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Redemption: The Myth of Pet Overpopulation and the No Kill Revolution in America

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  400 ratings  ·  49 reviews
Redemption is the story of animal sheltering in the United States, a movement that was born of compassion and then lost its way. It is the story of the 'No Kill' movement, which says we can and must stop the killing. But most of all, it is a story about believing in the community and trusting in the power of compassion.
Paperback, 257 pages
Published July 1st 2009 by Almaden Books (first published January 1st 2007)
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Jun 14, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book was ridiculous. This is a book to make the public feel better by blaming someone else. His entire premise was that shelter workers want to kill animals. Don't feel bad about getting rid of your pet, it's not your fault if he has to be put down, it's those unscrupulous shelter workers! Working in a shelter is not a glamorous job by any stretch of the imagination. It is a very physically and emotionally difficult job. You have to be truly dedicated to get past the dirt and grime, the peo ...more
Jan 28, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good but not perfect book.
Raises some good points, among them:
1) originally, the SPCA was an group that went out halting incidence of cruelty/neglect, and refused to take over city pounds because of the conflict between their 'save the animals' mandate and the city-pound 'kill unwanted animals' the SPCA's current shelter/pound-running a conflict of philosophies?
2) in the old days, pounds and shelters could justify the killing of strays (if not their barbaric methods) as public sa
Jun 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone!
This book is fantastic. Nathan Winograd systematically and unapologetically rips the sheltering industry a new asshole, and then shows us all exactly what needs to be done to fix the mess. He is not afraid to be held accountable for what he believes in, uses sound facts to state his case, and brings hope to a dismal and morbid reality. Anyone who has animals, loves animals, volunteers with animals, or cares a whit about the way our communities treat animals would benefit from reading this book. ...more
Aug 02, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pets
I have such mixed feelings about this book. It starts off strong with allegations and statistics that are meant to shock and outrage you but it peeters out after that. This book makes some amazing suggestions for shelters to move in the right direction of becoming No Kill. I love the first chapter that tells the story of the founding of the first animal welfare groups in this country.

I do have some problems with this author though. First, and probably foremost, is that he talks in absolutes. The
Feb 29, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nathan Winograd exposes false claims made by animal shelters, many of which aim to "shelter" people from non-human animals. According to Winograd, shelters vilify the public for a companion animal overpopulation, which does not in fact exist, and that if shelter's promoted themselves better, kept cleaner facilities, and were open for adoption more hours, then the public would more likely adopt animals at rates that shelter murder would not exist. The author cites success stories of No Kill shelt ...more
Dr. Kim
Nov 10, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone wanting to know the truth and about the MYTH of pet overpopluation
This had to be one of the best books exposing the myth of pet overpopulation I've ever read. In fact the ONLY one that exposes the status quo for standing by something that does not work. What is even better is the author didn't just write about this he lived it and proved it and provides the ultimate solution to the problem of so-called pet overpopulation and to ending all the killing in the false name of mercy.
Stephanie *Extremely Stable Genius*
at first this book was interesting, but I lost interest because of all the lawyer speak. to dry. too bad, it is an important subject.
May 20, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A book full on passion, short on hard data. Very frustrating since much of what he writes about is not my experience in the animal care world. His use of qualifiers - possibly, may be, might, etc. - set him up as someone who hasn't done his research. Just because something has been done once, twice, even 10 times does not mean it can be done all the time. Not to say we should not try to end the killing of healthy animals in shelters, just that the book is poorly written due to the lack of hard d ...more
Dec 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Redemption is not an easy book, but it’s an crucial one. It’s full of information, and for those who love animals, it’s important information. At this moment in time, with legislation concerning the number of pets we own and breed increasing daily, understanding what motivates the opposition in this complex issue is one of the keys to beating them. But be prepared for some pain along the way–some in the form of statistics, but most in the realization of how many animals could have been saved, if ...more
Dec 12, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
Recommended to James by: Vegan Freak radio
This book is filled with information you definitely don't want to hear but desperately need to. Nathan Winograd is a former criminal prosecutor who left the law profession years back to pursue his life's work of restoring America to a nation that does not use murder as a response to dealing with abandoned, feral, or homeless animals. This account on how we as a nation have fallen into a immoral trap of killing detatches much of Winograd's own work (which is substantial and groundbreaking to say ...more
Shaun Bailey
This book is an excellent resource for best practices in animal sheltering. However, specific flaws prevent me from liking it.

