Burien’s CARES Animal Shelter Opens for Business After Passing Inspection
Following several months in limbo because of Health Department rules, Burien’s Community Animal Resource and Education Society (CARES) animal shelter opened for business Tuesday.
Debra George, who runs CARES, said the shelter at 909 SW 151st Street passed muster at the final inspection Monday, and gave The B-Town Blog a tour of the facility Tuesday morning (July 17).
Separate areas for cats, kittens, smaller dogs and big dogs, also a “solitary confinement” of sorts for newly arrived animals that have not been given a health check by a veterinarian or animals considered dangerous. For example, she said a dog picked up after a fight with another animal will be checked by a vet and then held. Later, if the animal control officer, a vet and George agree the animal is dangerous or too sick to readily recover, it can be euthanized, but if one of the three disagree, then it animal is not “put down.”
She said it was surprising how many people bring in their animals to be put down, perhaps not wanting to condemn to death a loved family pet.
Another special area is a place where lost dogs are brought in, and city rules say the animal must be held for three days and, if not claimed, it can be put up for adoption, George said.
She said barking and perhaps loud cat cries are not likely to cause much problems with neighbors because the animals are most housed in the back of the building and the walls are thick and insulated. Additionally, next door is a privately run doggy day care where dogs can be heard barking.
George said they shelter will have a grand opening next Tuesday (July 24) but it is open now for animals to be brought in. Over the next little while, several animals in foster homes may be placed in the shelter, although she says it is preferable to keep dogs and cats if the homier environment of a foster home than in stark, bare cages at the shelter.
“We’ve worked hard to get foster homes that will only take pitbulls or rat terriers or really special breeds,” George said. “Sometimes you need a good foster home to give a good evaluation.”
She continues to seek volunteers.
“We have a core of probably seven or eight volunteers and eight or 12 that we need to call,” she said. They come in to take care of the animals.
George said the two county health department inspectors that came in Monday for the inspection that CARES passed were “very good and easy to work with.”
“The inspectors want the best for the animals, just like we do,” she said Tuesday. “They also pointed out things they would like to see (done) differently.”
The inspectors from the Seattle-King County Department of Health will hold surprise inspections of the facility at intervals, she said, just like is done at restaurants (George is co-owner of the Mark Restaurant and Bar directly behind the shelter).
GRAND OPENING TUESDAY, JULY 24
CARES will hold a grand opening for the new facility on Tuesday, July 24. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place at 4 p.m. with cake and refreshments. Dog and cat treats will be available for guests who bring their pets. The public is invited to stop by between 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. and check out the new shelter, and perhaps take home one of the adoptable cats and dogs.
The shelter is in Olde Burien and is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
“We’d like to get the city to let us go seven days a week eventually,” she said.
Below are photos of the newly-open facility: