Help Burien Animals at the ‘Wags to Riches’ Rummage Sale Saturday, Sept. 8

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A ‘Wags to Riches’ Rummage Sale will be held from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. this coming Saturday, Sept. 8, to benefit Burien CARES Animal Control.

The event will be held at CARES’ facility, located at 909 SW 151st Street.

“100% of all money goes to help the animals of Burien,” reads an announcement.

Organizers are also seeking donations, and are asking for donors to drop items off before Saturday at the CARES facility.

“We do encourage the public to clean out their closets, house and storage lockers to donate what they can before next weekend,” they added.

For more information, call (206) 812-2737.

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37 Responses to “Help Burien Animals at the ‘Wags to Riches’ Rummage Sale Saturday, Sept. 8”
  1. Skeptical says:

    Before you donate, keep in mind that CARES is not a registered 501c3 according to the IRS. Look it up for yourself at the IRS web site.

  2. Skeptical says:

    Look up their EIN 45-1680913

  3. Debra George says:

    CARES has applied for our 501 c3 status and we are in the pending state. This is the process for any non profit to do. We are in a pending status having filed our 990 at the end of 2011 and sending in our application. In the first quarter of 2012 the IRS asked us to change some of our wording, to which we complied and it was filed in May 2012. Now we are just waiting on the IRS – we operate day in and day out as a non-profit. According to the IRS it could take 1 to 3 years to have the process completed. ALL non-profits have to go through the same process and we are no different.
    Copied from the IRS website:
    Contributions to Organization with IRS Application Pending
    When the IRS approves a timely filed exemption application, exempt status is recognized back to the date the organization was created. Thus, while an application is pending, the organization can treat itself as exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3). For example, it must file Form 990 (instead of an income tax return) while its application is pending. However, contributors to the organization do not have advance assurance of deductibility because the organization’s exemption is pending. If the organization ultimately qualifies for exemption for the period in which the contribution is made, the contribution will be tax-deductible by the donor. Alternatively, if the organization ultimately does not qualify for exemption, then the contribution will not be tax deductible.

    We understand everyone’s concern but this is a standard process and we appreciate your patience with the IRS during this time.

    • Skeptical says:

      When you look up Burien organizations who have filed form 990N, dozens of organizations in Burien are listed, but CARES is not one of them.

    • catsupport says:

      “In the first quarter of 2012 the IRS asked us to change some of our wording, to which we complied and it was filed in May 2012”

      On July 12, 2012 I filed a Form 4506A with the IRS to try to get information on CARES status, being CARES refuses to comply with Federal disclosure requirements for public charities (per Publication 4221-PC 07-2009). The IRS response: “…our records show this organization has not filed an application and has not been recognized as a tax-exempt organization…”

      “filed our 990 at the end of 2011”
      According to the B-Town Blog, CARES was handed the contract 2 years ago. So why wasn’t this “timely filed”? Why did it take almost 2 years to file the application?

      If in fact you have filed, then there is no reason why you can not make this available for everyone to see – something REQUIRED by the IRS. Per Publication 4221-PC 07-2009:

      “A public charity must make the following documents available for public inspection and copying upon request and without charge

      Exemption Application – A public charity must make available for public inspection its exemption application, Form 1023, Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, along with each of the following documents:
      • all documents submitted with Form 1023;
      • all documents the IRS requires the organization to submit in support of its application; and
      • the exemption ruling letter issued by the IRS

      Annual Information Return – A public charity must make available for public inspection its annual information return (Form 990 series) with schedules, attachments, and supporting documents filed with the IRS. However, a public charity that files a Form 990 or Form 990-EZ does not have to disclose the names and addresses of contributors listed on Schedule B. All other information, including the amount of contributions, the description of noncash contributions, and any other information provided will be open to public inspection unless it clearly identifies the contributor.

      Form 990-T– A public charity must make its Form 990-T filed after August 17, 2006 available for public inspection. Schedules, attachments and supporting documents filed with Form 990-T that do not relate to unrelated business income tax are not required to be made available. Read Notice 2007-45 and Notice 2008-49 at for interim guidance regarding how the returns are to be made public. See Announcement 2008-21 for procedures the public may use to request a 501(c)(3) organization’s Form 990-T from the IRS.

      Public Inspection and Disclosure Procedures – A public charity may place reasonable restrictions on the time, place, and manner of in-person inspection and copying, and may charge a reasonable fee for providing copies. It can charge no more for the copies than the per page rate the IRS charges for providing copies. A tax-exempt organization does not have to comply with individual requests for copies if it makes the documents widely available. This can be done by posting the documents on a readily accessible Web site.

      Penalties apply to responsible persons of a tax-exempt organization who fail to provide the documents as required. A penalty of $20 per day may apply for as long as the failure continues. A $10,000 maximum penalty applies to a failure to provide an information return; no maximum penalty applies to application requests. ”

      According to the Charitable Solicitations Program Charity Profile Report (
      Federal EIN: 45-1680913
      Federal Tax Status: Will Apply

      Details about organizations are usually provided via a “view details” link that provides the information about the organization including “Governing Persons”, yet NONE of this information available on CARES listing.

      All people are asking is for FULL DISCLOSURE in accord with the laws regulating non-profit organizations. Post this information either in the CARES facility for all to see or on your website.

      • Eaton B. Verz says:

        Don’t count on a reply from Ms. George. She is tired of being picked on here on the blog. Too bad Mike Martin did not do his due dilligence to fact check the CARES report to the city this past summer. He seems satisfied to accept anything Ms. George says as the truth. What we as citizens really need is an audit of cares. Too bad the city will never do one. The cares BS keeps getting deeper.

  4. liljo says:

    Well, my closets could use a good cleaning out.
    I will happily donate to a good cause.

  5. elizabeth2 says:

    “Alternatively, if the organization ultimately does not qualify for exemption, then the contribution will not be tax deductible.”

    This has been an issue since July 2011 and is still not resolved so if you feel like being charitable, go for it. Just do not assume that it will assuredly be tax deductible!

  6. Eaton B. Verz says:

    ” We understand everyone’s concern but this is a standard process and we appreciate your patience with the IRS during this time.”

    Ms. George, It has been almost a year and a half. I know the IRS is not that far behind. Please, how can we believe you?

  7. Cuppa Joe says:

    So, Ms. George, if (as you say above) CARES’ status is pending, why has it been stated so many times – including on two pages of your own website that “CARES is a non-profit 501 c(3) Corporation”? Not a pending non-profit 501 c(3) corporation, but IS. That simply would not be true. Why does CARES not come up as pending status with the IRS (as it appears others do)? The lack of transparency across the board is alarming and this is only another example of ineptitude. Inexperience at best, dishonesty at worst.

  8. Joe Wills says:

    SOOO the Great Debra George does read the blog! And responds! So savaged says Jack Mane mmmm My Fellow Citizens of Burien CARES has had more than enough time to file ALL the proper paperwork for this organization ran by Debra George. This is just another ploy on her part to try and gain some sympathy. Don’t believe it for a minute.

  9. Fred says:

    To Debra George-
    Even if you don’t read the Blog. One of the worst things that you have done to your efforts to establish a non-profit is to not be TRUTHFUL to the public. You did not apply to the IRS for non-profit status until Feb. 2012 of this year. You have been in business since May or June of 2011. The IRS has contacted you two times in 2012 for further information and set a deadline for closing out your application completely at the beginning of Sept. 2012. You collected donations in 2011 knowing that you were not a non-profit-501c- and still had not legally applied but all the time you continued to publicly claim you were one.
    Your Board members resigned because of your marginal integrity and you fired the real trained and experienced animal control officer you had-Mike. Your report to the City of Burien did not show your financials for the entire year of your operation-only 6 months. You told the City of Burien you did not have any donations earlier in the year and yet the public records show that you had donations in 2011 and 2012. There are still 285 animals missing and no record of what became of them. And why is it we should believe anything you have to say?
    We will all know you at your event by the Pinocelo garment and the nose you will be wearing-the puppet of Mike Martin who grew the long nose when she lied.

    • Flashdog says:

      On Sept. 5, Fred made some very good points about money. I appreciate his post. I would like to underline his remark about “There are still 285 animals missing and no record of what became of them”. That’s a lot of animals. Surely some of those cats, dogs, kittens, or puppies had owners searching desperately for them. Where are those animals now? Take a look at your own beloved animals and think about that. I am very careful to keep my animals safe and I’m sure you are too, but freak things can happen. Recently I reposted something from a facebook friend about a dog that was lost when the owner was in a car wreck. The door flew open and the terrified dog ran off. I know someone whose dog took off after a squirrel when the meter reader opened the gate. And then what? My dogs have microchips and I’ll bet many of yours do too. Does CARES have a microchip scanner? They may by now, but the last I heard, they did not. Somebody said, “Oh they take the dogs to a vet to scan them.” Seriously? There is no vet actually employed by CARES (RASKC has two and a very wonderful vet tech). Any vet CARES contacts is trying to make a living. What if the vet is busy trying to save a paying client’s seriously injured pet? Then there is, as Fred said, record keeping. Is anybody at CARES doing any? Who? When? (RASKC uses Chameleon, a very sophisticated computer tracking system. Every animal is typed into the system the minute it comes through the door.) Some people have posted to this blog wondering why people (like me) insist on “being negative” about CARES when CARES is “just trying to do something good”. I don’t question or care what their intentions are. The fact is that, if my dog (my closest and best friend) falls into the crazy maelstrom of CARES, I may never see her again. She may end up euthanized by mistake or adopted out to God knows who. That possibility is strong enough motivation to do all I can to return Burien’s animal control to an animal control agency rather than someone who “means well”.

