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No Kill Advocacy Center

Based in Oakland, California, the No Kill Advocacy Center is a non-profit organization led by Nathan Winograd, dedicated to expanding no kill animal sheltering across the United States.

No Kill Advocacy Center
Typenon-profit s. 501(c)(3) charity
FocusAdvocacy to stop shelter killing
Area served
United States and worldwide
Key people
Nathan Winograd, Director



The No Kill Advocacy Center was founded in 2004 by Nathan Winograd, after he had "created the nation's first—and at the time, only—No Kill community" in Tompkins County, New York.[1] Rather than accepting the typical approach of the humane movement "that the best shelters can do for homeless animals is to adopt out some and kill the rest",[2] Winograd believed that a shelter could save "100 percent of healthy and treatable animals, and 100 percent of feral cats".[3]:180 He took on the position of shelter director for the SPCA of Tompkins County in June 2011, and was able to stop killing immediately.[3]:180[4] He continued at the position for three years, solidifying the approach, and developing the No Kill Equation, a "roadmap to No Kill" that other organizations could follow.[4][5]

Winograd created the No Kill Advocacy Center to advise other organizations and expand no kill animal sheltering across the United States.[1] At the start of 2012, thirty no kill communities had been identified; by the end of the year there were almost 90.[6] In 2013, hundreds of communities in the United States were reported as saving from 90% to 99% of impounded animals using the No Kill Equation model of sheltering.[1][7] A new community announced its No Kill status about every week.[6][8] Winograd stated that the successes of no kill communities "prove that there is a formula for lifesaving, and that if we are to achieve a No Kill nation, it is incumbent upon shelters nationwide to embrace the programs and services which have been proven to save lives".[9]

No Kill ConferenceEdit

The No Kill Advocacy Center held its first annual No Kill Conference in 2005, with Winograd as the only speaker,[10] and less than two dozen in attendance.[1] The 2012 conference had 33 speakers, including shelter directors with save rates as high as 98%.[10] Attendance jumped from 300 the previous year, to nearly 900.[6] Half of the attendees were from shelters, many of them municipal shelters which historically had "acrimony with the rescue and no kill community but were embracing it in droves in 2012."[6]

The 2013 conference, hosted jointly with the Animal Law Program at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., included participants from 44 states[11] and 10 countries.[10] Workshops included No Kill 101, Adopting Your Way Out of Killing, Shelter Medicine for Non-Veterinarians, and Using Technology to Save Lives.[12] Free admission was offered to directors of animal control agencies, with reduced admission for rescue groups and students.[12] A participant from No Kill Harford,[13] an organization dedicated to bringing the movement to Harford County, Maryland, described the conference as "an amazing opportunity to network with people who have actually succeeded at transforming their local open admission animal shelters from a place where the majority of animals are killed to a place where almost all are saved".[11]

In 2014, the conference was postponed in favor of a national "No Kill is Love" tour promoting the organization's new film, Redemption: The No Kill Revolution in America.[14] The 2015 conference is scheduled for July 11–12 in Washington, D.C.[15]

Redemption: The No Kill Revolution in AmericaEdit

In 2014, the organization produced a film, Redemption: The No Kill Revolution in America. The film was first screened on June 6, 2014, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.[16] The film won the Audience award in the San Pedro International Film Festival in San Pedro, California.[17]

Just One DayEdit

On June 11, 2012, the organization joined Minnesota’s Animal Ark, a no kill shelter,[18] to launch an annual national day of No Kill called "Just One Day."[19] The idea of Animal Ark's executive director, Mike Fry,[19] "We asked shelters across the country to put down their 'euthanasia needles' and pick up cameras: to photograph animals, promote them and find them homes instead" and not to kill any healthy or treatable animals on that day.[19] June 11 was chosen as it was the anniversary of the creation of the first No Kill Community, when Winograd started working at the SPCA of Tompkins County in Ithaca, New York.[19]

