LETTER TO THE EDITOR: ‘Great Response Time from C.A.R.E.S.’

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I know you’ve had a lot of negative feedback regarding C.A.R.E.S., but that was not my experience.

I work at the Burien Community Center and about an hour ago we had a report that someone had dumped two young kittens in Dottie Harper Park right next door to us.

I immediately called the C.A.R.E.S. office and let them know. Since, I know Ray Helms, the animal control officer, I followed up with a call to him directly 10 minutes later to make sure he had received the report. He informed me that he was holding the kittens already. This means that the response time was 5 minutes.

Great job!

Thanks, C.A.R.E.S.

– Rochelle H. Flynn

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55 Responses to “LETTER TO THE EDITOR: ‘Great Response Time from C.A.R.E.S.’”
  1. Mykal says:

    I like to see honest and fair reporting like this on the B-Town Blog.

  2. Vic says:

    Could it be because of your position? How many people know the Animal Controls person’s direct number?

    • Brian says:

      I was thinking the same thing…

      • Laura Stiles says:

        Really? Some of you are just determined to bash CARES regardless of what actually happened. The letter writer stated that she called the CARES office first, and only followed up afterwards with Ray, and he had already collected the kittens. Sorry folks, your “conspiracy theory voodoo” is really getting old…

        • Mykal says:

          I agree with you Laura. I don’t have an opinion either way but I like to see the the blog is posting letters from both sides of the fence. I appreciate the non-biased reporting.

  3. TcB says:

    It’s good to get information from different points of view regarding this organization.

    • eaton B. Verz says:

      Laura, Please keep us informed about these kittens. Tell us when they are adopted or let us know what happens to them. Picking them up is one thing, keeping them from being euthanised is another. Here’s you chance to bolster CARES reputation……..

      • TcB says:

        Wait, was that a mistake or are you calling me Laura?


        Not Laura

        • Laura Stiles says:

          TcB: No, he is calling ME Laura. See my comment above. And yes, I will find out the outcome with these kittens. Kittens that have been weaned are usually not too hard to adopt out. It’s the adult cats that can have lengthy stays at shelters – the supply exceeds the demand. So please, cat owners, be sure to have your cats spayed and neutered.

        • Eaton B. Verz says:

          WELLLLL,you do kinda look alike. Just kidding TcB. It was a mistake. Hit the wrong “Reply”. BTW when is the show on? Have a super sparkly day! Eaton

      • Laura Stiles says:

        Eaton: One of the kittens has already been adopted. And just for the record, contrary to your fiction, the CARES shelter has not euthanized any healthy cats. It would be helpful if you would stop making stuff up.

        • Marianne says:

          I am assuming that CARES spayed or neutered the kitten before adoption as all other area shelters do?

          • Laura Stiles says:

            Marianne, CARES assures that all unaltered animals are altered when adopted, either before or shortly afterwards. The adoption fees include altering. My understanding is that the appointment for this kitten is early next week – the adoptive family will bring it back and CARES will transport it to and from the vet. Before any readers get their dander up, rest assured that this is not unusual protocol for smaller shelters that don’t do surgeries in-house, and I am not aware that any folks have failed to bring their pets back for the surgery as promised.

        • Eaton B. Verz says:

          So has CARES changed its 72 hour policy?

          • Laura Stiles says:

            No change to the policy, but as you will read in the original letter, witnesses observed the kittens being dumped at the park, so there was no reason to think the owners would be coming to claim them.

          • Eaton B. Verz says:

            So what happens to the strays after 72 hours? You let em go?

          • Laura Stiles says:

            Eaton, you are starting to sound like a broken record. As you’ve been told before, after 72 hrs the animals are eligible for adoption, fostering, or transfer to a rescue group. Maybe you should go down to the shelter and see that indeed, there are dogs and cats living there, awaiting new homes. Maybe you should adopt one.

          • eaton B. Verz says:

            Well Laura, I guess the upcoming audit will tell us all what a great job you do. I look forward to it.

  4. Marianne says:

    “Since I know Ray Helms, the animal control officer, I followed up with a call to him directly…” That made me laugh!

  5. Joe Wills says:

    Yes it’s a sad situation for the kittens, but this is only ONE time that CARES has come through, only because of the negative publicity, Otherwise let me remind you that in the past CARES wouldn’t even have batted an eye to help these kittens. This has been their stance from the beginning, and I personally doubt it will ever change. I do hope they do the right thing and find them homes, we know what their alternative plan has been.