In my opinion, the author excludes many readers by writing at a college reading level. In other words, his sentences are long winded and riddled with complex words and terms. This runs counter to his cause because it prevents today's entry-level professionals from becoming tomorrow's no-kill evangelists. If he ever publishes a third edition, I recommend he use it to targe
Jun 01, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very inspiring book with lots of important information. It really changed the way I look at the humane movement, and I'm still digesting some of the information. I didn't know much about the No Kill movement's successes, and I'm really surprised and excited to learn about what a few communities have achieved in terms of saving animals' lives.

However, I really wish Winograd had collaborated with a professional writer. This is such an important topic, but I'm afraid that only those who
Jess P
Jul 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Awesome book from the father of No-Kill! If you want to know all the basic tenets and ways to achieve no-kill, this is a great book! Intriguing read for anyone in animal sheltering.
Feb 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars

I liked a lot about this book - Winograd clearly knows his stuff, has lived it, and is passionate about it. Some of it felt repetitive - like he had started with an article and was trying to stretch it out.
I also wish that he had put less of the blame on shelter workers, and talked more about how this was a systems issue that shelter workers are stuck in. this is a nuance that i think he understands, but it wasn't presented clearly enough for me in the book. I mean, yes, there are terr
Diane Meier
Jul 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I urge anyone who cares about dogs and cats to read this book. Wingrad is an amazing author and a wonderful leader of the no kill movement. I've seen him speak at a conference and it was awesome. I believe that we can indeed save 99% of the animals in shelters and that convenience killing is a tragedy that must be stopped. My first novel raises these issues and also tries to entertain because unfortunately, many people will not read this kind of book
Cara Achterberg
While the information is now somewhat dated, the definitions and the history of the no-kill movement is important for anyone involved in rescue work today. Winograd is the 'grandfather of no-kill' and all of us owe him a huge debt, this is his treatise. Reading it now, in light of how far we have and have not come is bittersweet. Winograd's answers still hold true. If only the animal sheltering community, the public, and the government would listen.
Jun 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Stop freaking out about the shelters, close your computer and get on with the real job of saving animals. Here’s the path clearly spelled out. Thanks to the brilliance that is Nathan Winograd.
Jassmine Bazaar
Apr 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Redemption: The Myth of Pet Overpopulation and the No Kill Revolution in America Paperback – June 16, 2009
by Nathan J. Winograd (Author)

In Redemption, the myth of pet over populization Author, Nathan Winograd, makes the
point that the killing of animals which numbers in the millions every year across this
nation, was not necessary as the so called shelters led the public to believe. With the iplications
of shelter programs, in 1990, 27,930 dogs and cats were put to sleep. When these same health
Feb 14, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to write a good review of this book, but I've left my Goodreads behind for a while and don't remember a whole lot about this just now. We read this for our AR book/reading group in February, and it was insightful for at least one of our members. I found this interesting and at the same time short-sighted. I find Winograd's willingness to shame other advocates at once necessary and irrepsonsible; it seems he has taken things out of context somewhat. (i.e. when talking about the shelter d ...more
Apr 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, animals
Our local newspaper ran an article a few weeks about the kill rate at our local animal shelter; the rate is between 60-70%! I was shocked and appalled by these numbers. I researched our animal shelter because you never hear about them. Even though our animal shelter has a website, there are no pictures of animals available for adoption and the shelter's Facebook page hasn't been updated since November 2012. Seeing a glaring need, I called the shelter about volunteering and volunteer hours are on ...more
Apr 10, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all companion animal lovers
I had heard a lot about this book beforehand because it stirred up so many feelings in the animal welfare community when it came out, and after reading it I can see why. My opinion is anything that stimulates the discussion of an issue is a good thing. The problem I have is that I'm not sure exactly what to believe and what not to believe in some parts of this book.

