Since the launch of Parker’s Climb, I seem to gravitate towards websites, videos and stories of individuals who are dedicating themselves to charitable causes. There are so many movements occurring in the world, by some really incredible people.
Many of the stories that I read illustrate that these agents of change share a personal sameness, or similar characteristics. I oftentimes get the feeling that there is a shared gene in these individuals, and in many instances, I have learned that these people will not be silenced until they achieve the results that they are seeking.
I find these founders fascinating and I understand their passion, now that I am also consumed by a cause that is far greater than me. Perhaps I seek out these individuals to legitimize my own sanity. And, I say that with a smile on my face.
My friend Debbie, (my favorite animal activist) sent me a YouTube video (The No Kill Movement) by one such agent of change, and I was moved beyond words by this cause and later by it’s founder. (Thanks Debbie – just what I needed – another diversion to tend to, in my spare time!) 🙂
The No Kill Movement is the passionate foundation/movement started by Nathan J. Winograd and it tells the story of how he is saving companion animals. In his words, “we do not just cheer for the underdog, we make a conscious decision do do what is right, to save his life!”
From his Bio at: www.nathanwinograd.com Nathan J. Winograd is a graduate of Stanford Law School, a former criminal prosecutor and corporate attorney, he 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 including some of the largest and best known in the nation.
His work has been featured widely in such publications such as Newsweek, Reader’s Digest, USA Today, and newspapers from all over the country. He has appeared on Fox News, CNN, ABC, and other radio and television affiliates around the country. His creation of the country’s first No Kill community was named one of the Top 100 achievements in the nation by Metropolitan Home in its “Best of the Best” issue. And The Bark magazine calls him “the voice of America’s displaced pets and the conscience of the animal sheltering industry.” He also writes for the Examiner as the San Francisco-based Animal Shelter examiner.
His book, Redemption, is the most critically acclaimed book on the topic in the United States and the winner of five national book awards. Winner of USA Book News Award for Best Book (Animals/Pets), a Best Book Muse Medallion winner by the Cat Writers Association of America, an Award of Excellence and Best Book nominee by the Dog Writers Association of America, winner of a Silver Medal from the Independent Publishers Association, and runner-up for the Eric Hoffer Award for Excellence in Publishing, the book shatters the notion that killing animals in U.S. shelters is an act of kindness. He is also the author of Irreconcilable Differences, a collection of essays that follows up where Redemption left off and asks – and answers – the question of whether we can do better as a society when it comes to our stewardship of companion animals.
As a nationally recognized speaker, Nathan has also spoken at national animal welfare conferences from coast to coast. He has spoken internationally as well, as a guest of the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies and has been invited to speak as far away as Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and the Czech Republic. He has also lectured on animal sheltering ethics to students at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, the nation’s number one ranked veterinary school, and has lectured at the U.C.L.A. School of Law on animal law issues.
In various leadership positions, including Director of Operations, for the San Francisco SPCA, Nathan was instrumental in advancing some of the most progressive shelter programs in the nation, and helped push the lifesaving rate to over three times the national average for an urban community and at the time, the best in the nation. As Executive Director for the Tompkins County (NY) SPCA, he managed the full range of animal control and adoption services in a rural community, including construction of a new Pet Adoption Center achieving unprecedented results. Nathan is currently the Executive Director of the national No Kill Advocacy Center.
Nathan has developed and fostered The No Kill Equation, ten steps that encompass thousands of volunteers across the globe to end the senseless killing and mistreatment of defenseless animals. (See on YouTube under The No Kill Movement)
The No Kill Equation
1. Feral TNR Program (Trap, Neuter, Return)
2. Spay / Neuter Program
3. Rescue Groups
4. Foster Care
5. Comprehensive Adoption Programs
6. Pet Retention Programs
7. Medical and Behavorial Programs
8. Public Relations and Community Involvement
10. Proactive Redemptions
You might be asking yourself why I am writing about a gentleman who is dedicating his life to saving the lives of animals, rather than a story about Parkinson’s disease. My answer quite simply would be this; I am drawn to this compassionate man and his team of volunteers because they are making a positive difference in the world. He is dedicating countless hours and resources to improving the lives of animals because “it is the right thing to do”.
In life, we have to follow our passion, whatever that passion may be. I would say that we have to look for that “act” that can help define our purpose on this earth. But, then again, maybe we do not have to look for it, it just happens.
I doubt that Nathan J. Winograd looked for his cause, he just decided he was going to be the catalyst of change for something that is just unnecessary. I know that I did not look for a disease to help cure or a mountain to climb to help cure it. It just happened. I am drawn to Nathan J. Winograd because he is the kind of person I want to become. He and his volunteers are the kind of people that I want to surround myself with.
These is so much strength in this effort, there is so much power in this cause for me to pull from for my own cause. To borrow a line from Nathan, if I may; I am not cheering for an underdog, I am making a conscious decision to do what is right. I am going to save lives – I am going to help cure Parkinson’s disease.
To learn more about the great work that Nathan is doing visit his website at: www.nathanwinograd.com There is also valuable information to review on important Animal Welfare Issues at: www.paws4change.com
I hope as you determine where you will place your charitable donations that you will keep the Michael J. Fox Foundation in mind – Parker’s Climb needs your valuable dollars for research.
I also hope you will research and study Nathan’s great works – How can you get involved in The No Kill Equation? Geoffrey and I plan to get involved – we will keep you posted!!