LETTER: ‘Why Is CARES So Secretive About Their Operation?’

Print This Post  Email This Post

Dear Editor,

I have an injured animal on my hands. It took up residence in my yard, and is obviously suffering. He cannot eat, he has a large abscess on his face, and is missing an eye. I am going to guess he was either hit by a car, or lost miserably in a fight. He is skin and bones. I have tried contacting CARES many many times, and there is never an answer, nor do I ever get a call back. So, I called Seattle animal shelter. They said they’d take him, but once I got there, refused to do so. They referred me back to CARES. Still no answer from them. So, I just take the poor cat to them. I am told they are not in, and will not be in until after 4pm….yet their office hours clearly state 10am-6pm. I have tried every veterinary hospital in Burien and get told the same thing. CARES will not allow them to take him. CARES is not contracted with any veterinary hospital in Burien. Someone want to tell me why and who they are contracted with? This is complete BS. What is the point in having an animal control service, if they are impossible to work with? At least when Dr. Kasper had it, animals were taken care of promptly and properly. There was no run around and confusion. She kept it an open book. Why is CARES so secretive about their operation? Why do they rent from a small little hole in the wall doggie daycare, rather than have their own space?? (No offense to the doggie daycare) Why are they not in during their posted hours? Why do they not answer their phones, or call people back??

CARES is a f*&%ing joke. We need to either go back to King County animal control, or find a new group to take over, who will actually help animals and people in need. This is not my 1st experience with them, and just like every other time, the animals have to suffer.

– Abigail Kerns

[Have something you’d like to share with our Readers? Please send us your Letter to the Editor via email. Include your full name, and, pending our review, we’ll most likely publish it.]

Print This Post  Email This Post


50 Responses to “LETTER: ‘Why Is CARES So Secretive About Their Operation?’”
  1. Christine says:

    CARES really does seem to care deeply about the animals but the budget is just unrealistic to pay for housing, staffing, feeding, medical needs and adoption. We need the city to take the lead and provide a permanent facility and the budget to staff it.

    Have you called the police department? The animal control message says to do this for sick or injured animals.

    The current situation is not working and I do not think it can be fixed without a more realistic budget and a permanent city facility that will not change no matter who is in charge of the program in the future.

    In the mean time, I will support CARES with donations because they are trying and I hope they will eventually work out the kinks and succeed.

  2. Thom Grey says:

    Duh Dudes,
    This ugly situation is the responsibility of Mike Martin and the Burien City Council. CARES is at fault also. The previous lady who ran Animal Control told Mike Martin and the City Council that there was not enough money to run Animal Control. She even resigned from her job over the money issues. CARES knew about this situation. Dudes knowing this situation, CARES should never have taken the contract. Now CARES is in money troubles too. This is shameful way to not to care for animals. The people of Burien should be very ashamed of their City Council and City Manager for allowing this. Dudes, If dogs and cats had their say in Burien, they probably would register their displeasure by whizing on City Council Members and the City Manager.

  3. skeptical says:

    I hope that CARES works through these problems and learns to get it right eventually.

    Twice, now, the City has chosen someone with no experience to run their new Animal Control Program. Dr. Kasper may be a good vet and Ms. George may know how to run a restaurant, but neither had any experience with animal control.

    When they are looking for a new Director of Public Works, the application does not say, “We are looking for someone with absolutely no experience in this type of job.”

  4. Marianne says:

    If you still have the animal please take it to South Seattle Veterinary Hospital at 11033 1st Ave. S. (206 242-8338). Tell them Marianne from FAF sent you. We will cover the bill to euthanize this poor suffering animal. Pick up our card while you are there and contact me directly please. Thank you for caring.

  5. fourlegged says:

    I have to agree with you on the CARES deal, maybe they are overloaded, maybe their phones don`t work, I don`t know, but I also took an animal in need there once and was turned away much to my disbelief.
    Who to really pin the blame on, I don`t know, maybe no one, maybe numerous orgs.
    Maybe just the city of Burien trying desperately to be something they obviously are not.
    I`m not much for the 9mm backyard euthanasia of animals but it sure seems more humane than taking them to that DONT CARES place in Burien.
    I`m not blaming the people of CARES because I believe they are doing what they are told even if it`s not exactly what people who really care about animals would do.
    I do however tend to blame the town clowns who made the rules and put those folks at Cares in such a bad light. Could somebody tell me please why in the hell this cares place can`t take animals from Burien in?