The campaign's website estimates that "in U.S. animal shelters, a day represents 10,411 lives needlessly lost."[20] A primary goal of the campaign was not only to save animals through adoption on June 11, but to get shelters resistant to the No Kill philosophy to commit to trying new ways of operating: using media to market animals, asking the public for help, working with rescue groups, and being open for adoptions at more convenient times.[21] Organizations taking the "Just One Day" pledge receive a model press release, promotion plan, adoption posters, and other information free of charge.[20]

In the first year, 800 shelters participated,[19] resulting in about 9,000 adoptions.[22] Organizations normally closed on Mondays opened, such as the shelter in Houston, Texas, where 231 animals were adopted.[19] "In an Arizona shelter, 88 out of 100 dogs and 28 out of 30 cats were adopted by 11 am. In another community, they ran out of animals."[19] And participants were having fun.[6] The No Kill Advocacy Center considered the day a "watershed moment" as it was "the single, safest day for homeless animals in shelters this century, with the support, endorsement and embrace of traditional shelters all over the country. And the shelters participating did not shy away from embracing No Kill or the term."[19]

In 2013, roughly 1200 shelters participated,[22] with over 12,000 animals adopted.[23] Escambia County, Florida had their best adoption day ever.[22] One family drove three hours each way to adopt a dog from a participating shelter.[21] In Chicago, multiple rescue organizations worked together on an adoption event.[24] In San Antonio, Texas, the city's Animal Care Services offered reduced adoption fees, and partnered with other local shelters and rescue organizations who had agreed to transfer at least one pet into their care.[25] In Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, the shelter director declared the event a success: "To walk through both shelters and see a total of 76 empty cages renewed and reinvigorated my staff".[26] At the same time, the No Kill Advocacy Center stated, "We erased more than one day’s worth of killing in the U.S."[27]

In 2014, New York City's Animal Care and Control of NYC participated with extended adoption hours until 8 p.m., reduced adoption fees, and a Mobile Adoption Center set up with cats and dogs from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.[28] Those efforts increased adoptions by 133% over a typical Wednesday.[29] Jefferson Parish, Louisiana's animal control shelters had extended adoption hours to 7 p.m. and reduced adoption fees.[26] In Houston, Texas, a donor paid for the first 25 adoptions of "PurrFurred pets", dogs and cats having stayed at the shelter for more than 20 days.[30] The Humane Society of Warren County, Virginia, normally closed on Wednesdays, opened and extended its hours until 6 p.m., with adoption fees reduced to $11.[31]

Henry Bergh Leadership AwardEdit

In December 2009, the organization began to issue Henry Bergh Leadership Awards to individuals making a difference to the no kill movement in the U.S. and internationally. Past recipients include:

  • 2009:[32]
    • Bonney Brown, as Executive Director of the Nevada Humane Society, for raising Washoe County, Nevada save rates to over 90%, despite high intake rates and an economic downturn;[33]
    • Susanne Kogut, Executive Director of the Charlottesville SPCA, for creating a no kill community for three successive years in Charlottesville, Virginia;[34]
    • Ryan Clinton of FixAustin of Austin, Texas, for successfully campaigning for a no kill city;[35][36][37]
  • 2010:
  • 2011:[51][52]
    • Ellen Jefferson of Austin Pets Alive in Austin, Texas, who developed programs resulting in the largest U.S. city saving 90% of impounded animals;[36]
    • Larry Tucker of the Animal Advisory Commission of Austin, Texas, for his role as one of the founders of Austin's no kill plan;[53][54]
    • Aimee Sadler of the Longmont Humane Society in Longmont, Colorado, for saving 97% of dogs, and raising expectations of dogs that can be saved through behavior training, including maligned pit bull breeds;[55][56]
    • Peter Masloch of No Kill Allegany County in Allegany County, Maryland, for advocating to transform a shelter that was saving only 15% of animals to saving 94%;[57] and
    • Michael Kitkoski of Rockwall, Texas for successfully advocating for the city's resolution to become a no kill community.[58][59]
  • 2012:[60]
    • Denise Jones of Shelby County Animal Control for helping to create Kentucky's first no kill community in Shelby County, and ensuring it stayed no kill later when the status was at risk;[61][62]
    • Karl Bailey of Seagoville Animal Control in Seagoville, Texas for ending the use of the gas chamber and shelter killing;[63]
    • Holly Henderson for high save rates at the Chippewa County Animal Shelter in Chippewa County, Michigan;[64]
    • Mike Fry for his work in the no kill Animal Ark in Hastings, Minnesota[65] and the "Just One Day" campaign[19] (previous recipient in 2009);
    • Kerry Clair, then Executive Director of Pets Alive in Middletown, New York, for saving dogs not usually considered adoptable, and campaigning for shelter animal rights legislation;[66][67] and
    • John Sibley of New York City, for saving dogs with terminal illnesses in a hospice foster care program, and campaigning for shelter animal rights legislation in New York state.[68][69]
  • 2013: none announced.
  • 2017: Phil Peckinpaugh & Muncie Animal Care & Services. Under Phil Peckinpaugh's leadership, the vast majority of animals who come to Muncie Animal Shelter looking for a second chance and loving home — roughly 97% — find it. That makes Muncie one of the safest communities for homeless animals in the United States. And it reached even higher by passing the strongest, most progressive animal protection law in the country, becoming the first American city to make it illegal to kill healthy and treatable animals.


