Burien CARES Announces Hiring Of Ray Helms As New Animal Control Officer

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Debra George, Director of the Community Animal Resource and Education Society (CARES) confirmed Monday morning (Jan. 9) that Ray Helms, a former Burien Public Works department employee, has been hired at the group’s new full-time animal control officer.

“He has been trained at the National Animal Control Association training center in Kansas City,” George said.

The previous officer was fired, George said Monday, but she would not elaborate publicly on the reasons.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Later today, we will have longer story on CARES and how George intends to operate the facility under contract with the City of Burien.

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12 Responses to “Burien CARES Announces Hiring Of Ray Helms As New Animal Control Officer”
  1. skeptical says:

    This would be funny if it weren’t so sad.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Why is it either?

      • skeptical says:

        Because Helms knows nothing about animal control, even if he did attend a short course on the subject. The ONLY reason Helms and George have this job and contract is because they are willing to say Yes Sir, No Sir to Mike Martin. Animals are dying or receiving substandard care because Martin believes bad animal control service is better than no animal control services. He has stated publicly that Burien is not legally obligated to provide animal services.

        George has driven out the people she originally touted as providing knowledge and experience. All that remain are the toadies. George knows nothing about managing animal control.

        • TryAgain says:

          What is it that Debra George has on Mike Martin and/or the City Council that allows this situation to continue? Now, NO ONE associated with CARES has any experience or expertise with animal control. The contract should be re-evaluated! Plus, all of a sudden the city decides it is OK to have an animal shelter in a downtown commerical district. Can you image the smell and noise for the surrounding businesses? Is this really what we want one block from our Olde Burien shopping and restaurant district?

          • sadanimallover says:

            Funny how the downtown area is not zoned for over-night animal housing… or at least hasn’t every been! The only reason why Wag the Dog doggy daycare is allowed is that no one stays over-night! And the pet store is classified as Retail primarily (so the city tells me upon investigation) so they got away with it too…
            But a shelter??? That is not retail and definitely over-night!

  2. btowngirl says:

    Debra needs to go away and a new leader of animal needs to be established for Burien to be successful in animal control. The officer they had did a good job and replacing him wont fix the issues Debra is causing.

  3. TryAgain says:

    OMG – this is unbelievable! The field officer was the only person left at CARES with ANY animal welfare experience. Even if Ray Helms has attended a training class, what other animal or animal welfare experience does he have? Just because a person takes a first aid course doesn’t mean they are qualified to perform surgery. At this point the animals and citizens of Burien would be better off if Mike Martin’s bad animal control was eliminated and NO animal control existed. Then the community wouldn’t have the false sense of security that animal control services were available. The City Council should be ashamed of themselves for letting this continue! Concerned citizens need to attend a council meeting and write letters to the council.

  4. sadanimallover says:

    The “training” course would have been 40hrs of classroom instruction on over 14 different topics according to the Nat’l Animal Control Assoc website. And that is only step one of two required to be considered Certified. According to the course schedule he could have only completed the first if he did it in Kansas City as George says. Complete incompetence!

  5. Lynnette says:

    The previous animal control officer was fired because he insisted on following the law and the training he received to become an animal control officer. He refused to bully and verbally abuse people SUSPECTED of animal abuse. He resisted Ms. George’s orders to confiscate peoples’ pets without reason or authorization. He made a fuss about animals living in horrific filth in the CARES “shelter”. He especially flipped when he found a bunny in a crate in the cat area shaking in terror and misery after being confined for two days without food. In short, the man stood up to Debra George’s animal ignorant dictatorship, If Debra George thinks Ray Helms is a better animal control officer, what does that tell us? If you live in Burien and you are a pet owner, BE AFRAID for your pet. REFUSE to accept this disaster. It is vitally important that the Burien City Concil receive a deluge of letters and e-mails protesting this animal abusive mess. The Regional Animal Services of King County (RASKC) 27 city co-op is rescuing animals all over the county in addition to constantly unveiling new and exciting programs. They recently started a pet loss support group. They have a program in conjunction with the famous Missing Pet Partnership to train people to search for lost pets. Don’t fall for the false propaganda about how contracting with RASKC would cost Burien “more money for less services”. DEMAND that Burien contract with a genuine animal control and sheltering agency before YOUR pet becomes a statistic in this mess.

    • sunjoe says:

      I am a personal friend of the officer that was fired.He is the most upstanding and loyal person that anyone can imagtion. He’s a dog breeder with more than17 yrs experience.Not only that but he headed the Pitbull Society. Doesn’t matter tho- he knows animals andhow they work, as does Sherri and Guy- I have dogs and a rabbit- do I feel safe with my animals in Burien now-ABSOLUTELY not- we need to do something about this mess we call CARES- because that’s exactly what it is- a MESS.

  6. Jan H says:

    Burien will Miss Micheal as our only contact who knew anything about Animal Control !! Debra George is a huge joke !! and so is MIke Martin for allowing this to happen. HE should have pulled the plug in the first place!!! when the first two people left. Ray Helms has NO exsperience in dealing with animals!! One class deosn’t make up for ALL the exsperience Micheal had!! And having an animal shelter behind ALL the FOOD businesses with the noise/smell and such, that is a nother joke that Mike Martin is allowing!! Debra must have something on him!! If I were an animal in Burien!! I would be afraid!! very afraid !!! HOW DO WE get our City Council to situp and take notice?????

  7. Lindsey says:

    You guys should be ashamed of yourself. Nothing but a bunch of bullies. If Ray Helms is so great and amazing how come he didn’t submit a proposal to the city? That’s right only Debra took initiative to DO SOMETHING for this town. And how come Ray Helms isnt commenting if it was that bad? You all are ridiculous- taking hearsay as fact and quite frankly, making up lies. It makes me sick that you all can complain and whine about a situation but then back off as soon as you should do something.

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