  6. Char says:

    I agree that if CARES signed a contract to provide services to the City of Burien,it has an obligation to follow the contract. Coming along after the fact and saying that they aren’t getting enough money to provide the contracted services is not acceptable.
    My neighborhood has had a pit bull periodically running loose, coming into yards, barking at the people who live there, also following people walking down the street and barking at them. I talked with Ms. George who advised me that unless the dog was biting someone or snapping and charging someone, CARES would not respond, as she does not consider an animal who is barking and challenging a person to be agressive.
    When I called 911, I was told that unless the dog is actually biting someone, they will not send a Deputy out. I live on a busy street with a lot of vehicular traffic and a fair amount of foot traffic. Maybe when the dog either bites someone or is hit by a car, then CARES will find the time in their busy schedule to check it out.

    • opinionated says:

      Well, that`s when the sleeping method described by four legged is most effective.
      When you have a pit running loose in the neighborhood threatening people.

  7. Wulfie says:

    We had a stray cat wind up in our yard. The poor thing was nearly blind, skin and bones and had ear mites. There was no way that we could keep her. I looked online and found CARES’s phone number. We called and left message after message. Finally, I drove down there and was able to talk to someone. They told us that they are not registered by the city to accept cats yet, just dogs. Take it to the King County or Seattle shelter.

    We drove to Kent with her based on their information. Nope, Neither King County or Seattle can accept animals from Burien based on an email (that they showed me) from CARES saying that they were handling animal control in Burien.

    The next day I went back to CARES and asked them what were we supposed to do with this poor cat that for a week now has been living in our bathroom. I was very rudely told that they are NOT required to shelter animals and that I should just post an ad on the internet to get rid of this poor cat.

    • opinionated says:

      That`s just messed up

      • katmom says:

        DITTO…CARES… please quit sending people to shelters they know will not take sick or stray animals…in the past I have taken sick animals to my vet and then tried to find a home…I cannot afford to do this anymore, nor can I take in any more animals. This group is pitifully useless…maybe someone in Normandy Park should make a contribution…finally…since we’re supposed to be the so-called animal control for them, too.

        Thank you to all the private, non-profit groups for helping….

  8. Chris says:

    EHOUGH OF THE EXCUSES!!! If the City of Burien and CARES engaged in a contract for a SERVICE, then perhaps CARES should actually provide that service. Again, I hear the argument that the arragement is not working due to lack of funds. Well, then CARES shouldn’t have agreed to the contract. Further, if the City of Burien determines that CARES cannot meet the terms of the contract as stipulated, then it is CARES that is at fault and the city should take action.

    I can’t believe these stories I’m hearing about CARES not being responsive. Won’t/can’t answer the phone. No employees there during posted hours. Won’t return phone calls. Since this service is essentially an extension of the local government (by contract), then the buck stops with the City of Burien. Mike Martin should treat this like any other city department that is underperforming or not carrying out their function and/or mission.

    CITY OF BURIEN: Please investigate the current operation of CARES to determine if they are/are not meeting the terms of the contract. If they are not, then DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

    CARES (and all of their supporters): STOP complaining about a lack of money when you agreed to the terms of the contract. Your intentioins may be good, but it seems like you cannot (or will not?) fulfill what your obligation is.

  9. kitty lover says:

    Oh Lord, here is just another example of a City that refuses to hear what the people living here tell them over and over…..Provide the services you are mandated to do, or see that agencies which are equipped to handle these services and their problems, are embraced by the City. We would love to be happy about living in Burien, but those running the City are making us sorry we do not have the resources to make our home elsewhere. This is also the City that is going forward with further annexation, but is totally ill equipped to care for the residents and animals that already live within City limits….