The organization offers a number of publications on understanding the no kill philosophy, improving shelter operations, and model legislation.[70] A number of online guides are offered as part of a "No Kill Advocate's Toolkit",[71] including, for example:

  • How Does Your Community's Shelter Measure Up?
  • No Kill 101: A Primer on No Kill Animal Control Sheltering for Public Officials
  • Dollars & Sense: The Economic Benefits of No Kill Animal Control
  • We Can Do It! Adopt Your Way Out of Killing: A No Kill Guide for Animal Shelters
  • The Myth of Pet Overpopulation: Disproving the Lie at the Heart of Shelter Killing
  • Countering the Opposition: Responding to the Ten Predictable and Recurring Excuses of No Kill Opponents
  • Ban the Gas Chamber: Model Legislation from the No Kill Advocacy Center

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d "About", No Kill Advocacy Center, accessed Oct. 17, 2014.
  2. ^ "The Book HSUS and PETA Don’t Want You to Read", Sept. 10, 2007, Center for Consumer Freedom, archived at
  3. ^ a b Nathan Winograd (2009). Redemption: The Myth of Pet Overpopulation and the No Kill Revolution in America. Almaden Books, 2nd edition. ISBN 978-0979074318.
  4. ^ a b "Who is Nathan Winograd?: The Middle Years", Nathan J. Winograd, February 15, 2013.
  5. ^ "Q & A with Nathan Winograd", PAWS Chicago, accessed Sept. 6, 2014.
  6. ^ a b c d e "Nathan Winograd: No Kill in 2012 and Predictions for 2013: Transcribed from an Animal Wise Radio interview conducted on January 6, 2013", Animal Wise Radio, Jan. 8, 2013.
  7. ^ "Introduction", Out the Front Door, accessed Sept. 6, 2014.
  8. ^ "In our hands: Heart wants every shelter to be no-kill, but the head says we have a long way to go", Kevin Hardy, Times Free Press, Sept. 27, 2014.
  9. ^ "No Kill Advocacy Center Debuts!", Best Friends Animal Society, May 21, 2006.
  10. ^ a b c "Meet the Man Who is Rescuing Animal Welfare", Douglas Anthony Cooper, Huffington Post, 9/13/2012, updated 11/12/2012.
  11. ^ a b "Local animal rescue group attends no-kill conference at George Washington University Law Center", The Baltimore Sun, July 24, 2013.
  12. ^ a b "No Kill Conference 2013", Nathan J. Winograd, Jan. 10, 2013.
  13. ^ "About us", No Kill Harford, accessed Oct. 17, 2014.
  14. ^ "No Kill Conference", No Kill Advocacy Center, accessed Oct. 17, 2014.
  15. ^ "July 11-12, 2015: Washington, D.C.: No Kill Conference 2015", No Kill Conference Facebook page, Sept. 23, 2014.
  16. ^ "Shelter killing is the leading cause of death for healthy dogs and cats in the United States.", No Kill Advocacy Center Facebook Page, June 5, 2014 status update.
  17. ^ "SPIFFest 2014 Winners", San Pedro International Film Festival, accessed Oct. 17, 2014.
  18. ^ "Animal Ark: Minnesota's Largest No Kill Animal Shelter", accessed Oct. 17, 2014.
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h i "A Day to Remember", Nathan J. Winograd, June 16, 2012.
  20. ^ a b "What is a day?", Just One Day official website, accessed Oct. 17, 2014.
  21. ^ a b "In Just One Day We Saved Thousands of Shelter Animals From Slaughter", Nathan J. Winograd, Huffington Post, June 13, 2013.
