UPDATE: Burien City Council adds $50,000 and two years to CARES contract

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by Ralph Nichols

Burien City Council members voted 4-3 at their July 15 meeting to increase by $50,000 annually the amount paid to CARES for animal care and control services.

The action also extended the city’s contract with CARES – the non-profit Community Animal Resource Education Society – by two years to Aug. 31, 2016.

The contentious issue – which was pulled once again from the meeting’s consent agenda – was approved after a brief debate.

Mayor Brian Bennett and Council members Rose Clark, Joan McGilton and Gerald Robison voted for the CARES amendments.

Deputy Mayor Lucy Krakowiak and Council members Jack Block Jr. and Bob Edgar voted no.

Block, who at an earlier meeting had asked that the CARES contract issue be taken off the consent agenda, made the same request at Monday’s meeting. Again Krakowiak and Edgar supported him. Only three council members are needed to make an agenda change.

At that earlier meeting, McGilton had had to leave before the council considered the CARES contract, which had been moved to the bottom of the agenda. The motion to add to the current contract died on a 3-3 vote.

This time debate was brief. Block repeated his challenge to increasing the city’s cost for animal control services by $50,000. The program should be self-supporting, he argued, and the money could better be used for human services.

Block also suggested that Burien would be better served by an animal control officer who was part of the police department, as is the case in Des Moines.

But Clark, who praised the work done by CARES in its first two years, asked Block how many cities he was aware where animal control services were completely self-supporting. None, she noted. He countered by asking why Burien can’t try to be the first city to do so.

McGilton noted there can be risks when a police department is responsible for animal control, citing the shooting death of Rosie the Newfoundland in Des Moines. That city eventually had to pay damages to Rosie’s owners.

And Robison, who said he thought CARES is doing a good job, added his opposition to paying a lot more to King County for animal control while getting a lot less in service.

The amended contract requires CARES to:

  • Rehabilitate and restore to health animals that have been injured, neglected or abused beyond basic care needed to stabilize an animal during the impound period.
  • Remove dead animals in city roadways and rights-of-way, including domestic and wild animals. Dead animal removal previously had been the responsibility of the Public Works Department.
  • Respond to complaints or incidents involving wild animals that threaten public safety and notify the State Department of Fish and Wildlife when necessary.
  • Designate an available back-up Animal Control Officer.
  • Train a staff person in animal behavior to help determine when an animal should be euthanized.
  • Train of staff to ensure accurate data entry and program management.

Burien began contracting with CARES in June 2011, a year after deciding not to continue with Regional Animal Services of King County, which had substantially changed its operations and increased its costs to member cities.

At an April 15 city council meeting, King County representatives confirmed that Burien’s 2013 net cost would be about $332,000 with their program – compared to $170,000 annually under the revised contract.

Unlike partnering with King County, the city also keeps its pet licensing revenue. According to the city, this lowers the actual cost of the CARES contract to $100,000.

The proposal to increase funding for CARES came after an audit of CARES conducted by an independent animal control expert, Denise McVicker, Deputy Director of the Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County.

McVicker found that CARES meets public safety needs in terms of animal control and is fulfilling its contract obligations to the city, but she recommended a number of improvements that required additional funding.

In amending the CARES contract, the Council also required the CARES shelter at 909 SW 151th Street add a sink and dishwater, instal ventilation, build a vaccination room, and buy uniforms and badges for staff.

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82 Responses to “UPDATE: Burien City Council adds $50,000 and two years to CARES contract”
  1. Barbara Levich says:

    I think CARES has done a good job with the barebones budget they have had. I’m happy to see the budget increased. I am impressed with how many animals they are able to find new homes for, that’s not an easy task. No one works harder than Debra George.

  2. Mike says:

    What members were in attendance?

    • Laura Stiles says:

      Mike, please try to pay attention. All council members were in attendance, as listed in the article.

      • Mike says:

        The article above wasn’t posted Last night when i asked laura. Apparently you weren’t reading what was posted then.

        • Laura Stiles says:

          Mike, the original, brief “Breaking News” article did list the names of each council member and how they voted.

          • Mike says:

            I hope you don’t break a hip high fiving yourself trying to make me look stupid laura. Are you always this annoying? Don’t you have something productive to do? Like finding the 285 animals that were “misplaced” by your wonderful cares.