    • opinionated says:

      Boy, reading these posts sure makes a good argument that the so called leaders of Burien are MUCH more interested in whats best for them, not the town. They need to quit trying to make Burien something it`s not ready to be yet and focus on whats best for the town NOW!!!

  10. jimmy says:

    could you please post a description of the cat i lost a cat about a month a go that ad abscess on its bottom lip it had both eyes last time i saw it but it kinda disapered on me it was a older cat about 17yearsold so iam not sure if just walk off or pastaway or if it just got kinda stuck some where i have seen some racoons out at night iam not sure if maby one them attack the cat but if you could post description of the cat as in fur color and any other discrtipions if it is my cat i will take care of it and get it fixed up

  11. William Forest says:

    Apparently the majority on the CURRENT city council feels we can afford millions of dollars to annex white center but is unable to come up with the money to provide adaquate animal control and care in Burien.

    This to me is a sign of what we can expect in the way of the reduction of other services if the pro annexation candidates are re-elected in November.

    If you care about Burien its services including animal control I urge you to get out to vote in November and vote for Bob Edgar, Debbie Wagner and Lucy K.. They will get the animal care issue under control. From what I can see the current majority on the city council could care less because they have bigger fish (like their own agenda’s) to fry.

    • animallover says:

      William – Is there any information in writing about what these candidates will do in regards to Burien Animal Control and the problems we are experiencing with CARES? That would certainly help me decide who to vote for. Thanks.

      • william forest says:

        Bob Edgar has taken in a feral cat himself paid to have the medical help it needed and still cares for it.. He is very sensitive to the fact that animal control in Burien is inadequate.
        Debbie Wagner is also of a like mind.
        Lucy K has done what she can but she is only one voice on a council that frankly has little empathy for the animal control situation in Burien. Thats why we need change.

      • feralcat says:


  12. opinionated says:

    Hey, just out of curiosity, could someone from CARES please tell me what are their intentions and what exactly it is for?

    • opinoniated says:

      So I guess nobody knows why CARES can`t take animals in from Burien.
      Then maybe it`s time to dump this joint.
      (unless of course they find them in somebody`s basement)

  13. doglover says:

    The problem as I see it, IS you have someone in charge who basically knows how to run a restaraunt, but has NO clue about running Animal Control. I have been a big supporter of this group since the begining, but withdraw my support, until they get someone in charge who know’s what the heck they are doing…

  14. skeptical says:

    I think the central problem with animal services is Mike Martin. He has said, publicly, that animal services are optional. In his opinion, we are not required to help the animals of Burien at all. If CARES helps a few animals, according to Martin’s logic, that’s better than nothing.

    The citizens of Burien need to decide what standards they want. Just because Martin doesn’t care if animals suffer, we don’t necessarily have to accept that. We can either get behind CARES and support them with volunteer hours and donations, or we can go to the council and demand that animal services be properly funded and housed. The council doesn’t listen to the citizens unless it is a large and noisy group speaking in unison. From what I have seen, CARES has dropped the ball in certain areas, but if we want better services for our four-legged family members, maybe we would be better off supporting the fledgling CARES organization than trying to get the city council to act. Let’s hope Ms. George is a fast learner.

  15. doglover says:

    I am afraid that MS George is not what she has made herself out to be to the council, where the other three are people who had the animal experience! How come we don’t hear from them! I am personally going to talk to owner of dog salon and see what he has to say about all this. I have spoken to him at the Market. Then maybe WE should go to the city council.

    • william forest says:

      Its already been done Doglover. With the current members of the council I am afraid it just falls on deaf ears.. They let Martin run the show with very little oversight.. Its a you scratch my back I scratch your back approach.
      That’s another reason why we need to elect Edgar and Wagner. Maybe then a coalition on the council can implement more oversight over what the city staff considers their turf.

  16. doglover says:

    William You are correct that it seems to be falling on deaf ears,,(our city council) I will be voting for sure, but in the mean time I am going to do my own personal follow up and report to the editors of the B Town Blog and the Highline Times what I find out.

    Maybe Martin isnt the right person for our city, but it doesn’t mean our animals have to suffer !!

