UPDATE: Dogs Rescued From Burien Basement Need New Homes, Donations

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Two of the 29 surviving rescue dogs that need new homes.

by Ralph Nichols

Twenty-nine small dogs found in cages in a Burien basement last week need new homes – and persons interested in adopting them or providing foster care can apply online at www.buriencares.com.

In the meantime, CARES of Burien is incurring significant unanticipated costs for boarding the dogs, which were removed from the home Oct. 6, including veterinary expenses for emergency care for four of the animals and euthanizing nine others that were too sick to recover.

“We’re a non-profit working on this and our budget is tight as it is,” CARES Director Debra George told The B-Town Blog. “So any financial help would be appreciated.” Individuals may donate to CARES of Burien at any Sterling Savings Bank.

CARES (Community Animal Resource and Education Society) became Burien’s contract provider of animal care and control services in June, operating with $120,000 in funding from the city.

The dogs not requiring emergency care currently are being boarded at area veterinary clinics and PJ’s Pet Ranch in SeaTac.

George said they want “to find good homes for these dogs that will be positive both for the pets and their owners. They deserve nothing less – “the dogs had not been outside in years. They were all in small traveling pet crates in the basement … the neighbors had never seen them.”

King County Sheriff’s detectives, members of the sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit, and animal control officers raided the home in the 1300 block of SW 120th St. Thursday evening (Oct. 6).

They found 38 Chihuahua, Pomeranian, and Chin dogs hoarded there “in relatively poor health and kept in extremely dirty dog crates,” sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. John Urquhart reported. “A man at the residence said the majority of the dogs were his, and claimed some were show dogs.”

Detectives and animal control officer subsequently served a search warrant at a residence in Issaquah, where they found another 62 dogs in relatively good health and in clean crates. They were taken to Regional Animal Services of King County.

Burien Police Sgt. Henry McLauchlan told The B-Town Blog they “received a tip and off we went. Burien detectives took the initiative and we started to coordinate the investigation with the sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit.”

In his news release, Urquhart said that tip came from Pasado’s Safe Haven after they were tipped off “about conditions at the Burien house and gathered additional information. That, coupled with our investigation, led to a search warrant.”

“This was a very quick and coordinated effort by all involved” - Burien Police Chief Scott Kimerer.

“This was a very quick and coordinated effort by all involved,” said Burien Police Chief Scott Kimerer. “My thanks to Burien’s CARES staff, the sheriff’s office, and the Regional Animal Services of King County staff. Everyone worked well into the night on this investigation.”

McLauchlan, who participated in the rescue, likewise gave “credit to everybody involved, “Pasado’s Safe Haven for making the effort and doing all they did, CARES of Burien, the Major Crimes Unit, and especially Burien detectives and King County Animal Control.”

George said the surviving dogs were being cleaned at a local groomer – Posh Paws in Burien – and “will be available for adoption hopefully [this] week.

“I think my staff and volunteers did an excellent job of handling this situation,” George continued. “All the agencies involved worked together very well. I’m very proud of my staff. They did a great job in a very tragic situation. It was very hard on them.”

The sheriff’s office investigation is continuing, and felony and/or misdemeanor charges are possible.

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37 Responses to “UPDATE: Dogs Rescued From Burien Basement Need New Homes, Donations”
  1. skeptical says:

    Before donating to any charity, I like to know where the money goes and if it is being used efficiently. I would want to see who is on the board of directors, what sort of paid staff they have, how many volunteer hours they leverage, and what their budget looks like. A charity seeking donations should have all this information readily available on the internet for anyone to see. CARES, as a non-profit organization, would probably attract more donors if they could demonstrate transparency and accountability.

    • Marianne says:

      And if CARES actually had some cages and space in their room they would not have to board the dogs at who knows what price.

    • Al says:

      Then just donate food for the dogs, I am sure that will go directly to the dogs!

    • Feral Dog says:

      Lets not think about the well-being for the animals or anything like that, instead, lets just be like other assholes and think of what`s best ONLY for us and f&#k everybody else.