            • Laura Stiles says:

              Mike, I’m just responding to what YOU are saying.

              • Mike says:

                Okay laura, where are 285 missing animals?

                • Mike says:

                  Cat got your tongue laura? Oh wait, all the cats (and dogs) were lost. You dont have an answer to that question since its not making me look stupid. Come on laura, do what you always do, explain where those animals are, you seem to have all the answers to other peoples comments and questions.

                • Laura Stiles says:

                  I don’t know. That’s an old figure that the city put out before I had association with CARES. During that start-up time frame there were different board members and staff. I do know they’ve had steady improvements in their processes, so I think it’s more useful to focus on their current service level.

                  • flashdog says:

                    If I were the owner of one of those lost 285 dogs and cats, it would not be an old number to me. My grief would still be fresh. I would still be wondering every day where my dog or cat is now. I would be wondering if he or she was tied up in a backyard without food and water or mistreated. I would be wondering if my much loved pet was getting his or her favorite food or enjoying his or her favorite activities. I would wonder if whoever has MY ANIMAL now loves it as much as I do — or if my pet was adjusting to my sudden, unexplained disappearance. Or, I would wonder, is my dog or cat simply dead? Sorry, Laura, this is a lot more than an “old number”. This is a cruel reality that you cannot push off onto previous staff members. This is the “level of service” at CARES. The recent independent audit revealed that sloppy record keeping was still the norm.

                    • TcB says:

                      So please make sure I understand this issue. 3 or 4 years ago CARES lost actual animals? Or they lost the paperwork? What happened some number of years ago? Is this ongoing where there are records of loss? Loss of animals? I’m not understanding. Do you have the species of animals lost? How much do we really know, except for what you are saying? What are the actual facts and records?

                    • flashdog says:

                      TcB, there was no “reply” button under your latest comment, so I will put this reply under my comment. Nothing happened “a number of years ago”. CARES has only been around since 2011. (Reference — I wasn’t sure, so I checked their facebook page and that’s what it said.) SO — between June of 2011 and the independent audit that was done a few months ago, records show that CARES has quite simply lost 285 animals. In other words, this is something that was on-going — business as usual. References? I know it has been written about several times on the Blog — most notably in the article about the independent audit. (Sorry, but I am not going to waste my evening tracking down the exact article for someone who probably doesn’t care anyway.) In all the times it has been written about, CARES has never refuted the information — because it can’t. That’s what happened. Notice that even Laura Stiles could not explain it away.

                      What this means is that (over the space of a couple of years) records show 285 animals that came into the CARES “shelter” and there is absolutely NO information about what happened to them. Possibilities include: Reunited with owner, sold to someone as a pet, euthanized, died of disease or injury or neglect, escaped out the back door, stolen, killed in a fight with another animal, or other. Possible scenario: A dog or cat comes into CARES. A few days later a desperate pet owner comes in and describes his missing animal. Somebody at CARES says, “Oh yes! I remember that one…” The records show that, yes, that animal entered the shelter — and then everything is blank. There is absolutely no way to figure out where it went. The only things that could cause this are either pure, sloppy record keeping and a casual disregard for peoples’ much loved animals OR something really bad happened to those animals and nothing was recorded because CARES didn’t want anybody to know. I have no idea which it was, so I am not going to make an accusation.

                      I realize that you are trying to make it sound like I am making this up by demanding to know what species of animals, etc. The auditor who did the independent audit simply said “285 animals” and did not specify dogs, cats, gerbils, whatever. “Do I have FACTS?” Yep, everybody in Burien who read the independent auditor’s findings has the facts. Sorry, TcB, CARES actually did this — on a consistent basis (see independent audit — the text of it was on the Blog or else the Blog had a link to it). It is one of the many reasons why CARES needs to be CLOSED DOWN.

                      I submit that every benevolent agency has a disaster once in a while. Every hospital has had some tragic mishap. Every police department has had a dark moment. Every animal shelter has had some terrible thing happen. But, I ask you, how can having TWO HUNDRED AND EIGHTY FIVE tragic mishaps in two short years possibly be okay?

  3. Me again says:

    I will NOT be voting for any of these guys when the time comes what a joke!!!
    Burien is falling apart and this is just a start…

  4. TcB says:

    Here it comes…..

    • TbC says:

      There it goes…….