  17. Eaton B. Verz says:

    I am usually all over this issue,but I wanted to give CARES a chance. Times up!! The citizens and animals of Burien have been burned again. Thanks! , Mr. Martin. It really is time to vote these lemmings out. I’m tired of the council drinking the Mike Martin Kool Aid. The funny thing is ,Debra George is usually right on this blog if anybody says anything about CARES. She is now conspicuous by her absence. I would sure like to hear her answer ………………

  18. doglover says:

    Debra is absent, because she doesnt have clue on what to do,,CARES has become a joke,, very sad,,very sad.. I am writing a letter to both the Highline times and the B town Blog on what I have found out about CARES.. to think i supported Debra… what was I thinking????

    • feralcat says:

      LOL I told you so. Yes I rubbing it in you disrespected from day one. Now lets work together by getting them to go back to King count animal control While it is was not perfect at least the poor cat mentioned above would have been take care immediately.

      The fact the “cares” does not have access to euthanize animals is the most disturbing issue for me. The lady with the sick cat has not responded as to what she has done with it. Both FAF and FCAT can help.

      So how is the $100.00 working out for “cares”?

      Again lets all go to the next council meeting and get this ball rolling.


  19. feralcat says:

    Well it is about time, maybe I am NOT FAILED after all. Any cat related issues contact FCAT. 206-427-6454 I can take care of: either way of getting s/n or even medical attention. As for euthanizing I can take care of that threw 2 places. South Seattle Vet or the Feral Cat s/n project. I go up there once a week and if they deem the cat in dire straights it will euthanized.

    I just had 3 cats dumped in driveway with a note marked CARES won’t take them. Great, what the hell am I supposed to do with them. Well I took them to seattle animal control.

    ALL OF YOU COMPLAINING I URGE YOU TO GO THE NEXT COUNCIL MEETING AND TELL THEM YOUR STORIES. IF you have not voted yet. DO NOT VOTE FOR GORDON SHAW, OR ROBERTSON. They are some one associated with Debra threw businesses so they are “in bed together”.

    I told you so.


    • huh? says:

      feralcat, you found a safe place for the three cats left on your doorstep. However, did you tell Seattle Animal Shelter that the cats were from Burien or from Seattle? They I want to help all animals AND taking Burien cats to Seattle Animal Shelter is not the answer either. Seattle taxpayers are not responsible for funding Burien’s Animal Care & Control.

      Your post makes it sound as if you will provide the care and housing:
      …….‘Any cat related issues contact FCAT. 206-427-6454 I can take care of: either way of getting s/n or even medical attention. As for euthanizing I can take care of that threw 2 places. South Seattle Vet or the Feral Cat s/n project’, ……but you took the cats to Seattle’s Shelter, on Seattle taxpayers’ dime. Huh?

      The Taxpayers of Burien need to step up and fund their animal care, whether it’s a contract with Regional Animal Services of King County, developing their own shelter or subcontracting to a non-profit. It does seem that the only safe, professional choice for the animals is to become part of the King County Regional Model…but the City Council did not want to pay for the service. Burien taxpayers…time to belly up to the bar and pay for humane animal care and control. Open your checkbooks and demand that Burien contract with Regional Animal Services of King County.

      • feralcat says:

        I have a VERY GOOD relationship with both Seattle animal shelter and KCAC. so they know of the catastrophe that “cares” is.

        I said to much to be frank as I don’t want to abuse the relationship I have with these 2 organizations. The humane society has been dealing with this all year long.

        NO TAX payer money goes to s/n or even euthanizing PERIOD. when you go threw my organization. This is ALL OUT OF MY OWN POCKET. I will not allow to have animal suffer if I know about it. Feral cat project is NON profit who only s/n all cats feral or friendly. It can be free or 25.00 for a female or 15.00 for a male. FYI, that hoarding situation: well lets just say all the friendly cats were ear tipped which is free so not alot of money was going into those cats that were to be adopted from that situation, also MOST were feral and I don’t know if those cats went back or not. Talk about secretive.

        As for dogs again I work with Pasodos and SAS to help people get fixed little to nothing or free. Again I do this out of MY OWN pocket and time and gas to get it done.

