill is and what it isn't, instead of just driveling on what you heard it's all about while defending practices that aren't helping animals at all.

Christie Keith

You wild-eyed radical, you!


On the one hand, people are admitting that the shelter is 'a dump' but still persist in trying to claim that because Winograd's report said that it's bad, that's somehow inexcusable and suspicious?


He's against the current status quo of kill shelters, and the folks that are happy with that status quo don't like having their boat rocked. They want to keep feeling like they're on the moral highground and could not possibly do anything better or different for the animals in their care, and Winograd showing that improvement IS possible pisses them off. People need to stop being so emotionally attached to killing animals 'for their own good' and be more open to alternatives. This is the entirely of Winograd's philosophy, and people hate him for it, because people hate change.


“how many of us would be so willing?”

Someone saying they are a shelter volunteer actually thought to post this line on a pet blog???? Are you kidding me? Talk about not knowing your audience!!

Our household is currently ramping up to actually try to care for abandoned feral kittens this year -- last year, Pepper brought me several that were left at the community garden and I had no idea how to care for them.

This year, I'm getting the PetMilk, bottles, the heating pads, towels, Depends, etc all ready so that when the season starts, we'll be ready. It appears it will be every two hours/round the clock for at least a month -- and I'm not supposed to get upset if 50% of them die. Then if they live, I'm going to have to find good homes for them -- NONE OF WHICH WILL I BE PAID FOR.

So, excuse me for not feeling bad for the poor King County shelter workers who receive both salary and benefits, yet can't seem to find the wherewithall to clean and disinfect a cage on their shift!


Katrina, never doubt for a moment that ego played a role in the traditional trainers' resistance to the "kinder and gentler" ways brought about by clicker training.

But what you and I are talking about isn't about clicker training. It's about all the silly reasons that cause people to continue to resist new and often better ways of doing things. And you bet ego is a part of it.


Woah, woah woah...Can we all just take a giant step back and a deep breath?

I merely meant that shelter employees (in King County and elsewhere) have to take on some pretty awful tasks as part of their job, face public scrutiny and stereotypes ("dog catchers"), bear first witness to the cruelty that others inflict on animals (and please don't jump on the Winograd comments when I write it in this context...I've read the report - I know were you're going to go), often take abandoned and sick animals home to give them a break/make them better, work in less than ideal conditions, and deal with it 365/year.

Would you do it? I don't think I could.

I think we owe them (not the abusive or mean ones or the ones who don't care) more than a smidge of compassion and maybe keep in mind "there but for the grace of God am I."

Nobody is saying we all, as animal rescuers, don't make financial and emotional sacrifices, more so than the next one. I've done both (newborn kittens, adult cats), and obviously you have too. Kudos.

And, it's quite obvious that different volunteers have had very different experiences with the shelter system. That's a concern.

Same with shelter staff and officers. Also a valid concern.

I am also concerned about the fact that there are questionable actions surrounding how this particular analyst was selected, as well as some of his fact finding and conclusions.

Yes, he made some legitimate points that need to be addressed and soon - I am not disputing that. I am also not disputing no kill shelters, though it's important to note that shelters (not just Winograds) are backing away from the language and modifying it. What should this be telling us?

I've done hours and hours of research on this topic and related subjects since November. I haven't come to my conclusions over night. I've attended meetings, read the documents, etc.

As part taxpayer, part volunteer, part foster parent, and pet parent, I want additional points of view and ideas on how to create and implement new programs, expand and build upon current protocols and to make a model, sustainable, financially stable shelter. Not just one persons - and controversial at that.

An acquaintance once wrote to me a quote she learned from her vet while she was a tech, and I think we can all agree,

"If you are going to help animals you have to look at the whole picture."

Words to be considered.


shelter vet

The University of California's School of Veterinary Medicine's Shelter evaluation preliminary report was submitted to Ron Sims weeks ago. His office didn't release it to anyone. The final report is due by next Monday. It will be interesting to see if the people discounting Mr Winograd's report because he has an "agenda" will find some reason to reject the professional opinions of a team of internationally respected veterinarians as they report their findings at the KCACC in January, 2008. I anxiously await the report, and am frustrated that the Executive's office has not released the preliminary report already. I suppose he's preparing his rebuttal. Or perhaps, he hasn't read it. After all, there is absolutely NO mention of any animal control issues on his own website which is very representative of his entire attitude to this issue from the start = IGNORING IT. Time to go, Ron. Time to go.


My point was meant to be a pragmatic one. If it matters--and it shouldn't--I support Winograd's approach to running shelters. But I find some of his acolytes appraoches to convincing people to run shelter sthat way to be ineffective. Ineffective approaches should be changed. Unless of course egos get in the way there too? We all have egos and goals, the goals should be more important.

