Attention Pet Lovers, Read This Book

I'm not finished yet--only about half-way through--but so far it's very good.  As you can guess from the title, the basic thesis is that pet overpopulation is a myth--there are enough homes for all the dogs and cats who need them, but our shelters aren't using smart and innovative methods to connect people who want to adopt with adoptable pets.  Instead, they're relying on old modes of thinking, the idea that they "don't have any choice" but to euthanize animals, and so on and so forth.

At first I was worried that it was a little too "conspiracy theory" for me--because why on earth would people who run shelters (who obviously do it because they love animals, because most certainly aren't in it for the pay) euthanize animals if they didn't have to? 

But the further I get in the more I realize it's actually about completely challenging our way of thinking.  For example (in a wonderful review/interview I'm going to get to in a just a second), Winograd says,

"If ... motherless kittens are killed because the shelter doesn't have a comprehensive foster care program, that's not pet overpopulation. That's the lack of a foster care program.

"If adoptions are low because people are getting those dogs and cats from other places, because the shelter isn't doing outside adoptions (adoptions done off the shelter premises), that's a failure to do outside adoptions, not pet overpopulation.

"And you can go down the list."

Now, I'll admit I've never been involved with my local animal shelter on anything more than a casual volunteer basis (i.e. I'm certainly not an expert), but that makes a lot of sense to me. 

I was going to wait until I'm finished and do a full review (and I may still after the discussion/signing), but this morning I saw that Christie Keith (who certainly is an expert) got there first (and says it better than I probably could).  So--rather than waiting on me and my ever-more-limited spare time for reading--go read her review, check out Winograd's website, and, if you're at all interested in animal issues, definitely read this book.