LETTER TO THE EDITOR: City Of Burien Can’t Read Pet Microchips?

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Hi my name is Delsie Baumgardner, I have a story I’m not sure if you’d be interested in but it would be helpful to people out there looking for their animals:

I lost my female calico cat she was about a year old and spayed and micro-chipped. She had been missing since Tuesday September 7th 2010. I put up signs on Friday September 10th since I never heard anything from any local shelters picking her up I figured I’d be notified if she did get picked up since she was micro-chipped.

I got a phone call from a lady Saturday night saying she was sorry to tell me some bad news about my cat that she was pretty sure it was my cat that was hit by a car on 136th and 2nd Ave South (I live on 136th and 3rd Ave South) and that she called a number that someone gave her to pick up the deceased body.

I called the number that the lady called to have her body picked up and it was the Burien public works department (phone number 206-248-5521) it was Monday morning I called and talked to a lady named Val. She said yes indeed the road crews picked up a deceased calico cat on 136th and 2nd Ave South on Thursday evening. I asked her if they checked her for a microchip and she said no, that unfortunately they don’t have scanners but that if a deceased animal is picked up with a collar and tags that they will notify the owner (cat’s get their collars and tags off plenty of times so we think micro-chipping them will be helpful) and that sometimes they keep the deceased body’s for a couple days but this one was too beat up for them to keep.

What I want to know is that these deceased animals that “road crews” are picking up and not checking for microchips why aren’t they taken to Burien animal care and control and checked for microchips then so that the proper person can be notified if the cat/dog is microchip? I feel that it is unfair that people don’t know, me being one person didn’t know that Burien had road crews picking up deceased animals. I was expecting animal control to have picked up my animal if anything and I don’t know for sure if it was my cat or not that was found near my house deceased or not. It would be nice for some owners to have that closure knowing or not. I also think that owners should know that road crews are picking up deceased animals, and that micro-chipping doesn’t always mean that they are going to know if their animal is picked up or not by the crews.

Thank you for your time and I hope to get the word out so people know to not only look at shelters but to call the Public Works department and maybe we can get them going on getting a scanner!

Delsie Baumgardner

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18 Responses to “LETTER TO THE EDITOR: City Of Burien Can’t Read Pet Microchips?”
  1. Julie Dosono says:

    The whole new Burien animal control is a big joke.What does this lady do for 140,000 a year is what I would like to know.That is just terrible that your cat was micochiped and they did not even check.I also found a dead black cat in front of my house.I called the new Burien animal conrtol and they told me to call the road crew.I called them and after a day they never came and picked up the cat.My husband buried it in the yard.I believe pet animals should be shown the same respect as people.Maybe we should call the road crew next time a body needs to be picked up.I am so angry with the new Burien animal control and I will rembember not to vote for the Burien council members who put it in place.No animals codes are inforced.Bring back King County animal control or find something better.Not a pet shelter for 140,000 a year we need more than that.I am so sorry for your loss and the hard thing for you is not knowing.

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    • Caitlyn says:

      wow I am shocked to hear that Burien is not properly checking animals for microchips! me being a cat owner myself knows that it is hard to keep collars on cat’s mine get them off ALL the time so I have mine micrchipped in hopes that if something similar happend i would know. And what I want to know to is ok if the road crews are picking up deceased animals why dont they take them to Burien animal care and control??? and really how hard is it to get a scanner them selves? When KC was still in contract with Burien at least our animals were getting picked up properly and notified to the proper person if they were microchiped! im very infuriated by this and i agree that this new burien animal care and control place is just a BIG joke…is it true that they only have 1 doctor and 1 technician? no wonder why our animals arent getting the proper care. sounds like Burien just wanted to get out cheap to me.

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  2. Hotrodgal says:

    I’ve looked at Buriens public recommendations and they do indeed have you call the road department for road kills (sorry Delsie)… where exactly does the road department take them?
    Does our new animal control have the capacity to scan for chips and, with road-kills, is it true that these animals do not indeed get run through Burien animal control?

    For 140,000 a year, if that figure is accurate, I would hope so.

    I see the Burien animal control director’s previous Vet Clinic website is no longer online so I don’t know if a chip scanner was in the facility before becoming our cities animal control. If so, why isn’t the technology being utilized with road-kill?

    If no Chip scanner is available at the Burien animal control; why not? Surely with $140,000 at their disposal, an appliance costing as low as $300 wouldn’t be too big a stretch of this huge amount of public funds. If the problem is the road department, then maybe Burien should have the road department “burdens” dropped at animal control. Simple fix for those who shouldn’t have that burden to do anyway.