Christie Keith

Emily, actually I agree with you. But here's the thing.

Each individual won't fall into line with an effective approach, because every movement to change -- every one, in every arena of life -- has its envelope-pushers, who move the discourse along by being an extremist.

I've called Nathan a "bad-cop." Gina calls him a flamethrower. And he is. And he has moved this discourse along further in the last year than every other group in the ten or more years before, not despite his approach but because of it.

I'm not as much of a flamethrower as Nathan is, by temperament, but I'm closer to being one than, say, Gina is. While I believe in trying to build consensus when possible, I also believe that there are really times when one should throw the baby out with the bathwater because, yo, the baby? It drowned a while back.

But that's not DESPITE my belief that the goals are what matter, not our egos. It's BECAUSE of it. Because having lived now nearly 50 years and been involved in a whole lotta social change, I recognize the stages, and know which one the shelter reform movement is in today.

We still need someone like Nathan.

And it's not that one day he'll be an unalloyed positive and the next day he'll be an unalloyed negative. He'll be who he is, a mixture of both, as are we all, from beginning to end. He'll be black-and-white, he'll point fingers, he'll upset the status quo, he'll make people defensive.

Well, he may actually change; people do. But I don't think he will or needs to. The movement will change and shift around him, and people will rise up to do the work they're inspired to do, and there will be resistance and battles and wins and losses.

And in the end, the animals will be much better off, the center will have advanced towards lifesaving by a huge degree, and Nathan Winograd will become an éminence grise in the movement, and one day, there will be someone else saying something we don't want to hear.

Christie Keith

Some video Nathan Winograd made available to us, of his inspection of the shelter. There are three clips, all very short, all Windows Media Player files:






"And that’s what comes to mind when I read emily’s comments about people who are so clearly excited about sharing Winograd’s ideas and how successful they are. The excitement itself turns people off. Fair? Maybe not. But as my Daddy always used to say, “Life ain’t fair”. And THAT is just the way it IS!"

In concept I agree. Too much "exposure" to an idea can turn folks off. However, there is one teeny-tiny, very minor problem with the example you used. Clicker Evangelists or folks that got turned off by them were not going to kill animals.

Folks that allow themselves to get turned off by a "personality" that promotes the end to the Kill shelter reality are essentially killing animals or are supporting the killing of animals (unless they can come up with a better idea). I can only think it's an ego thing. These folks are allowing their egos to get in the way of a more humane, fiscally responsible method of managing the animals that come to shelters/pounds. Or they are letting their egos get in the way of new ideas.

My personal opinion is that these folks should "get over it or get out of it". There is no room for EGO in animal care and welfare. The animals and thier lives are at stake here. And that is what this should be all about. Not about feeding into someones bloated ego.


Along the lines of finding alternatives, there is a report in the Macomb Daily Paper in Michigan that the Macomb County Shelter has jumped on the bandwagon to work with various rescue groups to explore alternatives to euthanizing strays. 80% of cats and 4 in 10 dogs are euthanized at this shelter. An advisory committee comprised of a county commissioner, three county officials and five animal rescue groups will devise new policies and procedures at the shelter. There's more.

Thank goodness it's a new beginning for strays.

This shelter has caused me to be angry more than once. Glad to see changes coming.

KCACC Advisory Committee member

KCAC Volunteer writes:

"Have you even been to our shelter? Do you know the situation? Obviously NO. . . NO ANIMALS ARE BEING NEGLECTED! If they were I would have reported it. I know many of the other 100 volunteers would have also."

As another poster noted, the volunteers have reported neglect at KCACC -- over, and over, and over again.

Volunteers have been writing to County Executive Sims about these situations for years -- complaining that animals are not given adequate food and water, are forced to sit in filthy cages, and suffer for lack of proper medical attention. They have also reported that the volunteers have been bullied and retaliated against for voicing these concerns, and that their volunteer "privileges" have been constantly threatened. Not only did volunteers make these complaints directly to Sims, but they did so to the advisory committee through their responses to the committee's surveys. In fact, it was a series of volunteer complaints in January 2007 that caused the King County Council to begin looking at this issue.

In addition to the current volunteers who have voiced these complaints, many volunteers have left over the years because the conditions were so intolerable and they could not bear to witness them anymore -- and could not make themselves heard to the people with the power to change policy.