        Actually with cats that is what my rescue is ALL about I trap, neuter and return feral cats. I also assist people in getting their cats fixed and even health issue taken care of. I can vaccinate a cat for 5.00 and YES it is legal. I can deworm, medicate for certain issues. I can even pull blood for combo test. FELV/FIV. “cares’ couldn’t even tell if a male cat had been neutered. Any rescuer should know how to do that(if friendly of course) hell I can do it even if feral.

        In the big picture with the crap that is “not” going on at “cares” taking some cats to SAS or KCAC where they can actually have a chance is ok with me and my tax money. You have NO idea what I have been dealing with since this crap started.

        Burien just needs to go back to KCAC. Anything is better off than what we have right now. “cares” has NO shelter although we have been told after the first of the year there is going to be something, to little to late, a lot of money down the drain and animals suffering.

        $10,000.00 per month since June 2011. again I know KCAC is not the perfect solution but god knows “cares” sure hell is NOT!!!

        DO NOT VOTE for Gordon Shaw or Gerald Robison.

        VOTE FOR Lucy Krakowiak, Bob Eggars, and Debbie Wagner.

        If even watch the meeting that had debra do a “presentation” on how “cares” was doing you would see what a horrible job she did.

        I know there are a lot of issues that are important to everyone, like the annexation, which I OPPOSED too. This is an issue that we Burien residents need to deal with. No one wants to pay more money for nothing and that is what we are getting with ‘cares’

        So I hope to see everyone Nov. 14, 2011 at 7 pm and your letters written, WRITE THEM NOW to the council members. Get it on public record.


        • huh? says:

          Feralcat…you didn’t answer the question. When you took the three cats to Seattle Animal Shelter where did you say they were from–a Seattle neighborhood or from Burien? Those three cats are on the Seattle Taxpayers’ dime–not yours.

          Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad the cats are in a safe place. The point is that by taking the cats to Seattle Animal Shelter, Burien taxpayers got a free ride, which also further buries the problems with Buriens’ Animal Control. I agree…Burien needs to contract with Regional Animal Services of King County.

          • feralcat says:

            it was 3 cats where else was I to take them they have already been adopted. Again BIG picture. If we the citizens have NO other options, but I do. i will do what I need to to do for any animal.

            Again I got another call from a landlord whose tenant had about 20 adult Ragdolls. It was another hoarding situation. Now while Mike did show up to make it legal. Mike himself said there was NOTHING “cares” could do with the cats. So other rescues HAD to be called in. Thank god they could take them.

            Also things are SO bad with “cares” that 2 people have RESIGNED. SO really lets get past the 3 cats that seattle tax payers have to pay for. It is nominal.

            Hope that answers your question. Again BIG PICTURE,
            “cares” has no options or the capacity to deal with the animal problem in Burien.


          • huh? says:

            feralcat…I ‘get ‘the ‘big picture’. You are not the only person that cares or goes above ‘n beyond for animals. The question is ‘did you tell the truth to Seattle Animal Shelter’ or ‘did you lie about where the cats were from’. Simple question. Simple answer. Integrity counts.

            The big picture is that Seattle Animal Shelter is very, very full of cats…and suggesting people with Seattle cats try rescue groups first. You could have put the three cats into your adoption network. That’s what you do, right?

  20. feralcat says:

    The next council meeting is NOT till November 14, 2011

    I certainly encourage anyone who cares about this issue to go.


  21. doglover says:

    Dear Feralcat, I was wrong you were right, I am very sorry… I believed in the CARES, I really thought they could do a better job than the Vet before them, All I wanted was for everyone to give them a chance, don’t be so negative why? The people involved (the three real animal people) who brought a boatload of experience to the table. I was told at the City level that this is Debra George’s contract only, and that the three involved are just Volunteers. I questioned this City official about this; I thought this group was going to run CARES together. I was told this is what Debra told them.
    I am deeply worried about the animals of Burien. I agree we should attend the next City Council meeting; we should get as many people together and go to the meeting.