      And you Marianne,
      Maybe you could get off your fat ass and help them get some cages, kennels or whatever instead of just bitchin` about what they don`t have.
      At least they are trying.
      Besides bitching, what are you doing to help these animals who are, their through NO FAULT of their own in this unpleasant situation. You think they want to be?

      • skeptical says:

        I would definitely like to see those dogs get help, which is why I’m wondering where the $10,000 a month went. It seems like $10,000 should be enough to help a few dozen dogs find new homes, and if it is not, why not?

        If someone is considering the most effective use of their money before they donate, searching for that charity that will actually provide the most benefit, then, by definition, that person is not just thinking of himself.

        I have personally donated thousands of dollars to help dogs and cats this year. When I donate, I want to help the maximum number of animals. If CARES is doing the minimum required of them as a 501 c 3, then it should be no problem for one of their board members to provide accountability and transparency.

      • opinionated says:

        Damn Dog,
        I`m proud of ya.

      • Marianne says:

        Feral Dog,
        Obviously we have never met or you would know just far off base you are about me. Please watch your language, it reflects poorly on you.

  2. J says:

    Hats off to Dr. Kasper (former BACC) for all the hard work she did on a tight budget. She did not CONSTANTLY beg for money, supplies and assistance! Amazing lady!

  3. Hotrodgal says:

    Now, I’m usually a pretty critical poster, besides not being a lover of small
    dogs (they are cuties though!), but enough is enough complaints about
    CARES or anything else not relevant to this article. Sheesh!

    The fact is that CARES and everyone else involved is trying to get these
    pooches placed as soon as possible and, I’m sure, CARES is probably
    not too crazy to have the extraordinary bills of boarding, grooming, etc.

    Maybe putting out the word for temporary foster families would be a good
    idea to lessen the impact on these little guys.

  4. wheels says:

    According to the RCW, the person or persons who caused this problem, through cruelty and neglect, are responsible for the costs of caring for these dogs. What is being done to make them pay?

    • Really? says:

      Nobody heard nearly 30 dogs? It’s unimaginable that these dogs, all in cages did so without barking their heads off? What type of pathology gets someone to hoard dogs like this? Sorry, too many questions.

  5. animallover says:

    I think helping the animals is the first concern. Get them out of the stressful living environment and into a good home.

    Secondly, it would be really nice for CARES to publish what their organization is doing, how money is spent and what they are doing to help animals in their care.

    Why are they listing animals to be given away for free on Craiglist?!!!!! This is one of the most horrible means of adopting animals. It’s the easiest way for hoarders, backyard breeders and dog fighters to get an animal. This is what Burien’s animal control is contributing to.

    CARES has taken on a huge responsibility which is admirable. In addition to the responsibility they have to care for animals they also have one to be transparent to the public and let us know where the money is being spent and how they’re running the program. They seem to be stepping in for animal control in a very small, uneducated, ill prepared manner.

    What can be done to make Burien’s animal control successful? I think there are countless people that would be willing to help. Is CARES asking for that help or working behind closed doors?

  6. Sara says:

    The CARES website has a list of other items they need outside of money.

    If you are not comfortable donating money without having more information on CARES (or whatever charity for that matter) – donate food, toys bowls, cages!! Anything to help these animals out. I went to the site today after reading this article and I printed out the list of needed items and will be making a run this weekend to pick up some of this stuff and drop it off to them. I figure it’s the least I can do given I can not foster or adopt any of the dogs in need.

    These animals need our help – they did not choose to be in the situation they are in!

  7. As Director of CARES I would like to set the record straight. Anyone is more then welcomed to see our financial’s, just e-mail at [email protected]. But to shed a little lite on the subject since we took over the contract we have had $7,000 + in veterinary bills, $3,000 in kenneling costs and $13,000 in employee costs. We employee one full time animal control officer and 1 full time office person. Besides those bills we have $2,300 in insurance and $3,000 in rent and monthly fees. We do utilize craiglist for display our animals, but we also utilize pet finder and other resources. We have found that we get the best response from Craigslist. All people adopting or fostering go through an application process just like everyone else. The only fees we have waived have been cat fees for the month of October since we are dealing with a large amount of cats right now.

    We are a non-profit and there is nothing wrong with us asking for donations. Taking in 38 animals is a large undertaking for any organization. We have general medical bills for each animal and each one will have to be spade or neutered.

