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Irreconcilable Differences: The Battle for the Heart & Soul of America's Animal Shelters Paperback – November 12, 2009

4.5 out of 5 stars 76 customer reviews

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  • Irreconcilable Differences: The Battle for the Heart & Soul of America's Animal Shelters
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Nathan J. Winograd is a graduate of Stanford Law School, and is both a former criminal prosecutor and corporate attorney. An ethical vegan and lifelong animal rescuer, his passion has always been helping animals, and he left the law to dedicate himself to that task. He has helped write animal protection legislation at the state and national level, has spoken nationally and internationally on animal sheltering issues, 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. Under his leadership, Tompkins County, New York became the first No Kill community in the United States. He has since helped many others achieve the same success. His first book, Redemption: The Myth of Pet Overpopulation & The No Kill Revolution in America, won five national book awards and redefined the animal protection movement nationwide. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, two children, and a menagerie of animal companions. For more information, visit www.nathanwinograd.com.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 210 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (November 12, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1449591132
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449591137
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #942,473 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Michael Baus on November 20, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Winograd hits another grand slam with Irreconcilable Differences. He is one of those rare types that combine the three E's: experience, expertise and ethics. Couple those traits with articulation and you have yourself a great book. The essays cover a range of important issues surrounding our animal friends, and I can think of no person out there better qualified to present them in such a comprehensive, informative and readable way. There's a reason Winograd is the foremost animal advocate around and this is just more proof that lives SHOULD be saved, CAN be saved, and ultimately WILL be saved. The blueprint is before us, the model created, the rest is up to each of us and the shelters in our communities. Thank you for making this a more compassionate world Mr. Winograd.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This series of essays, while thought-provoking, offers very little practical advice on how to implement the No Kill Formula. I would really have appreciated anecdotes of how other No Kill shelters have worked through each step. Winograd repeatedly says these shelters went virtually No Kill "overnight". Well, that's great. But HOW???? Stop talking about how angry you are, and how outraged we ALL should be, and tell us how fix it, please. A book on THAT would be worth my money.
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Although I despised Redemption (it's message was deeply buried under the author's ire), I wanted to give Irreconcilable Differences a chance to be the book I wanted - one that gave more information on the virtures of "no kill" than on the evils of "everyone else." I'm glad that I did!

A series of essays on what has gone wrong with animal "sheltering," this book makes a much better argument for the no kill movement. The arguments are succinct, compelling, and largely free from the distracting hate-mongering of Redemption. It is also more comprehensive, touching on additional issues such as transports (finally acknowledging that the location of potential adopters matters ;), breed bans, etc.

Although Winograd is still all about waging war on traditional shelters, he does differentiate in this book between those who suffer from compassion fatigue (a well-documented malady) and those who simply don't care. There is hope and inspiration in THIS book for ALL those who want to end the killing of homeless animals.

If you resented Redemption (despite believing in the No Kill Equation), give this book a read with an open mind. It could be the inspiration you were hoping for. If you haven't read either book and are curious about no-kill, skip Redemption and start here.

4 stars rather than 5 because it still has a major flaw: no citations. You can NOT "quote" others and include data without referencing your sources and be considered credible. No wonder this book is self-published - a publishing house wouldn't touch it. For this reason, it can never itself serve as source material. Also, Winogad reiterates his comparison of those biologists working to eradicate introduced species (which have the ability to decimate native species and fragile ecosystems) to Nazis and racists, which is just plain idiotic.
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Format: Paperback
"Irreconcilable Differences" is the perfect follow-up to Winograd's outstanding first book "Redemption", making it a wonderful stand-alone read for those who have not yet read the first book. Additionally, those who enjoyed "Redemption" will be captivated by the way Winograd has taken the over-arching, big-picture philosophy so well documented in his first book and brought it to the "boots on the ground", practical, clear level that he reached in "Irreconcilable Differences".

For those who have not yet read "Redemption" Winograd offers a very concise overview of the most important points before launching into a series of topical essays that update the reader on developments in the no kill revolutions since the first book was published. Each of these essays serves to provide insight into the problems, and their related solutions, to the sheltering woes so pervasive in animal shelters in America.

More than a decade has passed since the programs and services referred to as "The No Kill Equation" have been documented and proven. Winograd makes a strong case in "Irreconcilable Differences" that many shelters have taken them to heart, resulting in a sea-change in the animal welfare movement. He also clearly argues that those who have yet to see the way out of an outdated 19th century model of animal sheltering now need to be replaced. They are dinosaurs. Their reign is over.

Anyone who cares about animals should get a copy.
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Nathan Winograd is one of those people who are necessary if change in the way our companion animals are treated in shelters, rescues is to happen. In his first book (a most read also)) Redemption, he outlines the historical perspective of how the ASPCA and other national groups have perverted their charters by endorsing the killing on average, 3-5 million dogs and cats each year in the United States, as the only answer to "animal over-population. He also points out that over 17 million Americans every year are looking for companion animals to adopt.

He also lays out the programs that are necessary for the United States to become a no-kill Animal Welfare Country. They are simple steps that could uncage this nation's companion animals without killing them because it is easy. Please buy 10 copies, as I did, and give them to the people in power where you live. Dr. Bear Baker.
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