      • Marianne says:

        Well said, Flashdog!

      • Laura Stiles says:

        To “Flashdog” aka “Another anonymous whiner”

        Yes CARES has its own chip reader.

        Yes, CARES has its non-profit status, the letter arrived.

        Maybe ya’ll could just settle down and drop the drama.

        • Eaton B. Verz says:

          Laura, There wouldn’t be any drama if CARES did what they are supposed to do in a timely manner. Your timeline is nothing to be proud of!

        • mike says:

          Laura Stiles,

          Drop the drama? How bout drop CARES? Did they really get their 501c3? Or are you just covering Ms. George’s a$$? Being in business since June 2011 and just now (supposedly) getting the non profit? Come on! What the he!! is going on over there? Anybody else that would pull that BS as a gov’mnt agency or contractor would be run out of town on a rail. Good thing she (george) knows that (should be run out of town) mike martin.

          Area Y Mike

          • catsupport says:

            I just received a call from the IRS today (9/11/12), and yes, CARES has finally been approved as a 501c3. The IRS will be sending me a copy. This does not answer the questions as to why they waited so long to file, or why failed to comply with the REQUIREMENT to make the application and other documents available for public inspection (ie: annual information return -Form 990 series- with schedules, attachments, and supporting documents filed with the IRS).

            …and so many more unanswered questions…

          • Feralcat says:

            YES Laura has YOU just got it today. WE got the call too. LOL

            This is all we were asking for, NO MORE LIES, since JUNE of 2011. cares, just applied in may. so NO it does NOT take over a year to get approved.

            Great you have bee approved and you can run legit. Now get some actual fundraisers going to raise money. A garage sale really? Just a bunch of junk.

            Auburn Humane Society got a walk together and raised $12,000.00 that is not bad for their first walk.

            Now do a job of an animal control agency and maybe the public will back off. I don’t see that happening. Sadly education does NOT work. People just don’t care. So do your job.


        • Marianne says:

          Laura, Since your boyfriend Ray Helms is repsonsible for public relations at CARES as per their contract, you may want to think before posting comments…

      • Cuppa Joe says:

        Excellent! 501(c)3 status also means public financials – should be some good reading! Sure is interesting that the application wasn’t made until May…well after people started questioning them. It seems like things – basic things that are needed for a successful operational model – are allowed to slide until enough attention is drawn. “Oh, okay, we’ll get a chip reader. Oh, okay, we’ll slap a shelter together. Oh, okay, we’ll apply for tax exemption.” The problem is that some of their greatest shortcomings are going to end up with someone getting seriously hurt. Is that really what it’s going to take? I can’t for the life of me figure out why Burien leaders want to look like such bumpkins when it comes to city management.

        • mike says:

          Look at martins track record. He’s had so much controversy everywhere he worked, what would the council expect? Someone who is fiscally responsible? Come ON. Cost over runs, loosing lawsuits to contractors, giving george a phoney contract to take care of animal control, throwing money around like a drunk and driving drunk into someones yard are just a few of his unique abilities.

          Area Y residents be warned, this is just a taste of whats in store. VOTE NO ON ANNEXATION!

          Area Y Mike

  10. Eaton B. Verz says:

    A big thumbs up, Fred!!

  11. elizabeth2 says:

    It amazes me that given the tenuous situation regarding the LEGAL and ACTUAL situation regarding CARES non profit status, Ms. George boldly sticks her neck out to organize another way to bring in more donations, just as before.

    Seems to me that a logical and careful person would spend the time and energy ensuring that the 501c paperwork was complete and APPROVED by the IRS BEFORE looking for more money.

    Out of interest, Fred, is there an accounting for the donations Ms. George has taken in anywhere we is reviewed or audited? If she claims not to have been taking doantions early on, how is there any way to account for the money?

  12. Joe Wills says:

    Way to go Fred !!well said !!! I am sure that the original board members left for much more than marginal integrity which is just the tip of the ice berge.This whole Non for profit is such a joke on the citizens of Burien.