    Sorry for my attitude to all that are proud of our new animal control system, but it seems to garnering a pretty poor welcome from residents, including myself.
    If Burien is going to institute the same fees and laws as KC, then they should also provide the same services.

    I would think that if the city of Burien wants to encourage spay and neuter AND licensing, maybe it should run a promotion offering …FREE pet altering with every license purchased. The City of Seattle did this years ago and it was a huge success!

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  3. feral dog says:

    Sorry to hear about your kitty Delsie,, having a scanner would be a good idea now that supposedly all the scanners can now read numerous chips, I know it used to be that only certain scanners could read certain chips depending on the manufacturer but from what I understand now they are getting universal. My daughters calico cat got out and got knocked up so now I have some kittens on the way,, (will be about 10 weeks I suppose before they are ready.) My master won`t let me put a little salt and pepper on them so I guess we are going to give them away,, (sure as hell aren`t keeping the little fur balls.) Got enough animals already cutting in on my time,,*lol*
    But at any rate, I know it`s been a while since you lost yours but if by chance you want another one, let me know. I`m fenced in right by you.
    And the free pet altering thing with the purchase of a license,,,,, great idea hotrodgal,
    I`ll ride with the top down with you anytime…*woof*

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    • K says:

      Feral-She is not calico. She is a marbled tabby. Torti would have been a better guess. At least you would have been in the ball park, but she is not a torti either. And yeah, as kitty lover said, YOU need to get her fixed, lol Just kidding, I will do it once the kittens are weaned.

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  4. Chris says:

    This is an interesting issue.

    I would suggest you send you concerns to the Burien City Council, and submit them as public record, so that they will be included in the weekly council packets. This way, all of the council members will be able to read your concerns.

    Further, I woudl suggest a phone call to the city managers office, so that he is aware of the situation.

    All of this could be resolved easily with the purchase of a couple of scanners and a policy revision.

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  5. Jack Block Jr. says:


    Sorry to hear of your loss and the problems you had. I’m going to request a future policy change that any expired domestic animals retrieved by Public Works be taken to Burien Animal Control to be scanned and if not identified, respectfully disposed of.

    As to those who question the role of Public Works retrieving expired animals, I view it as a matter of respect for someones beloved pet and pragmatism (They’re out on the streets already). What is the alternative, have them drive past an expired animal?

    When starting a new program such as Burien Animal Control, shortcomings will inevitably emerge. The key is to identify and quickly address them.

    To those who deride our new AC program, consider that staying with the County would have cost Burien Taxpayers an extra $163,000 a year for shared services that would have amounted to 8 hours a week of service by KCAC. $163K? That’s one less cop on the street. To cover the cost and make it revenue neutral would have meant doubling the County’s license fee to $60 a year. Instead we came up with a program that provides better service at a lower cost, ($20 a year license fees).


    P.S. How come every time I write “Burien” on the B-Town blog the spell checker says it is misspelled.

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    • blink says:

      *Well I think that KCAC did a much better job then the “new” Animal control . BAC has to have more people to do the job they are doing.
      This is sad I would rather any day pay more for a license to have an officer that has been doing this type of work meaning (dealing with VICIOUS ANIMALS, CRUELTY, AND ANIMLA BITES) then to have someone that from my understanding has not.

      *How does she house a ALL the animals? So that client’s are “safe” from stray animals they dont know what they have had.

      *As to “expired pets” THATS PART OF A ACO’S JOB THAT IS PART OF ANIMAL CONTROL. If it wasnt then KCAC would have more time out on the road to deal with other things other then “Expired Aniamls” It would be nice if they could just have the public works department’s do the dirty job wouldnt it?

      I can go on and on .

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    • Coverofnight says:

      Block, that’s good feedback regarding the Burien Animal Control. I agree there’s going to be some problems as it gets up and running. But why is every cost or savings related to the employment of a cop or firefighter? There are a lot more inefficiencies in the local government that should be addressed instead. For instance, get rid of those red light cameras! Think of the money that can be saved! And get rid of that parking enforcement guy! Eliminating that “Kojak”s position would save his salary (probably thousands of dollars) and the cost of a vehicle. Between those two items, we could get scanners for Burien Animal Control – hey, maybe even fund another employee for them. That’s where I’d like to see the money spent….and of course, any money left over can be used for more flower baskets – they really do jazz up the City!