While I don't buy into Winograd's position that 'no kill' can be achieved relatively easily, I do completely believe that a much, mu
Aug 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who loves, adopts, has any kind of compassion for animals
Recommended to Robin by: No-Kill Revolution facebook page
This book was incredible. I'm pretty familiar with no-kill but this is like a history book of shelters and no-kill. Sadly my local Humane Society in Tacoma is not no-kill and it kind of sickens me a little. I volunteer there and see what goes on, and I happen to be there one day when they was trying to decide which animals to "put down" that night...even though it was unnecessary considering no new animals had come in and they had plenty of space in the back room (though I still don't know what ...more
Karla Bentcover
Redemption is an interesting and thought-provoking read - however, a little too black-and-white in it's approach. Winograd's claims of overpopulation being a myth are not supported by actual facts, and are laughable to those who work in "the trenches" every day.

There were many other issues I had with this book as well, which were touched on by other reviews here (it's an honest fact that there's not ever going to be an appropriate home out there for every animal that enters a shelter, and I also
Ms. Jared
May 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who cares about animals.
Granted, Winograd is a lawyer and not a writer, but the book is still interesting, well written, informative, alarming, infuriating, upsetting, heartwarming, and inspiring. It is also fantastic because not only does it expose extreme irresponsibility and ineptitude on a grand scale, it offers sound advice and step by step instruction for remedying and improving the situation. It calls one to action rather than riling you up just to say "Doesn't this suck? Yes, it does! The end." It tells us how ...more
Sep 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This is one of those books that is a must-read for anyone involved in animal rescue, but I'd also recommend it for any pet lover out there. There are some descriptions of animal cruelty that are difficult to read, but it serves a purpose to remind us how far we've come in regards to animal welfare. Winograd's well-research and irrefutable statistics on shelter animals should make us all feel good because it proves there is no such thing as "pet overpopulation". We could end pet homelessness tomo ...more
Nathan Winograd makes no pretensions as to impartiality: he calls for an across-the-board adaptation of the no-kill model. Bolstering his case is his extensive knowledge of the historical roots of the animal protection phenomenon, and a solid grasp of the legalities and beauracracies that surround the regulation of shelters in America.

His knowledge is broad, but it is not very evenhanded. This is a book intended to present one side of the argument. While that's fine (and I personally agree heart
Nov 01, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Redemption is an indictment of the animal shelter industry in the United States, and a blueprint for creating a No Kill Nation. As shelter director, Winograd helped the Tompkins County (NY) SPCA become the nation's first and only No Kill/Open Admission shelter. The book tells how they did it and how most other shelters in the country are failing miserably. I agree with the premise of the book and I understand Winograd's passion and urgency, but I wish the tone of the book were a little less stri ...more
Mar 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Redemption" shows that there is another way to end the killing of millions of unwanted dogs and cats in shelters each year than to legislate the dog owners and breeders: through adopting the No-Kill mindset that has been proven to work in urban, big city, and rural shelters alike, either government- or privately-owned. It shows where the ASPCA went wrong and why we need a change of mind-set to acheive a No-Kill nation without alienating the pubilc or killing another healthy dog or cat for lack ...more
Cheryl Anne
(For reading goal purposes, I'm counting this as my 05/08 book.)
Decent read, even for someone who has very little experience with pets. If you've ever owned a pet, some of the stories in there will tug at your heartstrings and boil your blood, which I suppose is the author's intention.

He makes the overall message very early on, i.e. we don't have to live in a society that kills animals on a wide scale. Some chapters seemed repetitive, but maybe it was because of the author's overzealousness when
Barbara R. Saunders
Aug 25, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: animal lovers, people interested in accountability in nonprofit organizations in general
This book is a disturbing indictment of the animal welfare industry, specifically the way it (like many other industries, especially those that consist primarily of nonprofits) has become an entrenched bureaucracy, preserving itself and misleading the public while acting at cross purposes from its stated goals.

One criticism: At times I was unsure where the appropriate naming of names stopped and the personal grudges began.
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Nathan J. Winograd is a graduate of Stanford Law School, a former criminal prosecutor and corporate attorney, has spoken nationally and internationally on animal sheltering issues, has written animal protection legislation at the state and national level, has created successful No Kill programs in both urban and rural communities, and has consulted with a wide range of animal protection groups inc ...more

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