    I am a volunteer as director and compensation. Sherry Myers is a volunteer as placement coordinator and Guy Knepp is a volunteer community out reach and back up animal control – we are as transparent as possible and have nothing to hide or any hidden agenda. Yes to some $10,000 a month seems like a lot of money, but once you add payroll for 2 people, monthly overhead, insurance and veterinary and boarding bills it can and does go quickly. I am very proud of the job my staff and volunteers have done in the two hoarding situations that we found in Burien and truly hope that the community sees how hard this organization is working for the community.

    If you want any additional information please do not hesitate to e-mail us!

    • what I ment to say in the third paragraph is “I am a volunteer and acting Director and get no compensation”.

    • skeptical says:

      Thank you for providing that information. I hope you have success with your organization, for the sake of all the animals in Burien.

    • Marianne says:

      Oh my goodness Debra, it’s “spayed,” not spade.

      • wow says:

        Wow really you have to say something about her spelling spayed wrong how pathetic. Why dont you all get off the computer and do something instead of bitching about the people who are.

      • Hotrodgal says:

        Who the h*ll cares how it’s spelled!
        Please watch your trolling, it reflects poorly on you.

        • Marianne says:

          She runs an animal control agency so she should be able to spell the word “spayed!”

          • opioniated says:

            What do you have against this Debra George gal Marianne?
            Jealousy or what? Do something to help.

          • huh? says:


            You should follow the friendly advice you gave to ‘Feral Dog’ … ‘Please watch your language, it reflects poorly on you.’

            You are associated with FCAT who seems to have difficulties with grammer and spelling, yet you posted: Oh my goodness Debra, it’s “spayed,” not spade. Do you publically correct your associate, who leads a rescue group, when she makes blunders?

  8. Cooper says:

    For those not educated in running a non-profit organization, it takes THOUSANDS of dollars per month for operating expenses. Employees cost money and unexpected expenses happen ALL THE TIME. I asked for and was provided financial information from CARES and I have no reservations about donating money to this organization that performs a much needed service in this community. If you want the information all you have to do is ASK FOR IT.

    Skewering the CARES organization on a blog is cheap and easy. If you really cared about the animals, you could learn more about the organization and their efforts rather then try to tear them down. There is nothing closed door about it. Get your facts straight.

  9. doglover says:

    A big SHAME on all of you that are attacking CARES. The volunteers have been working tirelessly for days on the welfare of these animals. I would like to remind you that they are a NEW organization and basically they started with the 10 K from the city plus whatever donated at the Market. I love living in Burien and so hope we, as a caring community, will put the pettiness aside and assist in giving these poor little dogs the second chance they deserve.

  10. Ralph Nichols says:

    A few facts for those critics who “contribute” to public discourse by taking cheap shots while hiding behind pseudonyms:

    Burien Police and the King County Sheriffs Office reported the dogs were in a basement, which will muffle barks to the outside world. And malnourished, disspirited dogs are less likely to bark.

    CARES informed the Burien City Council on Oct. 3 that it has found a facility at 151st and Ambaum large enough to hold the animals it takes in. Space like this doesn’t appear automatically and is not easy for any non-profit to lease.

    $10,000 a month makes for a spartan budget for a non-profit service like this. A completely unanticipated event such as the discovery of hoarded dogs completely breaks the bank without donations from contributors.

    And since no one has been charged, tried and convicted, and since no civil fines have ben assessed and collected, regardless of what state law says there is no reimbursement through the courts to cover these costs – which can’t simply be carried forward.

    • skeptical says:

      Ralph, the reason for a pseudonym is that this web site is not moderated. The people who run the site have allowed all kinds of ad hominem attacks and even threats by some posters. Can you please explain to me why it is a cheap shot to ask where the money goes?

      What would you have the comments section of this site used for? No one should ask questions?

  11. Christine says:

    I am stunned that anyone could think 10K a month would be an excessive budget for a city animal control department!! Housing, feeding, vet care and animal control response on that budget seems like a fairy tale of optimism to me not an excessive budget.

