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22 April 2008


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Comment by catmom5 — April 22, 2008 @ 6:51 am

"and how many times is it being replicated around this country?"

Yup! Now THAT is the REALLY scary (and tragic) question!


So... what has changed between the time of Winograd's report and UC Davis' - which basically said the same things - to cause this "EMERGENCY" declaration? Winograd's report was met with quite a different (and negative) response but when UC Davis says "me too" now it's suddenly an EMERGENCY for Ron Sims? Suddenly all King Co employees are being asked to adopt pets and Veterinarians to donate their services. Some employees have offered to put up funds to help people with the adoption fees if they need financial assistance. Gosh, all *sounds* great but with over half a million dollars in the bank for YEARS and the same complaints coming to Ron Sims from shelter staff and volunteers for YEARS - why now?

I want and will continue to hope for the best for King County's shelter pets but I am skeptical, at best, of Ron Sims' actions. I can't help but suspect they are politically motivated and that his commitment to truly helping the shelter pets is flimsy and based upon the political climate of the moment. Nothing has changed except the UC Davis report basically made Sims' cries of "foul" look bad. This about face looks like a knee jerk response and I can't help but question the sincerity and commitment behind it.


It sounds like they have decided that something must be done now that this deplorable situation is no longer a secret. I'm glad to hear that the animals there now are going to get some help and that, hopefully, there will be lasting changes. What a sad, sad situation . . . and how many times is it being replicated around this country?


Like I said before, Ron's a typical politico following all the usual steps.

1. Do nothing

2. Deny there's a problem

3. Do nothing

4. Authorize studies

5. Keep study results secret

6. Demonize critical studies.

7. In the face of backlash, do what's politically expedient and take credit for all the changes while denying any responsibility for the original problems.

Its up to the voters in King County to make their voices heard. In a democracy you get the government you deserve.

Nadine L.

With a half million dollars in the bank, they should be GIVING the animals away and PAYING those veterinarians for their services.

Sim's utter gall is atrocious. The Monster is now presenting himself like a hero. Why is he not being arrested for animal abuse???


Part of the report said, "significant public health and safety risks for staff and shelter visitors.” I'll bet the county's risk management department caught that phrase and decided they'd better act before the attorneys started circling. The possibility of being sued big time for negligence would cause a political emergency.


I do find it interesting the different opinions surrounding Winograd and his program. I mentioned this weekend on one of my groups that folks should read his book if for no other reason that he is the only one brave enough to "promote thinking outside the box" and not just the same old, same old when it comes to the shelter culture.

I was surprised to get almost instant rebuttal discussing how things are NOT better in the places he has been, etc. One group member even mentioned that "he is selling snake oil".

With opinions like that becoming, or perhaps they always were prevalent, its no wonder that the UCDavis report held more weight than his did. Sad, too. Because that will only impede what he is able to accomplish. And although this is a naive statement, I have said it before: animal care should be about the animals, not the politics.

I personally believe, whether it is Winograd or Mary Jane Doe, the message should be "we can do it better. Animals do not need to die because of an outdated system and philosophy. Animals do not need to die because people are irresponsible or life circumstances get in the way amd force hard choices. Animals do not need to die because we have always done it this way".


As I stated on Christie's site, King is a rich county, and in my experience (only 66 years)the wealthy tend to ignore the plight of pets more than the middle class.

While living in Tacoma for over five years, I never found one abandoned cat, but when I moved back to Discovery Bay I had to spay/neuter 13 feral cats. Thankfully, I had a great vet with Maddy's funding, but it cost me about $60 per cat for testing, shots, etc. I'd been sneaking the bills past my spouse, but he went with me to pick up two males after neutering. Took him a while to settle down when he computed what I'd spent, not including the food for my feral colony.

There is no excuse for things to have gotten this far out of hand in King county if it were not for the apathy of its residents, which include the likes of Bill Gates and the Redmond rich kids.

Christie Keith

MaineMom, the thing is, county residents had donated half a million dollars that sat there unspent, there were supposedly piles of donated beds and crates and toys and blankets going unused, and it was local residents who were the volunteers who not only pushed for all these investigations but pressured the county council to act AND formed a group, Friends of King County Shelter, to reform it and do offsite adoptions.

I truly do not think the local residents are to blame.


The local residents are to blame for not electing competent officials. Now I don't know if Ron is elected or appointed but the buck stops somewhere. If elected, unelect him. If appointed, throw whoever appointed him (or his/boss etc) out of office.

And someone in King County needs to organize people to run for office who actually care. In a wealthy community that's harder done because anyone who lives there probably makes a lot more than a public official.

But you get the government you deserve. You want better government, fight for it.


Katrina, whenever I see the kind of "pushback" you cite to Winograd's ideas, it always puts me in mind of Karen Pryor's "On Being a Changemaker" which goes as follows:

(beginning of quote)

Here's a biologist's look at the process of making changes.

What people do when you start to institute a change (in chronological order)

1. Ignore you

2. Pretend to agree but actually do nothing

3. Resist, delay, obstruct

4. Openly attack you (the dangerous phase, but also a sign that change is starting)

5. Absorb

6. Utilize

7. Take credit

8. Proselytize

What people say in the process of accepting the change

1. "That might work for your population but not for mine." (absorbing)

2. "I can use it but not for anything important." (absorbing and utilizing)

3. "Some of my people can use it if they feel they need to." (utilizing)

4. "Oh yes, we've been doing that for years, it's quite good." (utilizing and taking credit)

5. "We've come up with a really incredible program, you should try it." (taking credit and proselytizing)

How the change maker can react effectively

1. When they ignore you, find allies and persist.

2. Don't be misled by lip service. Find allies and persist.

3. Meet resistance with persistence. Move around the resistance; try other avenues.

4. The stage of open attack is a touchy time. People can get fired, for example. Keep your head down, but persist. Don't take the attack personally, even if it is a personal attack. Attack is information; it tells you:

a) You're getting somewhere: change IS happening, causing extinction-induced aggression.

b) Your attacker is frightened. Empathize.

c) Your attacker still believes in the efficacy of aversives.

5. Absorbing and utilizing: this stage can last a year or more. Maintain generous schedules of reinforcement.

6. They're taking credit for your idea? By all means, let them; your goal is the change. Credit is a low-cost reinforcer and people who want it don't satiate. Give it away in buckets.

7. Are they pitching the change? Good. If you want to change something else, you now have new allies.

(end of quote)

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