      • TcB says:

        You must be with the “let’s charge ourselves $420,000 a year, instead of $75,000 (plus now extra $50,000) crowd”
        Good luck with that.

        • TbC says:

          NO,NO, I’m with you. All is wonderful in Burien! In fact I propose we change our city’s name to “Martinsville.” In honor of our soon departing city Manager. CARES is just one of the legacies he will leave us with. Who says “you get what you pay for”? Plus this way ACO Ray will be employed for another two years! That makes Laura Stiles real happy I’m sure. I’m happy as a clam at high tide.

  5. dcollier says:

    The sky is falling! The sky is falling!

  6. JJ Greive says:

    For the life of me I cant understand how ANYONE can vote against animal care. Debroa George is one the hardest working citizens in this city.
    Edgar, Lucy and Jack, shame on you.

  7. Marty says:

    Bennett, McGilton, Clark and Robison have demonstrated again they are not fit to be council members. They have as usual put cronyism and political expediency ahead of the best interests of the residents of Burien. I hope come November that their power to mismanage Burien will come to an end when they are voted out of office.

    • Jim Clingan says:

      By cutting out King County Animal Control, the council saves the Burien taxpayers $200,000-$300,000 annually. Plus our animal control is located here in Burien – not Kent or wherever, Better service for less cost. What’s to complain about?

      Compliments to the Burien City Council.

      • Burien Fan says:

        There’s nothing rational about these complaints, and nothing rational about the people who are making them. Block, Krakowiak, and especially Edgar, are the ones who need to be voted out.

      • Ghost of Maplewild says:

        CARES is not Animal Control.

        • Jim Clingan says:

          Am I missing something here, Ghost? Enlighten me.

          • Eaton B. Verz says:

            Jim, give them a call and tell them you have a stray cat and then tell us what a great deal CARES is and what wonderful animal control we have. Give it a try! then enlighten us.

            • Jim Clingan says:

              I was at CARES on July 5th, checking on a dog lost in the neighborhood on the 4th. The dog had been reunited with its owner by CARES. While I was there, I asked how many cats they were holding. They had six cats in the cages (I actually saw them) and were trying to find the owners or new homes.

              Any other questions?

      • Considering SeaTac is paying RASKC $124,000 for animal control (BTB April 2, 2013) and Burien’s population is 1.75 greater. Assuming all else is equal Burien’s cost should be $217,000. Why Burien got a quote of $332,000 makes me question the quality of the individuals negotiating for Burien. Since Mike Martin is now abandoning ship and leaving for fairer waters up north, I would recommend that Burien seriously look at the negotiating talents at SeaTac and see if whoever is involved there might like a job for Burien.

        • TcB says:

          Cost is not set by population alone, but by population, expected service amount based on history of calls, and many factors.

      • Marianne says:

        At least in Kent they take the animals and staff is professional and courteous. Burien CARES turns them away and staff is unprofessional and rude. I have also had more than one person complain that volunteers at CARES are often children.

  8. Laurie says:

    I am so glad to hear CARES is getting a little more funding which I know they will put to excellent use. They are constantly using social media (follow them on Facebook!) to get the word out about animals that need adoption, animals that have been lost and then reunited with their owners and their constant engagement with the community. They are often at the farmer’s market in Burien and they participated in the 4th of July parade. Thanks you Debra, Sam and Marlene for all you do for CARES along with all the other volunteers and staff.

  9. dcollier says:

    As soon as the animal control issue is brought up, some people will say “who could vote against animals?” I love dogs but I don’t even have an animal. I don’t care to be taxed for the additional 200 to 300 thousand dollars the county would charge. The only way I would favor the county is if it was on a service by service charge and then paid for by the citizen requesting the service. Cares does a nice job and they will do even a better job with the extended funding.

  10. flashdog says:

    For anyone who is thinking all these yummy, “I love CARES” comments mean that the disgusting, incompetent “Animal Cops” wannabes who have thus far managed to misplace more than 285 living, feeling animals and who have mistreated many, many others have now become a viable animal care agency — that hasn’t happened. The CARES gang have simply seen the writing on the wall. Mike Martin is AT LAST going away — and with him goes any hope of this awful organization continuing. I understand that, at the 4th of July parade, CARES people were frantically handing out printed propaganda to try to convince people that there was some good reason for continuing it. Now we see propaganda letters on the B-town Blog telling us how wonderful and economical CARES is. No, it’s the same old gang of untrained, inexperienced people doing things that put both animals and people in danger.
    If you are tempted to think well of CARES, simply run over to their “shelter” and take a look around. Then go down to the real animal shelter at the corner of S. 216th and 64th Ave. S. in the Kent valley and tour their facility. You will instantly see that CARES is not only not “doing a good job”, they are not doing anything worth $120,000, let alone $50,000 more.
    For those who are all excited about how much money we’re saving, all right, let’s do the same with human law enforcement. Let’s fire the King County Sheriff’s deputies and put law enforcement in Burien up for bids. We can hire a restaurant manager to police the city and her friends can all write into the Blog about what a hard worker she is and how great it is that we are saving so much money and our law enforcement is based RIGHT HERE in Burien. Obviously that is a ridiculous plan — but it is exactly what we have done with animal control.

    • TcB says:

      Nice try to equate Police protection, something that we all need on a pretty high level, to animal control, something that some of us need on a level that must be at least adequate for all of us, but a lot of us view as, “how much money = adequate” and “how much money = spectacular”.
      I think most of the citizens would vote for adequate (and it is) once you tell them how much extra they will be paying.
      A vote for King County Animal Services is a vote for higher taxes.
      That never wins does it?
      How does your own argument used against you feel?

      • Burien Fan says:

        If the Council voted to go back to King County Animal Control, he’d be the first to complain that they were gouging him out of his tax dollars.

      • flashdog says:

        I know how pointless it is to argue with you, TcB, but even though what you said makes no sense, I will use it as a springboard to point out what an important issue this is to EVERY Burien citizen. I will direct everyone toward a recent news article about an older man who was walking in his White Center neighborhood after dark when he was attacked by 3 large dogs that were running loose. I don’t know if that man owns animals or even likes animals or has ever given a thought to animal control, but nuisance animals out of control suddenly became a life or death issue for him — as it could for anyone in the community at any time. Fortunately for him, neighbors heard the commotion and came to help him fight off the dogs. Even though it was around midnight, RASKC officers showed up quickly enough to capture the three dogs so they couldn’t move on to harm anyone else. What if that attack had happened a little to the southeast, in Burien territory?
        Let’s pretend that by some miracle one of the frantic neighbors was actually able to reach something other than a voicemail at CARES at midnight. Let’s be really generous and imagine that both Debra and Ray managed to reach the scene quickly enough to find the three dogs still there. Now what? Imagine Debra George and Ray Helms facing 3 dangerously vicious, over excited dogs — and they would do what? (If you know either Debra or Ray, I need not say any more.)
        Having genuine animal control again will cost more money, but let’s think about this — When someone is finally horribly injured or killed as a result of Burien’s lack of animal control, there WILL be a lawsuit. Let’s be conservative and say it’s only a million dollar lawsuit. How many years of RASKC’s excellent service would a million dollars pay for?
        Incidentally, in a similar thread, I pointed out that RASKC would subtract the money Burien residents pay for license fees from the amount Burien would owe for animal control. If most Burien pet owners licensed their animals, it would greatly reduce the cost of animal control. Someone said that wasn’t true. I volunteer at RASKC and I checked on it — that is absolutely the truth. I would happily pay $30 for a King County license tag for my dog to contribute to once again having animal control in Burien and I’m sure many other people would also. I don’t know the number of cats and dogs in Burien, but if someone does and they multiply that number times the cost of a King County license tag, I think they will find that the big, splashy dollar amounts being thrown around here are far higher than what would actually be necessary.

        • Flashdog

          I was thinking the same thing about the horrible situation in White Center, cares would have been bumbling idiots. Remember ray is NOT a trained animal control office, or debra.(Laughable)

          The sheriffs office would have been shaking their heads in complete disbelief.(they actually already are)


        • TcB says:

          OMG! If we don’t pay for King County then someone will be killed!

          Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt.

          You must have been hanging around Microsoft people in the 90’s

          That doesn’t work for me.

          • flashdog says:

            Yes, TcB, if we continue to operate a city without animal control, soon or later someone will be killed. There is no uncertainty or doubt. It is the reason animal control was instituted in cities all over the United States in the first place. What “works for you” is of no interest to me (and probably not many other people, either). I continue to post about this subject on the B-town Blog in hopes of raising awareness of what a bad situation our city is in. I realize that most people don’t think about animal control at all unless they have an animal related crisis. Thus, many people figure that, because they don’t hear much about CARES, then CARES must be doing a good job. They are not. It is very important for everyone to know that so we can end Mike Martin’s CARES experiment and restore adequate animal control service BEFORE some terrible tragedy happens.

