Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow: Animal Sheltering in the United States
A Companion Animal Care Article from


FROM Nathan Winograd
January 2022

After over 100 years of this antiquated and deadly paradigm, the grassroots of the animal protection movement finally woke up and fought back, demanding and winning No Kill solutions.

animal shelter
Buildings do not create No Kill communities; programs do. The nation’s first No Kill community had an animal shelter that was little more than a converted house. After it was successful, it built a state-of-the-art adoption center.

I recently published several articles and podcasts about how some groups have abandoned their No Kill mission and are now successfully encouraging others to do the same. Concerned about the increasing betrayal of No Kill ideals by organizations that grew influential and wealthy by championing that very cause, this 4 part series will serve both as a refresher on the history and principles of No Kill, as well as provide a roadmap for the future.

caged Dogs

Although a tremendous amount of progress has been made since the publication, 13 years ago, of my first book, Redemption: The Myth of Pet Overpopulation and the No Kill Revolution in America, and though millions of animals who would have once faced death when entering their local shelter now find instead a helping hand and a new beginning, our work is far from over. In fact, at the very moment we have achieved unprecedented progress — an achievement that has been called “the single biggest success of the modern animal protection movement” — there are those who would have us abandon the very means that have proven so transformative in shelter after shelter in America, rather than double down on those efforts until every single animal in every single shelter is guaranteed the same.

Explaining how this tragic crossroads has come to pass, what we can do to stop this backsliding, and what future we should be striving for are the goals of this series of podcasts; a series that starts with a story, as I explained in Redemption, that should serve as our movement's true North: the founding of the American animal protection movement in the second half of the 19th century by the late, great, visionary Henry Bergh.


Read PARTS 1-4 HERE (PDF).

Return to Companion Animal Care