Burien’s New Animal Care To Start Service Wed.; Finding Facility Tough


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by Scott Schaefer

The City of Burien announced Tuesday (June 14) that, beginning Wednesday, June 15th, the new non-profit group Community Animal Resource Education Society (‘CARES’) will begin providing animal care and control services for Burien.

CARES will be providing services two weeks earlier than originally planned – as we’ve previously reported, they weren’t due to officially assume duties until July 1, 2011.

The new CARES facility is technically located at 145 SW 153rd Street in Burien, which we thought would be next to the E.B. Foote Winery and Pyramids Club Hookah Bar. We dropped by around 3 p.m. Tuesday afternoon and discovered we were wrong – we couldn’t actually find 145 SW 153rd – all we found was 143, an empty office that formerly housed a granite countertop business:

If you're looking for the new animal care facility at 145 SW 153rd, you won't find it on SW 153rd.

After wandering around empty storefronts looking confused, we called Debra George, who clarified that the entrance is in the back alley, in a facility that currently houses ‘Paws & Relax Doggy Day Care‘:

The address to Burien's new animal care facility may be '145 SW 153rd Street,' but you won't find it on SW 153rd – it's in a dead-end rear alley, sharing space with 'Paws & Relax Doggy Day Care.'

We spoke briefly with Steve, a worker at the day care. He didn’t seem to be aware that CARES would be opening its facility there Wednesday, so we gave him Debra George’s phone number. Steve showed us one of the rooms that will be rented out to CARES:

He also told us that no equipment had yet been moved in by the city, even though the new facility is scheduled to open at 10 a.m. Wednesday, June 15th.

The services that CARES will provide include:

  • Enforcement of Burien Municipal Code Title 6 Animals
  • Dog Bites/Dangerous Dog Reports
  • Impoundment of stray animals
  • Educational information about pets and pet ownership
  • Rescue of sick or injured animals
  • Referral to other animal service agencies

Residents can also Submit an online request for services.

“CARES is also available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, on an emergency response basis,” according to a press release. “Dispatch centers for both Burien Police and Burien/Normandy Park Fire will have an emergency number to call for response to life safety issues involving animals.”

As we’ve previously reported, CARES is a non-profit group consisting of four main principals, headed by Debra George, and the city will pay them $10,000 a month – a total of $360,000 through April 2014.

The new phone number is (206) 81-CARES or (206) 812-2737. The office hours are 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Tuesday –Saturday. For more information on animal control services in Burien go to www.burienwa.gov/animalcontrol.

We spoke with outgoing animal control director Dr. Leslie Kasper on Tuesday afternoon, who said that the five remaining animals have all found homes. Kasper also added that she’ll be “moving north” to a vet practice in Mountlake Terrace after taking “a much-needed vacation.”

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Comments

21 Responses to “Burien’s New Animal Care To Start Service Wed.; Finding Facility Tough”
  1. Bonnie says:

    All those services…in that small room?

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  2. Jennifer says:

    What about all the dogs that are there for doggie daycare??? Are they going to be displaced…this seems crazy the Steve hasn’t been privy to any of this info.

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  3. Burienite says:

    This whole thing sounds like a cluster so far….hope it works out. Not holding my breath….

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  4. Foster Cats says:

    I talked with the CARES rep at the Burien farmer’s mkt yesterday. There apparently will be NO ACTUAL SHELTER to speak of and NO ADOPTION services in Burien.

    Apparently Paws & Relax doggie daycare will be the location of CARES’ office and a 72 hr hold location for dogs. CARES seems to be under the impression that their main job will be returning dogs to their owners. This, I feel, is a bit naive. I also wonder about the issue of potential pathogens from stray animals contaminating the daycare space and its canine clients.

    Cats will apparently go to other rescue groups. They didn’t specify which rescue groups are contracted with them to take all homeless cats from Burien and find them new forever homes.

    Spay and neuter program is somehow happening by “working with local vets”. But CARES can’t mandate owners alter their pets, and if they don’t have a shelter, what animals will they be spaying/neutering?

    I don’t know what the plan is for stray animals. CARES seems to believe all pet owners are responsible people who care about their pets. There is a harsh reality here that they are going to have to learn the hard way, and what happens to those animals in the meantime, during the learning curve?

    Feral cats, they seem to believe, are not suitable for adoption and will go to other feral cat groups.

    I’m confused as all I hear about is how other rescue groups don’t have room and can’t just take any and all pets from open-door “shelters” that don’t actually have their own shelter space.