  11. Laura Stiles says:

    So Scott (Schaefer – editor), once again you’ve turned a factual article into an editorial by adding a sensational graphic, showing hundred dollar bills blowing away in the wind with CARES in the background. Do you add that graphic every time the council votes to spend money on something, or just for CARES expenditures? Is the blog actual journalism or just an on-line tabloid?

    • Laura –

      First off, thanks for reading the blog and commenting so frequently.

      Secondly, NO, I don’t consider the graphic we used “sensational” at all. It merely illustrates that more money is being spent on CARES, and isn’t that what this article is about?

      I also disagree with your claim that this graphic turns this story into an editorial.

      Thanks again for your thoughtful comment.


      PS: For the record, this isn’t the first time we’ve used the “dollar bill”-style graphic (and yes, we agree it could be better but we had limited time to create a new one); here are two previous examples:



      PPS: If a Graphic Artist wants to create free art for us, please email [email protected] and we’ll send you a list 🙂

    • Ghost of Maplewild says:

      Once again CARES is showing its true colors with Laura Stiles attitude toward the citizens in Burien. Her other coworkers I feel have the same attitude as well. This is what we are paying an extra $50K for people. I would feel more comfortable with CARES if Laura and Ray treated people with respect. Just imagine how the animals are treated.

      • Marianne says:

        Oh my god, does Laura work at CARES too?! I thought she was just defending her boyfriend once again.

  12. Fred says:

    “Those who refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat it” Santayana.
    Some of you bloggers have forgotten the woman in Burien who had her face ripped open by the pit bull when Burien went to its own special animal control model under Mike Martin’s direction. That is what happens when you don’t have adequate animal control. So maybe Laura Stiles, Ray Helms, Debra George and the CARES /cheap animal control fan club need to go back and review those historic photos of that poor woman. Nope Ray and Debra don’t know how to handle vicious animals and the audit speaks to that fact.

    We wouldn’t be in this dilemma if arrogant Mike Martin had not left the negotating table with King County and the other cities even before the negotations began. The other cities that stayed at the table got great deals on their animal control contact with King County. So now we are left with this mess and Martin gets to go to Lynden and make a mess of their govt. too. It is the famous dance of the lemons played once again at public expense.

    $50,000 per year more will not fix CARES. The citizens are basically throwing their money down a rat hole that will still need more money in the near future to keep running and still not be up to industry standard. Also, most citizens are tired of the Debra George small personal fan club constantly saying she is hard working, the problem is she is untrained and so is her staff. The business of Animal Control and animal care belongs with trained professionals not just Mike Martin’s buddies in the city. Again go back and look at the pain and suffering that happened to the Burien citizen who had her face ripped open. That is what can happened with a cheap, untrained animal control model.

    • TcB says:

      Can you explain the discrepancy on the dates for these?


      This story claims that CARES started contracting with the city in June 2011


      This story claims that the Burien woman had her face mauled in 2010

      Can you please explain how CARES is responsible for mauling when they weren’t in action until 11 months after it happened.

      Can you?

      I knew you could

      • TcB says:

        I forgot to mention that King County was running animal control during that time… oops

      • flashdog says:

        Seriously, TcB? Someone who has something unimportant and negative to say about every subject on this Blog doesn’t know the answer to that one? That tells me you don’t actually read any of this. Fred did not say that it was CARES fault that a lady was attacked by a vicious, free roaming dog in 2010, He said THAT IS WHAT CAN HAPPEN WHEN YOU HAVE A CHEAP ANIMAL CONTROL MODEL — and he is right.

        The 2010 incident happened during the pre-CARES version of Mike Martin’s do-it-yourself animal control. A young, fresh out of school veterinary was told by the city of Burien that she could do all of Burien’s animal control in her spare time and still run her veterinary practice. Unfortunately, she was too inexperienced to realize that there is a lot more to animal control than picking up the occasional lost kitten. She went for it with the result that her veterinary practice went broke and there was the horrific dog attack incident because, although the loose dog was reported several times over a period of time, the veterinary never got around to doing something about it. There were other bad animal-related situations in 2010 and the veterinary finally threw up her hands and quit. We all breathed a sigh of relief knowing that Burien would finally restore actual animal control — but NO! Mike Martin again put animal control and sheltering in Burien up for bids and King County need not apply. That was when the city contracted with the (then) 4 members of CARES that were later reduced to one member.