  22. doglover says:

    Hey Feral Cat yes two of the main people did resign.. also i was told that the original office person resigned when I called the office to find out about the the cats that were taken.. What does that tell you about what’s going on with CARES ??

    • feralcat says:

      Mike Martin is BIGGEST issue in this, it seems he is “running” Burien. I have no way to change/fix the annexation issue other than hope and PRAY that the citizen of White center vote against it

      As for the “cares” well read the contract between “cares” and the city of Burien again this is PUBLIC record. So up at the meeting.

      Politics is a very ugly thing and from what I have been able to find out, chances of things changing are to get those people the hell out of there and as LEAST was gordon shaw.

      Please show up at this meeting I would love to have standing room only.

      Elizabeth what cats are you referring to? The 60 cat hoarder situation, which I found out not much has been done. So just think in less than 3 months this house will only get worse. I can’t find out where this house is, but neighbors have to know something, I can come in and get ALL 60 cats done at once period.


      • Catlover says:

        You say you could handle 60 cats at once? You complained about having to find something to do with 3. I call BS.

        • feralcat says:

          Little “miss catlover” I can do 85 FERAL cats at any given time to get s/n threw the feral cat project. That is what I meant by 60 sorry for not being more educational for you.

          Dealing with 60 friendlies is a very different story, as I am sure you well know?

          So I want to know how are those 16 cats that were ALL ear tipped doing from the hoarder? Have they ALL been adopted? Oh Why were they ALL ear tipped? Does any one have answer for that?

          Well to save you money”cares’ shoudl learn how to vaccinate, deworm, check for earmites. god there is SO much “cares” can do save money. Oh yeah that is right they call themselves a “rescue” and yet they can’t even do the basics.

          Huh? YES I did. At time, when they can they will help JUST like the humane society in Bellevue. As for adoption network that is slim to none for the most part, just like all other rescues, especially with adults.,

          • opinionated says:

            Them why don`t you offer your services in training them to do de-worming, check for ear mites, etc instead of constantly running them down?
            Seems like you are wasting a lot of energy peering out from behind a monitor when you could MAYBE be doing some good instead of bitching about what could be if only,,
            Well, here`s your chance, step up or shut up.

          • huh? says:

            FCAT: Your holier than thou, nasty, patronizing, sarcastic attitude is a scream, as are your writing skills. If you want to be listened to and help make things better for the animals, you need to ‘trap and keep’ some people skills.

            Are you a licensed facility? Has KC Public Health visited your facility? Just curious.

          • huh? says:

            Feral Cat….still waiting for your reply to the question:
            Are you a licensed facility? Has KC Public Health visited your facility?

  23. elizabeth2 says:

    I assume that means the one remaining person is getting $10,000 a month …and doing what again for that money?

    No, I do not mean what was PROMISED to be done for that money, what is actually being DONE for that money?

    • Catlover says:

      Every animal taken in to a facility has to make a trip to the vet first. We all know how much vet bills can be. I have been to Cares, they have cats at the office who are being taken care of as if they where their own pets. It cost to shelter these cats and dogs, to feed them, medicate when needed. That is not a lot of money. Let’s get back to what matters-NOT politics!!

  24. feralcat says:

    hmm opinionated. I am already doing most of the cat related issues in Burien. All the phone calls that FAF and FCAT deal with that are from Burien citizens fed up with the lack of any action with cats. ‘cares’ has NO capacity to do so.

    Plus I am NOT getting paid anything nor can afford to just use my supplies. It is pretty damn simple to orders all of the supplies a rescue needs to treat the easy things.

    I am not bitching I am pointing out the truth of what a waste of money this “organization” is and threat to human and animals “cares’ is.

    Now I know that 2 “rescue” people resigned, and new people have NO experience with animals seems debra is the only one. Again if she “rescued” dogs like she says should be able to do all of basics.

  25. CuppaJoe says:

    It’s interesting that commenters can call others names and tell them to shut up here (something that I appreciate West Seattle Blog doesn’t allow). Keep it classy, Burien.

Share Your Opinion

By participating in our online comment system, you are agreeing to abide by the terms of our comment policy.

...and oh, if you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!