    • Laura Stiles says:

      “Joe” – see my comments above. I’m calling B.S. You might want to look up the definition of “libel.”

      • Joe Wills says:

        Speaking the truth is not B.S. as you state Laura, AND NOT the definition of “Libel” I state the facts as they have unfolded in our community. Take off your rose colored glasses and smell the cappuccino!

  6. Brian says:

    BTW – stop calling this reporting…its not. Its a letter.

  7. Rochelle H Flynn says:

    The important thing for me is that the kittens were rescued. In case anyone wants to know, I was informed that one of them has already been adopted. The other one has a cold and is being cared for with antibiotics. As soon as the kitten is better, it will likely get adopted as young kittens have a great shot at finding homes.

    • Flashdog says:

      The kitten “has a cold”?! Argh!!! I hope whoever adopted the first kitten reads this blog. Cats are susceptible to respiratory problems. Some are no big thing. Others are a very big thing. Whoever adopted the kitten, PLEASE take your new little one to a vet and have it checked over to be sure CARES didn’t sell you a heartbreak about to happen. Anyone adopting the other kitten after it has supposedly gotten well should do the same thing. Actually, anyone adopting a pet from anywhere should take their new animal for a veterinary check up, but especially in this situation where one of the two animals is presenting symptoms of illness.

  8. Fred says:

    Any other citizen who would have called about these kittens in their backyard or their neighbor’s backyard would have had to use the CARES line which usually has only a phone message service running. When or if CARES got back to them, the citizen who called would have been told that they had to pay a surrender fee to have the cats picked up or turned in. My friends and neighbors and people on this blog site have quoted any where from $50 to $100 per animal as the fee CARES has told them is required to take the animal. Then there is the issue of CARES not wanting to take cats at all that are not with their owners because,according to Ray Helms CARES does not take ferals and there are no strays because all animals have homes. So how is it that Rochelle H Flynn gets different service than the rest of us? Well maybe because she is a Program Assistant for the City of Burien. The City is the money source for CARES and contract holder for CARES. Or maybe because she is a personel friend of Ray’s and has his direct phone number.

    CARES is coming up for an audit this month and they want to look good in the media so they have something good to point out to the auditor. So Rochelle helps them by writing this letter. The whole letter thing is a SHAM. Also, Laura Stiles’s constant defense of Ray, her fiance and CARES his employer, gets very tiring. Yes, I do hope the kitten was spayed/neutered. CARES has had a history of putting out animals for adoption who have not been taken cares of. Also,CARES has only been forced to improve what is is doing because of the citizen complaints. It should never have been given this contact because of the lack of experience in the animal control business from this group. Mike Martin/City Manager is too proud and has too much hubris to admit he made a mistake. So we as citizens are supposed to accept inferior and inadequate animal control services and shut up? Don’t think so.

    As to TcB-I suggest that you arrange a meeting with Jack Mayne. He interviewed 10-15 citizens who had very bad experiences with CARES. CARES is doing no citizen a favor by assisting with animals. This is the service the citizens of Burien are paying for. CARES needs to get over their attitude that they are doing citizens a favor when they come out to do their assigned job or take in an animal. I used to think they needed someone to help them with PR techniques or some additional animal control training. Now I think they just need to be fired.

    • Eaton B. Verz says:

      Well said, Fred

    • Joe Wills says:

      Well said Fred Thank you !!!!

    • Laura Stiles says:

      “Fred” – what I find very tiring is your superior and dismissive attitude. And it is laughable that you give ME no credibility, when YOU do not even give your name – who the heck are you and what basis do you have for the grandiose statements you make, such as, “CARES has had a history of putting out animals for adoption who have not been taken care of?” Easy to heckle, intimidate, and criticize from the sidelines, in anonymity, isn’t it?

    • Rochelle H Flynn says:

      I did not write my letter at the behest of anyone but myself. I wrote it because I was deeply grateful that the lives of two kittens had been saved in such an expedient fashion. I stated from the beginning that this was my experience in this particular case. The first call I made was directly to CARES and I got a person, not a machine. I had Ray Helms’ number not because I was a personal friend, but because we have it on our list of reference numbers at the community center as we do for other community service officers. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am an animal lover, particularly a cat lover. The report about the cats came to me from someone else who was in the park and saw them. It was very clear they were not feral. The cat who had a cold has been quarantined until it gets well. Any responsible pet owner would have a newly adopted pet checked out by his/her own vet.