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  6. kitty lover says:

    Delcie, I am sorry to hear first, that you have lost your cat, and secondly, that you are not really certain as to just what might have happened. It is sad to believe that Burien has not had any idea what to do when someone’s domestic animal has been found dead. You would think they just might have looked into the protocol for this issue and learned from King County how it should be handled. Linking these animals to the new shelter for possible identification and notification seems like a given, but apparently Burien was just born and has no idea about much of anything……but now they do or should and hopefully disposing of someone’s pet’s remains will be carried out more professionally and with some dignity, and the simple step of attempting to locate and notify an owner will be foremost in their procedure….and a note to feral dog, please get your daughter’s calico spayed so you are not guilty of adding to the overpopulation of our little friends….I believe the “new” animal control was offering some specials……remember licenses cost more for unaltered pets…..Would be a good Christmas present…..

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    • feral dog says:

      Kitties make good Christmas gifts also,, hehehehe .j/k .
      I don`t like cats all that much,
      Dang greeks anyways,, putting them on a pedestal and worshipping them for some dumb reason,, and those felines have made sure that the knowledge of such has been handed down ever since. *grrrr*

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  7. feral dog says:


    P.S. How come every time I write “Burien” on the B-Town blog the spell checker says it is misspelled.

    Because they want to spell it Bell town to reflect the councils attempt ..
    *sorry, couldn`t resist.*

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  8. Buresident says:

    I think everyone is in agreement that King County animal control is a bloated bureaucracy that is stuffed full of friends of current and past county Executives. I hope that no one from the Executives office reads this “Letter to the editor”. Their response would most likely be to hire another Executive crony into a lucrative management position to “evaluate” and then cut a couple front line officers in order to cover the new salary.

    Please people, mail in your ballots in November. If you don’t like what’s going on with our county programs then we need to get new leadership in that will do the job right.

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  9. Eaton B. Verz says:

    Wow, while I agree that we should all vote in november, I don’t see what that comment has to do with our city’s animal control program and it’s ability to read microchips of deceased animals. Now,If you want to address cronyism in burien………

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  10. southendkitty says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. Plus the fact that you go through so many hoops before getting any closure. Unfortunately, your scenario is probably not going to be the only issue as Burien experiences the pains of animal welfare that King County did. Goes to show that there are issues with every city and animal control organization…it’s not cheap, it can’t be done on the cheap…not without significant loss of animal life, which isn’t acceptable in this day and age.

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  11. Lynnette says:

    First to “Burienresident” — As a matter of fact, NO ONE regards our wonderful new Regional Animal Services of King County as a bloated bureaucracy. As was demonstrated by their Super Adoptathon at Kent Station Shopping Center yesterday (9/25), they are a highly organized group of well trained officers and dedicated volunteers who work like crazy to take care of the animals we love — even when the animal is deceased as Delsie’s so sadly was. (My sincerest sympathy,) At the Adoptathon yesterday, there were rescues from all around WA, animal related groups like WASART, educational displays, contests, and fun. 105 animals found new homes with delighted owners.
    Mr. Block — your post about the costs of animal control is hog wash. “Shared services?!” King County is divided into 4 areas and each area has an officer or officer dedicated to it. (MUCH better and more effective that before, when one or two officers were supposed to cover vast areas of King County each day.) That officer is backed up by a fully staffed animal shelter and the services of 400+ volunteers who exercise animals, foster young or sick animals, and do support work. Oh! and if an injured animal is brought to the RASKC shelter, there are veterinaries and vet techs there to give it immediate help. Your cost figures are wildly out of whack because Burien didn’t factor in a whole collection of things they are going to run into down the road. For example, having one completely inexperienced, recently out of college veterinary and a helper attempt to handle the workload of well trained, experienced animal control officers and an entire shelter staff is RIDICULOUS — especially when that ONE person is also supposedly running a veterinary practice. (What does she do if she is giving a client’s animal critical care and there is an urgent animal control situation that she must resond to?) There are going to be LOADS of expensive problems (and possibly lawsuits) that Burien will have to deal with.
    Do you own animals? Do you love them? If you live in Burien, your animals are at risk because of the Burien city council’s silly, “do-it-yourself” animal control experiment. As another poster said, never mind writing posts HERE — write (or call) your Burien city council members and let them know that THIS WON’T FLY!! Signing on with the excellent new Regional Animal Services of King County plan is FAR more economical in the long run and our animals will be SAFE.

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