  22. ^ a b c "PETA Can’t Go ‘Just One Day’ Without Promoting Killing", Nathan J. Winograd, June 14, 2013.
  23. ^ "Let's start the week with good news; news we can celebrate.", Nathan Winograd Facebook page, June 16, 2014 update.
  24. ^ "Just One Day Adoption event slated for June 8", Raining Cats and Dogs, May 29, 2013.
  25. ^ "'Just One Day' to mark community’s No Kill effort", Cathy M. Rosenthal, MySA, June 10, 2013.
  26. ^ a b "Jefferson Parish Animal Shelter to hold 'Just One Day' event to spur adoptions", Adriane Quinlan, The Times-Picayune, June 9, 2014.
  27. ^ "Just one day", No Kill Advocacy Center, accessed Oct. 17, 2014.
  28. ^ "Animal Care & Control of NYC Participates In ‘Just One Day’ Event To Promote No Kill Goal", Susan Richard, CBC New York, June 11, 2014.
  29. ^ "This just in from @Animal Care & Control of NYC (AC&C) - On Just One Day they increased adoptions by 133% over a typical Wednesday!", Just One Day Facebook Page, June 13, 2013 status update.
  30. ^ "BARC participates in national no kill ‘Just One Day’ June 11",, June 11, 2014.
  31. ^ "Just One Day no-kill effort promotes area pet adoptions", Josette Keelor,, June 11, 2014.
  32. ^ "Nation's Top No Kill Advocates", Nathan J. Winograd, Dec. 20, 2009.
  33. ^ "Moving from a Traditional to a No-Kill Shelter", Maddie's Fund, 2007.
  34. ^ "The Charlottesville, Virginia No-Kill Journey", Suzanne Kogut, Maddie's Fund, 2007.
  35. ^ "Ryan Clinton wants to make animal shelters 'no kill' zones", Kris Axtman, The Christian Science Monitor, Oct. 31, 2011.
  36. ^ a b "The Austin model: A no-kill grassroots success story", Francis Battista, Best Friends Animal Society, June 9, 2011.
  37. ^ "How Austin Became America’s Largest No Kill City", Kristen Auerbach, November 5, 2011.
  38. ^ "What & Who is on the Air", Animal Ark, accessed Oct. 27, 2014.
  39. ^ "Animal Ark: Minnesota's largest no kill animal shelter", accessed Oct. 27, 2014.
  40. ^ "An interview with Joan Schaffner", Association of Lawyers for Animal Welfare, accessed Oct. 27, 2014.
  41. ^ "Animal Wise Radio Transcript with Joan Schaffner: Transcribed from an Animal Wise Radio interview conducted on July 21, 2013", Animal Wise Radio, Animal Ark, 7/22/2013.
  42. ^ Joan Schaffner (ed.) et al., Litigating Animal Law Disputes: The Complete Guide for Lawyers, 2009, American Bar Association, ISBN 1604420014.
  43. ^ "King County animal-control truce calls for euthanizing fewer pets", Keith Ervin, The Seattle Times, April 11, 2008.
  44. ^ "New York, please help guarantee shelter access now!", Francis Battista, Best Friends Animal Society, June 5, 2011.
  45. ^ "Where Do We Go From Here?", Nathan J. Winograd, March 16, 2012.
  46. ^ "Kentucky animal shelter earns no-kill designation", Marisella Burgos, Wave3 News, June 5, 2009, updated June 16, 2009.
  47. ^ "Jane Pierantozzi - Shelter Reform Law in Delaware is Saving Lives: Transcribed from an Animal Wise Radio interview conducted on March 17, 2013", Animal Wise Radio, Animal Ark, 3/19/2013.