    Where do injured pet pick-ups go? What about kitten season? What about FIV/FLV testing? What about sick animals who need some health care before being adopted?

    Where is the non-profit, no-kill shelter? Where are the plans for fundraising?

    The actual implementation plan the CARES rep explained to me yesterday is drastically differently than the one outlined in the comments section of the b-town blog under the story about Debra George organizing new animal control services.

    CARES’ plan as explained by Debra:
    http://www.b-townblog.com/2011/04/04/debra-george-part-of-group-expected-to-operate-burien-animal-control/

    “Debra George says:
    April 6, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    We at CARES understand completely everyone’s concerns and would like to address some of them. The City RFP is about offering Animal Control Service for Burien – 24 / 7. Training of our animal control officer is a priority and level 1 and 2 training from the National Association of Animal Control will be happening before we assume any contract from the City. Michael will have just as much, if not more, training than many Animal Control Officers in our state.

    *The City is not requesting that we maintain a shelter, but it is our intentions to do so and work on Adoptions and Fostering of any and all pets. We plan to be a NO KILL facility.

    We ARE going to make spay and neutering mandatory for adoption. We are also planning on offering community outreach each week at the Farmer,s Market with pet of the week and Low Cost to No Cost Micro Chipping. We will be working with the local vets in Burien for any medical needs and working the PJ’s Farm for long term sheltering until we can get a shelter set up.

    I truly understand everyone’s passion on this subject, I was just as passionate a year ago when this came up. I have spent the last year researching other communities, other non-profits, other shelters and talked to a lot of people before deciding to move forward with a group of people who are equally as passionate about animals as I am. In closing I ask that you do not judge us before we leave the gate, that you give us a chance and instead of putting us on trial before we have done anything, you come and volunteer and help in the new start up non-profit to assist in Animal Welfare in our Community.
    We are a group of individuals who have the best interest of the ANIMALS of Burien. We all bring different levels of experience and just like any business it will take all levels to make this work. You can e-mail me at [email protected]

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  5. feeling bamboozled says:

    this was the plan before:

    http://www.b-townblog.com/2011/04/12/non-profit-headed-by-debra-george-will-take-over-burien-animal-control/
    “The group will be responsible for enforcing animal control laws, picking up stray, injured and dangerous animals, and sheltering and adopting unclaimed dogs and cats. In addition, it will provide for sheltering, adoption and community education.

    For now, sheltering will be contracted with P.J.’s Pet Ranch, not far from the Burien city limits in SeaTac, and with local veterinary clinics.”

    what happened to that plan? we were misled, it appears.

    who will do enforcement of abuse and neglect allegations?

    who will do HUMANE euthanasia, under what circumstances, and in what facility? not in front of other animals in cages in that little room at Paws & Relax? not around the dogs at the doggie daycare?

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  6. Burienite says:

    Scott, after reading the comments above, perhaps it’s time for a follow-up to reconcile what exactly is going on with the CARES. In all seriousness, there appears to be some discrepencies and a somewhat “change of plan” with what they said they were going to offer and what they are seemingly offering now.

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  7. Eaton B. Verz says:

    Well, this is what most of us expected to happen. Just remember that this was brought to you by your city council. With three positions up for election, please exercise your right to vote and remember that Gordon Shaw and Jerry Robison both said that this was the only way to go and enthusiatically voted for it. Lucy K. said it was not her first choice. Time to vote these people out!!

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  8. Former Customer says:

    So maybe the decision to opt of the big, bad King County Animal Control services wasn’t the best one after all??

    I am just an outside observer in all this, having adopted a cat from the pervious incarnation of Burien Animal Control. Not sure how that all fell apart as they seemed to be well up on their learning curve when I interacted with them. The pet I got was actually at PJs and while I suppose it was fine for the pets, it was certainly not a good place for pets to be adopted as it was hard to find, reeked of smoke…the whole process was just not user friendly. The Kent Animal Shelter has its downsides for sure but it is a central location for people to find adoptable SPAYED and NEUTERED animals. Making it easier for people to adopt is very important.

    I feel bad for all the animals in Burien who are about to encounter this new “animal control.” What a mess.

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    • Leslie Kasper says:

      Thank you for your adoption! I do wish we had had better facilities and was working on that prior to being ousted by the City. I hope CARES will use thier “community connections” to fundraise for that cause.
      Leslie Kasper, DVM
      Former BACC Director

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  9. Marianne says:

    $10,000 a month to provide what?