  13. Debi Wagner says:

    Maybe the hold-up on the 501c3 status has to do with the connection between CARES as landlord for the for profit neighbor Paws & Relax? Maybe it is with receiving money from a government entity? Maybe it has to do with the highest paid employee sitting on the board? Maybe its the 3 change overs in board members this year that requires updates causing delay? But who knows? I am wondering if CARES is approved, can those who donated thousands to CARES already go back and claim it as deductible or have they already without knowing they couldn’t?

    • elizabeth2 says:

      If Ms. George is quoting the IRS regs properly, my reading is that people can go back retroactively even though they did not know at the time whether it was approved.

      However, of course, the tax reporting year for 2010 and 2011 is over so I believe that people either were not able to deduct since it was NOT approved, or deducted improperly since it was not and IS NOT AN APPROVED 501C.

      Again, I come back to the question as to whether CARES even has accurate records as to who donated so that if IRS does question either those who donated or CARES, they can prove the donations.

      Also, who is auditing the donations and where the money goes?

      If CARES is not yet a 501c, who is accounting for the money and how it is spent?

      • Debi Wagner says:

        Good questions Elizabeth2. It would be nice if we knew who the current treasurer is…they must have one, but even better if that person instead of Debra George were putting their name on anything financial or making presentations to the city about finances. Debra does it all and I think it must be nearly impossible for her to do it all especially when it takes teams of experts, years of practice and plenty of money at KCAC.

  14. Feralcat says:


    I just had to say it.

    I am glad everyone is seeing the light. Again sadly cares will NOT be closed.

    We need to elect NEW council members. Focus on that the citizens of Burien. That is the only way we can get rid of mike martin and change things. Imagine IF they do annex white center OMG talk about total hell.

    Also if any of you read the contract between the city of Burien and cares, there are so many things that cares is not doing, and yet mike martian will not cancel the contract, he is the only one I guess who can do this. (I could be wrong, don’t know how find out)

    I am so glad everyone is looking into this on their own.


    • Eaton B. Verz says:

      “I am so glad everyone is looking into this on their own.”

      I agree Fcat. Though I was really hoping Scotts reporter Mr. Mayne would do his research and do an article. I guess his call for people to come forward is a non starter since he won’t protect his sources. Too bad.

    • mike says:

      If the annex goes thru (God forbid) will Area Y have CARES as animal control?

      If so, why would anyone in their right mind switch from KCAC to this fiasco? From what I’ve read, CARES is not animal control. They have so many exclusions in their contract that it allows them NOT help residents with animal needs, it would be better to just take our pets needs to the vets. And they want more money? Pleeese!

      This annexation CRAP just keeps getting better all the time.

      Maybe we should take this to the streets. Get some picket signs and run Martin and his cronies out of burien on a light rail. Recall Martin. Recall Robison. Recall Clark. Recall McGilton. Recall Bennett. RECALL RECALL RECALL!

      Area Y Mike

  15. Joe Wills says:

    Yes I agree White Center, IF the annex goes through CARES will be your Animal Control, NOT KCAC with the experience needed to take care of your lost pets and such. Bet your britches Debra George has already asked Uncle Mike for more money to run her empire! So the 10K per month could jump to 15K per month of our tax paid dollars!! More money for Debra, less money for your animals. The vote is on you White Center.

    • mike says:

      Attention Area Y Residents:

      Anyone that would like to keep Burien from raising our taxes and fees by over $400 a year and to keep CARES out of White Center and South Park and to keep King County Animal Control in, our PETS deserve it and WE deserve it: The web site with information on the anti-annexation campaign committee and where to send contributions is:

      Area Y Mike

  16. Feralcat says:

    Yes that is correct if the annexation goes thru, Area Y will be “controlled” by cares. Laughable

    Again do your OWN research on the council members who DO WANT THE ANNEXATION to go thru and if they come up for reelection, then I guess you will have to decide.

    It is up to the people in White center to vote as to whether they want to be annexed, I am seeing signs in yards. Sadly i do not think many people will vote at all.

    I have no problem paying more taxes to get a proper animal control or go back to kcac. 400.00 is not that big of a deal. I know it can be for some, but the animals no matter what will suffer.

    I do not believe cares can get any more money from the city of burien. It is more of an issue that cares is useless, and no matter what, the citizens of burien and white center will be screwed. mike martin seems to think that animal licenses will cover the costs of animal control that is just not so.

    Then cares is supposed to be a 501 non profit so they can NOT even legitimately have fundraisers. Shelters do NOT make money on adoptions. NO WAY IN HELL.

    PS Fred thanks for your post.

  17. Feralcat says:

    OOPS please let me clarify.

    Ok cares CAN have fundraiser’s but they can NOT lie about being a 501 3c(tax write off)

    I(fcat) is not a 501 3 c. I do have fundraiser but I am VERY HONEST about donations, you can not write donations off.

    I apologize for the confusion.


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