Imagine their frustration now. Their concerns have been echoed by the advisory committee and now Mr. Winograd, and Mr. Sims is still pretending the problem was there. In response to this frustration, 22 former and current KCACC volunteers joined with 11 others -- including advisory committee members and representatives of local humane organizations -- to publicly call for a criminal investigation into conditions at KCACC. Even the organization set up to support the shelter, "Friends of KCAC," has joined in this call.

Ron Sims is making this about Nathan Winograd because it is harder to attack shelter volunteers and the shelter advisory committee. But they all have been saying the same things for a long, long time. . .


I've gotta say that if Nathan (or anyone else) wants a video to have an impact - they need to learn how to use a camera. Watching bars and hinges fly by only make people queasy with motion sickness. Focusing on things like the med chart and food bowls would have helped make his point as well.

KCACC volunteer

I volunteer at one of the KCACC shelters, and they are dumps. I was shocked on my first visit. I don't believe this is the fault of the on hand staff or volunteers though. It is the fault of King County elected officials. King County loves to tax people for adding bike routes, remodeling parks, forming committees to 'talk' about one day building a light rail system, etc. But this county won't spend a dime on upgrading houses that should be torn down and are instead used as shelters to house animals. And it’s not like this problem just popped up recently.

I've personally never seen any neglect by the staff while I've been volunteering. They are understaffed and work in bad conditions, and that’s not their fault. They always seem caring as far as I’ve seen.

If Winograd's involvement leads to King County finally taking action for this problem that they have kept swept under the rug for over a decade, then I'm all for it. And I think the #1 change needed is new facilities that are properly staffed. Who cares if the shelters are privatized?? I think that would actually be better. Too bad Bill Gates won't get involved, because we could use some of his charity $ in his own county.


2catmom wrote -

"I personally disagree strongly with his stand against Maddie’s Fund and the ASPCA’s no kill programs."

What stance against Maddie's Fund is that? Winograd supports Avanzino and Maddie's Fund, and vice versa, last I heard.

Christie Keith

I am absolutely certain what you're saying is part of the problem, KCACC volunteer, but then we hear about the $500,000 that the shelter has but won't spend, programs offered to be paid for by the Friends of the Shelter and other donations and offers of help that have been ignored, and it makes me think that the problem is as much, or even more, that there is catastrophically bad management and a culture of defeatism to blame, than neglect by the county.

Gina Spadafori

Well, I did find it interesting that they put their "rights to due process" in the first paragraph, and even sucked up to the boss before mentioning anything at all about the goal of working towards reduced rates of killing in the shelter for population control.


Ron, admit there is a problem with the shelter system. Work cooperatively with Council for a change and fix this problem. It's past time.

ACO Guild

*************************Press Release*************************

*********************For Immediate Release*********************

Animal Control Officer’s Guild

PO BOX 146

Kent, WA 98032

March 28, 2008

[email protected] http://kcanimalcontrol.blogspot.com

In a statement released today, the Animal Control Officer’s Guild (ACOG) said it is disappointing the King County Council is willing to stand by its consultant’s report without recognizing ACOG members’ right to due process.

The ACOG applauds King County Executive Ron Sims’ support of its members and looks forward to a continued working relationship with Executive Sims and the Council in their efforts to reduce euthanasia in King County.

The ACOG points out between 1992 and 2007 the population in King County has increased from 800,000 to over 1,200,000. In 1992 there were 36 Animal Control Officers; in 2007 there were less than 28.

In light of these facts King County Animal Care and Control (KCACC) has reduced euthanasia by over 5% in 2007, as well as, increase offsite adoptions from 69 in 2006 to over 690 in 2007. Over 800 animals were placed in foster homes in 2005; while over 1800 were placed in foster homes in 2007.

It is curious these facts were intentionally left out of the recent Council report. This not only shows the willingness of the ACOG members to reducing euthanasia it shows their commitment.

Show you want to keep King County animal shelters public by sending dog biscuits and catnip to King County Executive Sims’ and your Council representative. Please include a note of support.

The Animal Control Officer’s Guild represents King County Animal Control Officers, Sergeants, and a Veterinary Technician. The ACOG became a Washington State non-profit on January 20, 1995. The ACOG was granted tax exempt status as a 501(c) 5 [labor organization] on May 26, 1995.

The Animal Control Officer’s Guild is represented by the law firm of:

Emmal, Skalbania and Vinnedge

4241 21st Ave W

Suite 104

Seattle, WA 98199


[email protected]


How about we send poop bags to the ACOG, or their lawyers, telling them to clean up their mess?


So he didn't mention Maddie's Fund, but you're sure he meant Maddie's Fund--why exactly?

Winograd is not exactly a roundabout and non-confrontational personality, and if he meant Maddie's Fund, I'm pretty confident he'd have said so.

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