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  10. feralcat says:

    What a joke, I am doing the work of Burien animal control. When I get calls from people who have a feral cat in a trap and BAC is telling them to call me. Here is the problem those people DON”T want the feral cat back. Well I don’t kill feral cats, So what is the person who has the feral cat in a trap to do? HMMMMM lets think about this. Let is out? Which isn’t the answer because more unwanted cats will be born. DUH Shoot it or drown it which is illegal but of course who would know or even come after them since there is NO BAC.

    I can’t tell you how many calls I get from people whose dogs got loose and I am trying to help them get it. People asking me to take the kittens that were born in their back yard. BAC working with rescues are you kidding me. All of the rescues are full.

    What a complete failure and a waste of our money. GO back to use King County were we will be served much better than we are now.

    Now can I please have a salary since I am doing the job of BAC.

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    • Leslie Kasper says:

      I would have to disagree with most of what you are saying. If you are the “Feral Cat Lady” who was refusing to work with BACC for the past year, then I am not sure where you are getting your info. BACC as previously run offered citizens to borrow traps and bring the cats back to us. If they were unwilling or unable to do this on their own then we recommended several local TNR programs (including yours) in the area. Most of the citizens when finding that you and other charged for these services came to get traps from us. Most of the cats we had brought to us were highly social and adoptable. These were vaccinated, spayed/neutered, and adopted out to be happy family pets! Unfortunately, we did get some that were unsafe to be contained or handled and those were humanely euthanized as most people do not need or want “barn” or “hunting” cats that cannot be interacted with. Anyone who was reported to us as “shooting”, “drowning”, or other ABUSE of animals was investigated and given to the police for follow-up with charges. Thankfully, this practice is nearly never seen as we along with other groups will always take feral litters of baby kittens.
      I also offered to provide spay/neuter surgeries for rescue groups (like yours) at no cost — Funny how you never took me up on this offer, and instead spread comments on how horrible our services were.
      King County’s feral policy is no different! And now that they have far less employee’s then previously, I am sure it is even less productive.
      I must admit, I do not know how CARES will offer these services, but the traps were purchased by the City and that equipment has been transfered to the new group.
      I can understand how you are passionate about these cats, but it is unrealistic to think all of the stray/wild/etc. pets in the area are able to be adopted. Scare tactics to try and emotionally waive people or no better than the lack of support from the City!

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  11. Hotrodgal says:

    Feral, I commend you on the hard work you do for our furry friends.
    Yes, you deserve a salary and yes, we were better off with KC.

    I don’t know about loose dogs but when it comes to folks who have trapped free roaming cats (strays), follow through by those people could help alleviate a lot of your task and allow the animals the luxury of living out their lives in a humane manner.

    A couple years ago I had the good fortune to deal with the folks at the Feral Cat Spay/neuter project in Lynnwood. I urge anyone here with a stray cat problem to take responsibility for these homeless souls.
    All it does is take a little effort on the part of the public. Spay/neuter and rabies vaccines are free for these feral cats (with ear-tipping). Very low cost services are also available for pet cats.

    I personally don’t know if a closer program of this type is available.
    I do know that on the Feral Cat Spay/neuter project’s website, there are clear outlines for non-profit groups to start their own regional program. Perhaps CARES would like to get involved in such a manner.
    If this has already been done, I’m sure we would all like to know.

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    • feralcat says:

      CARES refers them to me. yes I do use the FCSNP. But if there people DO NOT want that feral cat back that is the issue. SO I called BAC and asked them what there policy on that was, I guess they will kill the cats. but it doesn’t seem like any one is qualified to euthanize from what I see on the board.

      Also why would you bring some body who breeds dogs to run a shelter, kind of defeats the purpose of being a shelter.

      The only other place for s/n of cats and dogs at reasonable cost is South Seattle Vet. all other vets are WAY over priced.

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      • Pet Lover says:

        So Seattle Vet…You get what you pay for…. They do surgery on pets in the exam room! The same place sick animals are examined!!! I interned there and saw this first hand. A little extra money can save you a ton down the road for the health of your animal!

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  12. Hotrodgal says:

    So BAC is mostly a referral service, fee collection department ($) and a storefront?
    I’m wondering if most of that $10,000/month will eventually be spent dispatching the unwanted over population…somewhere, somehow.

