LETTER TO THE EDITOR: ‘Where is Burien’s Animal Control?’
Where is Burien’s Animal Control?
When a citizen tries to stop by Burien’s Animal Control, the door is locked and no one is allowed in. The story is that it is still not ready.
CARES, the Burien animal control model, has been in operation since July, 2011 (9 months) but there is still no place that animal control is open to the public. Prior to CARES, the city ran an unsuccessful animal control program because the City Manager/Mike Martin decided that the City could not afford King County Animal Control. This is not a factual report of what really happened with KCAC. Mike Martin actually left the meeting with King County before the rate scale that cities would be charged was even determined. This information comes from a reliable inside source that was present at that meeting. Mike Martin simply wanted to make up his own rate-nothing based on what was humane, research based and responsible animal control.
Currently, CARES appears to have no animals in it for adoption, etc. It does not appear to want to take care of anything other than dogs. Cats and other domestic pets are generally not welcome. The rabbit that has been very seriously abused appears to be missing.
When citizens ask how the new pet care business and the still empty CARES site had gotten their zoning permits, the City Manager is unwilling to provide any answers. Clearly this appears to be cronyism for an ex-Burien City employee/ now animal control officer and a member of Discover Burien. No other business in the City of Burien could have gotten this kind of zoning code deal.
Even stranger, is that after some members of the CARES Board resigned and had provided testimony to the Burien City Council that CARES was out of compliance with its contract, the Council refused to look into the situation or challenge the contract. The City Council has refused to allow this topic to be put on the agenda or to even request a report on animal control. So what is going on here? How many and what kind of pets are really being served here at citizen expense? Are they being humanely treated? What does the budget really look like? Where are the adoption, education and neuter/spay programs? How many animals have been killed in the Burien program? Under King County the kill rate is 14%. Where are the trained professionals that Burien citizens were promised? Where are the trained animal control experts on the CARES Board that were promised when the contract was discussed before the Burien City Council?
If the City Council is unwilling to do its job to provide responsible animal control, it might be the time for citizens to speak with their purchasing habits-money talks. Stop supporting the merchants who are on the Board of CARES (2) until a complete and through accounting of what is going on there is made public. Also, let’s have a factual presentation about the CARES services, not cutie stories by Ray Helms about how he took care of his sister’s pets when they were kids and he now claims to be an expert on animal control-a job that people formally train many years for. How is the citizen-provided $120,000 per year really being used by CARES for quality animal control?
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