    • wile.e says:

      Not as tiring as folks like you and the feral kitty constantly bashing cares, even when they they do some good,
      I had a not so great experience with cares myself once but at least it seems like they are trying and are getting better.
      You guys just can`t stand it when it works out good for someone can you?. *lol*

  9. TcB says:

    From this story http://b-townblog.com/2012/07/17/buriens-cares-animal-shelter-opens-for-business-after-passing-inspection/ it would seem CARES has been officially open since July, and looking at the pictures here, would seem to have some well built holding pens. I do not know if they are currently over capacity, or anything like that, just that they look well built from the pictures. I have been hearing stories of people trying to shut down CARES for many months, and it would seem that the call to shut this place down started almost after it was opened. I can’t say I have had experience with people from CARES, but I can say that I have seen what posters on this blog have been about, and I distrust a lot of them (or the 3 that pose as 40).

  10. TcB says:

    To any of the people who think that King County would do a spectacular job and all the animals would go to pretty houses with white picket fences. I knew an animal control person, who worked in the shelter. A very caring person who would take home as many animals as possible, had quite a collection. Was also tasked with gassing hundreds, possibly thousands of animals a year. They had an in house gas chamber and the animals would go into a 50 gallon drum for collection to go to the dump. Mad that CARES might be releasing animals? I guess you’d rather they were dead. This is not in support of the organization that I have not investigated, but please, understand, there are no great solutions to animal control. It’s going to be the devil that you know or the one you don’t.

    • TcB says:

      Also, I just googled it to see some evidence, 2008, King County had a 39% kill rate, over 4,000 animals from those taken in. If you want to shut down CARES then admit that you are advocating Kill Shelters.

    • Btowngirl says:

      Tcb I’m sorry but your missed informed Raskc. Previously king county animal control has never gassed animals or even had a gas chamber on the property. City of Seattle had a decompression chamber at one time.

      • TcB says:

        So the killing you’re sure of, is better than the killing you’re not.

        • TcB says:

          I think I’m going to distance myself from this for awhile. I don’t even have a dog. However, I do help the dog owners in my neighborhood, which is what I think this whole community idea is about. I’m sure King County does a great job, maybe we should be contracting with them instead of having our own police force. Oh wait.

          • wile.e. says:

            TCB says, “I think I’m going to distance myself from this for awhile”
            I think I speak for all of when I say thank you. Maybe you do that with a few other
            subjects as well.

    • Flashdog says:

      I stand behind what Btowngirl said. For those who are wondering if people post with more than one identity on this comment forum, I am NOT Btowngirl and I do not know who she is.

      I have volunteered at RASKC and I still have strong ties to that shelter. And no, I am not now and have not been employed there. The last I heard,RASKC does indeed have a 14% euthanasia rate — one of the lowest in the entire country. If the 2012 rate was 13.6%, obviously they are only improving. The animals that are euthanized are horribly injured, incurably sick, too old to adjust to a new home, or dangerously vicious. Euthanasia is carried out by injection, NOT by “gassing”. Your 2008 statistic is, well, from 2008 — that’s 5 years ago. Since then, animal control and sheltering in King County has been greatly improved by taking it away from the whimsical control of the King County Council and putting it in a co-op system in which interested cities pay for the level of service they want. The cities are the primary voice in what happens there. Now that the officers and shelter management don’t have to continually deal with county council members who have read about some new fad in pet care, they are able to spend all their time doing their jobs and the result has been a wonderful and steadily improving animal control and sheltering agency.

      You are correct, TcB, you should be distancing yourself from this issue — either that or actually learning about it. Your obsolete statistics are no more helpful than your wild statements. “The killing you’re sure of is better than the killing you’re not”?! What on earth does that mean? RASKC has strong partnerships with dozens of private local individuals and rescues who are able to foster or rehabilitate animals that are unadoptable. They have one officer whose full time job is to arrange for adoptable animals to be shown to the public at pet supply stores and community events so as to increase their chances of adoption. Any animal euthanized at RASKC is put down because there is absolutely no other alternative.

      I can’t even guess what you mean by your remark about having our own police force. Our problem is that we do not have any sort of animal control or sheltering in Burien, except a couple of people with almost NO animal experience trying to approximate the work of RASKC, arguably the best animal control and rescue agency in the state. The issue is, WHY are we putting the people and animals of Burien at risk in this manner, when we could easily and economically be contracting with RASKC?

      • TcB says:

        Flash Cat or feral dog, whoever you are.
        Conicedental double post with sympathetic names?
        I sure don’t notice how similar they are…

        • eaton B. Verz says:

          “You are correct, TcB, you should be distancing yourself from this issue — either that or actually learning about it.”