  48. ^ "Collaboration results in reduced dog euthanasia rates, officials say: Low-kill areas join forces with community, nonprofits", Tony Cook, The Blade, Oct. 27, 2014.
  49. ^ "Hokitika SPCA leads new 'No Kill' campaign", Amy Glass, The Press, 25/05/2010.
  50. ^ "SPCA campaign to make NZ first 'no kill nation'", One News, Apr. 29, 2010.
  51. ^ "The 'Great Meddlers' of 2011", Nathan J. Winograd, Dec. 18, 2011.
  52. ^ "Recipients of the 2011 Henry Bergh Leadership Award", Austin Pets Alive, Jan. 5, 2012.
  53. ^ "Larry Tucker - Spreading Austin's Success: Transcribed from an Animal Wise Radio interview conducted on August 4, 2013", Animal Wise Radio, Animal Ark, 8/6/2013.
  54. ^ "State veterinarian rule could thwart no-kill movement in Texas", Lauren McGaughy, Houston Chronicle Texas, June 27, 2014.
  55. ^ "Shelters' killing of dogs will end, experts assert: Commitment to saving animals called key at D.C. talks", Claudia Boyd-Barrett, The Blade, Oct. 27, 2014.
  56. ^ "Nederland man survives dog attack, calls pit bulls a dangerous breed", Laura Snider, Daily Camera, 7/4/2011.
  57. ^ "Md. Man Honored For No-Kill Animal Shelter Work", WBAL TV, Dec. 29, 2011.
  58. ^ "City of Rockwall, Texas, approves no kill", David Wells, Wells Law Blog, Aug. 16, 2011.
  59. ^ "Looking Ahead: ‘No-kill’ mantra leads way in area’s shelter reform", Michael Kitkoski, The Dallas Morning News, Jan. 4, 2014.
  60. ^ "The Great Meddlers of 2012", Nathan J. Winograd, Dec. 16, 2012.
  61. ^ "Shelby becomes first KY no-kill shelter", Julie Tam, Fox 41 News, accessed Oct. 27, 2014.
  62. ^ "Henry Bergh Leadership Award Recipient Denise Jones: Transcribed from an Animal Wise Radio interview conducted on December 16, 2012", Animal Wise Radio, Animal Ark, 12/19/2012.
  63. ^ "Seagoville animal shelter sets 'no-kill' goal", WFAA, April 8, 2011.
  64. ^ "'No Kill' working in county animal shelter", Scott Brand, Sault Ste. Marie Evening News, April 6, 2011.
  65. ^ "The Lady and Her Tramps", Tim Gihring, Minnesota Monthly, April 2012.
  66. ^ "Rescued Dogs In Need Of Homes Arrive In Westchester", CBS New York, Aug. 3, 2012.
  67. ^ "The Quick Kill Bill, and a question – Why?", kerry, Pets Alive Blog, Feb. 16, 2012.
  68. ^ "Henry Bergh Leadership Award Recipient John Sibley" Transcribed from an Animal Wise Radio interview conducted on December 16, 2012", Animal Wise Radio, Animal Ark, 12/19/2012.
  69. ^ "In Dog We Trust", John Sibley, accessed Oct. 27, 2014.
  70. ^ "Learn", No Kill Advocacy Center, accessed Oct. 17, 2014.
  71. ^ "Toolkit", No Kill Advocacy Center, accessed Oct. 17, 2014.

Further readingEdit

  • Winograd, Nathan (2009). Redemption: The Myth of Pet Overpopulation and the No Kill Revolution in America. Almaden Books, 2nd edition. ISBN 978-0979074318.
  • Winograd, Nathan (2009). Irreconcilable Differences: The Battle for the Heart & Soul of America's Animal Shelters. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ISBN 978-1-4495-9113-7.
  • Winograd, Nathan and Jennifer Winograd (2012). Friendly Fire. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ISBN 978-1479268931.

External linksEdit