    If not, I also would like an update on exactly what other solutions this organization is offering.

    I don’t know the answer on the non-returnable feral cats. There are rescue groups but I’m sure they have their hands full, partially due to situations like ours.

    Thank you feral for doing what you can but I can see your help has hit a roadblock.
    IF we had an adoption center, it would sure help.

    Instilling a responsible attitude in the public appears to be impossible without mass amounts of public education and from my experience; that probably won’t work. It appears that the concept of personal responsibility has become extinct. Embarrassing.

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    • Leslie Kasper says:

      I would like to remind everyone, WE HAD an adoption shelter and the CARES group DECLINED keeping the facility and have chosen NOT to have a location where they can keep animals! Instead, they have a room in an alley where no one can find it! Very disappointed from a standpoint of someone who has poured their heart into starting to developing this program, who believed the empty promises by the City, and then was tossed aside for someone who was “friends” of City Officials to do the job instead.
      Good Luck!

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  13. Marianne says:

    Pet lover- SS Vet does not perform surgery in an exam room. Friends of the Animals Foundation and many rescues use them as a primary vet and FAF has never been unhappy with any of their medical services.

    Leslie Kaspar- I am not sure if your are referring to the same feral cat lady that I am thinking of, but if you are, you are mistaken about her charging for services. I work closely with her in rescue work and neither of us charge for our trapping and transporting of feral cats to Lynnwood for spay/neuter services. She even houses and feeds ferals while they wait and recover. She gets virtually no volunteer help. Of course, donations are always welcome, but there is NO charge for these HUMANE services for ferals. We also are often able to take the feral kittens for socialization and adoption. They are sent home altered.
    About feral cats being unsafe to be contained and people not wanting barn or hunting cats they can’t interact with, I will chalk these comments up to ignorance about ferals on your part. Yes, ferals do not want to be interacted with. That is why we alter them and put them back into their colonies to live out their lives without reproducing.
    As far as you offering free spay/neuter services for ferals, that is news to me. I was one of the rescue groups that offered free runs to the feral clinic in Lynnwood and left my literature at your clinic. Never once did any of your staff mention this free service for spay/ neuter to me. It woulddl have been much preferable than weekly or more trips to Lynnwood.
    While I hope CARE can provide similar services to ferals, in the meantime please call (206)719-4864 or (206) 427-6454 for FREE feral cat spay/neuter.

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  14. feralcat says:

    Pet lover, SSV does NOT perform surgeries in examining rooms. SSV charges 50.00 for a cat spay and 25.00 for a cat neuter if you mention FCAT. I can get is cheaper at Feral Cat S/N project. This is for NON eartipped cats or kittens(friendly) 25.00 for a female and 15.00 for a male. Catch on FSCNP is you have to drive to Lynnwood and be there by 7 am. Leslie, when we first met at that USELESS meeting about how BAC was to run you told me you charged $300.00 for a cat spay are you kidding me, no wonder you went out of business.

    Leslie FAF and FCAT never received phones calls from when you were running BAC. FAF left brochures and never any calls. I received a few phones calls recently about ferals in traps and what to do with them. FAF and FCAT ONLY TNR. If said person does not want feral cat back, again only 2 options are relocate or KILL. Since CARE does not have a shelter like KCAC or Seatte Animal control to hold the feral cat to possibly find a relo home what is to happen with the feral cat. Well I called BAC and a person got back to me telling me they would kill the feral cat. Fine. So much for a no-kill shelter.

    FAF or FCAT do NOT charge for any services or even to borrow a cat trap

    CARES has no clue about what they are getting into. How many rescues can take kittens, cat, or dogs right now? NONE. My rescue has over 40 kittens, and can not take anymore.

    What they going to do with a box of kittens or puppies left at door, has happened to me several times. Doesn’t appear that CARE can euthanize an animal? So are they going to use VCA to kill animals? CARES is going to be like every other rescue, when to full they turn animals away.

    I can also get dogs s/n and reduce cost too. Highline Vet refers ppl to FCAT all the time because most ppl can even afford their own vets costs. Something wrong with that for sure.

    I also want to know if the ppl who work/run CARES will also be receiving a salary ON top the $10,000.00 per month they will get. Fundraisers for what? If all they do is refer ppl out hell I can do that for FREE.

    FCAT

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  15. AnimalProtector says:

    FeralCat: are you a licensed, bonded kennel or rescue? If CARES is not taking in cats, could you get a contract to provide those services?

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