    Reading these responses makes me want to go down and apologize to these people and bring lots of supplies off their needs list too. A few minutes looking in my house and I found some of those things. I plan to stop by the store and pick up some additional supplies tomorrow on my way there. I hope others will do the same instead of bashing the only help these poor dogs have!!!!

    I am ashamed of the negative attacks here.

    • Feral Dog says:

      10,000 a month isn`t anything when it comes to paying for expenses for something like this. How many of us out there have trouble managing a household of 9 on $6000.00 a month besides me? Or am I the only one?
      But anyways, let`s help out this organization and these poor animals and keep this CARES thing going.
      I tried taking an injured animal there and was turned away which I won`t get into but I was pretty pissed and disillusioned by this action but that is water under the bridge and as a community we need to help.
      And not with spelling

  12. Hotrodgal says:

    I think it’s high time to petition the City of Burien to donate adequate housing for
    CARES. Burien established its own animal control as a cost cutting measure
    and bragged that it would only cost 120,000.

    Let’s put that $120,000 in perspective…

    Anticipated cost of a Public Works Director: up to $123,852 annual pay
    Recent revamp of North Highline Parks: $138,000 (benches, tree work, walkways)
    Annual salary of non-elected city employee: $135,000 + benefits (guess who)
    God only knows how much is spent on Pizza, Town Square art, magazines,
    travel, surveys, studies, flower baskets, etc Good reading hey?

    In light of the amount the city deems appropriate to run an ENTIRE DEPARTMENT(CARES), I think it would be only right that Burien pony up housing for this organization.

    • Christine says:

      I agree completely! We need a permanent home for animal control. If Burien wants to have their own program, they should commit the resources needed to make it happen. The current budget is too low for any group to set up and maintain an effective animal control program. A good place to start would be for the city to provide an adequate facility for housin staff, animals and an adoption area.

      In the mean time, I will do more to help. I dropped off a donation of things from my home, items I purchased, samples Mud Bay gave me to help out and a cash donation from a friend. I hope others will do the same.

  13. animallover says:

    Burien residents didn’t decide they wanted their own animal control. City officials did. If 10,000 isn’t nearly enough to care for the animals in need then Burien shouldn’t have started a program that was doomed to fail.

    I think the main concern for most people is caring for the animals. Instead of getting in a defensive, pissing contest about it maybe it’s time to take a step back and determine how to best handle animal control for Burien. It seems apparent that there are a lot of people wanting to help. Get people involved in a public forum where the goal is to come up with solutions instead of fighting to be right and stake claim to who has done the most to help.

  14. doglover says:

    I spoke to the owner at The Posh Puppy, He stated: That he had some very kind hearted people stop by and leave food and supplies to help with the dogs from the raid here in Burien. He was very happy and appreciative of the donations, and couldn’t wait take the supplies to to be distrubed for use with the pups. I think WE as a community should continue to step up and help anyway we can. I know I will make a donation to help with vet costs tomarrow at the Burien Farmers Market.. I hope all of you do also, even it’s a dollar or two, ALL will help with these pups.

  15. suzy says:

    this lady is an AKC JUDGE!!! and who in their right mind needs over 100 dogs anyway? i think this is just horrible!

  16. Marianne says:

    Is there an update on whether or not any charges have been filed against the owner?

  17. jamesdad says:

    When will the dogs be availble for addoption? I how they charge the people for this and give them jail time,, they should have to pay back all the money it has taken to take care of these dogs… this is really sad..

  18. Me says:

    When CARES can start showing some transparency and not being secretive about everything, I will support them. Until then, I just can’t.

    The fact that NO ONE can tell me which veterinary clinic they are working with, and why they will not accept any animals from BURIEN veterinary hospitals, bothers me quite a bit. Anyone want to fill me in here? And why do they never answer their damn phone?? I just tried calling them, 3 times, and no answer.

    • Really? says:

      For the security of the animals, they don’t publish all of the information. Why do you need to know what vet they are working with? Maybe that vet doesn’t want to be named. And clearly you don’t have any experience with Animal Control. You try running a large scale rescue with two staff members and a handfull of volunteers and see if you have time to answer the phone. Try calling any animal control and see if you can get someone to answer the phone. Good luck!

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