          Flashdog has a pretty valid point TcB. Pretty hard to take your post seriously when you have had zero interactions with CARES. I still don’t understand why you are so concerned with the thought that people might be posting using two names. Who really cares?Seems to me you use that in every thread where you post your opinion.Especially issues you really know nothing about. Sometimes I wonder if you are not really just an attention whore. Nothing personal,just hard to take you seriously sometimes……

        • Flashdog says:

          I can’t resist saying, Thank you, TcB. Like many, many people in Burien I have been a recipient of the kindness of the famous Fcat (Feral Cat). She is a one woman rescue who has saved, obtained medical care for, and re-homed more cats than you could shake a mousie toy at. In our animal control-less city, numerous people call Fcat with cat situations that CARES refuses to handle. She has been known to unselfishly drop everything at all hours of the day or night to go to the aid of cats in distress. No, I am definitely not Fcat, but I am proud to say I know her and I am greatly flattered to be mistaken for her.

  11. Feralcat says:

    I smell a “set up: What a joke and you know Ray personally of course he is going to HELP you.

    AS for adopting out an UNALTERED is just plain irresponsible period, small shelter or not. I know for a fact cares has used feral cat spay neuter project.

    FAF is going to tomorrow. FCAT is going on Wednesday. if a female ONLY 25.00 if a male ONLY 15.00 vaccine only 5.00.

    Follow up? Really you know how many “rescues” say they do that and don’t!!! cares should have held those kittens for at least 7-10 to make sure they are not sick. The other one will most likely get sick, who will be responsible for that. FAF and FCAT have guarantees that is a cat gets sick with in a month we pay for that. Will cares?

    What is the people who adopted the kitten and can not afford treatment if the kitten gets sick???

    What a joke.


  12. watching says:

    I have visited CARES a number of times. My husband and I donate dollars, food and litter to help them. I have never seen any animal mistreated and I have been there when a call has come in – and was answered – and someone left immediately to answer the call. The constant snarking because CARES got a contract when someone else might have wanted it, or because something isn’t being done exactly like someone else might be doing it, is repetitive, tiresome and not doing the city’s situation OR animals any good. In fact, the constant harp, harp, harping from the same people with an axe to grind makes me want to read the blog less and less often.

  13. TcB says:

    wile.e. says:
    February 5, 2013 at 8:22 am
    TCB says, “I think I’m going to distance myself from this for awhile”
    I think I speak for all of when I say thank you. Maybe you do that with a few other
    subjects as well.

    Now that I know who you represent….those who would silence discussion, dissent, opinion, and might I add, common sense.


  14. Fred says:

    To Watching-

    You are obviously watching the wrong things. What you should be watching are the books that CARES has been running and turning into the city for close to two years now. Most of the donations and donors are missing from the records. 285 animals have never been accounted for. Some people who have dogs running around the streets keep getting a get out of jail free card for those animals at the expensive of Burien taxpayers. My vet service has related a number of stories to me about their encounters with CARES. Not pretty. Frankly the numbers just don’t ad up, funny math.

    Ray Helms has been told repeated times that he can’t write on this blog by his employer and yet he keeps ignoring their directive. And we continue to have Laura Stiles, hjs fiance, lead his defense team. People who know nothing about CARES and who have never even done business with them have been on this blog defending them? Kinda doesn’t make sense. What we really have here is a small group of blog trolls who keep trying to defend CARES in spite of how bad of an operation it is. Even if you are a beginning organization, who loses 285 animals? Get real. The tragic thing about this whole situation is what has happened with animals and taxpayers money.

    Yes, CARES is at fault but the real villian who started this ball rolling is Mike Martin/Burien City Manager who removed Burien from the KC animal control and a City Council who doesn’t monitor what is going on.

    Martin’s annual evaluation is coming up, I guess some day, and he should get some negative scores for how he has handled animal control. His over all performance this year should get him fired. Watching-watch how dysfunctional the Council has become; tune in Monday nights. It looks like some of them haven’t attended meetings regularly in months.

  15. TcB says:

    I think we should get this definition of Troll out there so we can understand it. By my understanding, an Internet “Troll” is not just someone you disagree with, it is someone who makes inflammatory statements to cause grief, without any redeeming values or opinions. Maybe we, including Fred, John, Eatin, and all the rest should stop calling you disagree with “Trolls”. If you continue the practice we will understand your real motivations, to silence dissent.

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