        Before you go off on how the veterinary version of Do It Yourself Animal Control in Burien is different from CARES, let’s consider that Debra George, like the ill fated veterinary, is trying to do animal control in her spare time. Ms. George manages a restaurant and has a time consuming job with Discover Burien. Ms. George actually has LESS animal knowledge and experience than the veterinary. The factors in the veterinary version of Burien animal control that resulted in disaster are repeated in the CARES version.

        Furthermore, let’s go back to when you laughingly disparaged my assertion that incompetent animal control will ultimately result in someone being killed. If you actually READ the article about that terrible dog attack, you would know that that poor lady came very close to death. It underlines the truth of what I said. By listing that article as a reference, you refuted yourself.

        I am actually taking my time to type all this for anyone who truly wants to know what’s going on. I’m certain that you already know everythiing I just said. If not, it’s because you do not actually READ any of the valid arguments against continuing CARES, you only pick through them to see if there is something you can twist or disparage. It is clear from your posts that you are just nit picking details to try to distract people from the importance of once again having animal control in Burien. The history I have recounted here all came from B-town Blog articles. Perhaps you could go harrass Scott about how does he know any of this REALLY happened?

  13. SO I guess cares with all the money they just got, spent it ON GETTING A NEW black top and white stripes. WHY

    I would think they would spend the money more wisely, like um STAINLESS cages for cats instead of painted particle board????

    125.00 to surrender a pet oh that is why I am getting the phone calls asking me to take their cat.

    cares only has 6 kittens/cats??? Trust they are not that good at doing adoptions. Again FCAT and FAF have the kittens from Buien because cares doesn’t have a clue as to what the hell they are doing.

    When a citizen finds kittens they should NOT have to pay a 125.00 surrender fee. A shelter is to take the kittens in and do right by them.

    Again something is way WRONG here.


    • Marianne says:

      According to their white board posted on the wall, CARES actually only has four cats in their facility plus two in foster care- while other local shelters/rescues are overflowing from all of the kittens that are out there right now. If CARES cared at all, they would be reaching out to local shelters to take enough cats/kittens to keep their 16 cages filled. Sadly, many shelters are euthanizing right now due to a lack of space while CARES lets cages sit empty.

      • flashdog says:

        I’m very glad you and FCAT explained that, Marianne. When Jim Clingan said that CARES only had 6 cats in their “shelter” in the middle of Kitten Season, I immediately saw what was wrong with that, but the explanation is much more compelling coming from cat people like you and FCAT. Burien owes a lot to FCAT for doing the cat rescue work that CARES will not.

    • Laura Stiles says:

      FCAT – The new black top and striping in the parking lot was DONATED by SUPPORTERS of CARES. And, CARES hasn’t even received the increased funds yet, that isn’t in effect until August 1st.

      Yes, as of the date mentioned, CARES had 6 cats on site. For the hundredth time – CARES’ contract with the City does not cover services to healthy cats! The council wisely decided to save the taxpayers money by providing animal control that focuses on public safety and animal health/welfare. Adult cats are very hard to adopt out – check with any shelter – because there are just too many of them. CARES has taken in a limited number of cats under various circumstances, but they do have the right to turn away healthy adult cats, as they are not receiving any funding for them. Experts in the field contend that it is not necessarily even in the best interests of healthy cats to be taken into a shelter (for example: http://www.maddiesfund.org/Maddies_Institute/Webcasts/Making_the_Case_for_Community_Cats_Part_One.html) So it would be awesome if you would stop criticizing CARES for not providing a service that the city never asked them to do.

      • Marianne says:

        An example of a “community cat” to CARES is one that I took from a woman who lives on SW 128th just west of 4th Ave SW. CARES refused to take the cat, which had been crying on the woman’s doorstep for two cold and rainy weeks this past winter. CARES called it a “community cat” and offered the distraught woman a Kleenex when I had her meet me in the CARES parking lot so I could take it and find it a home.
        It is really too bad that it is all about “the contract” when it comes to CARES’ operations. Most people who work in animal rescue are passionate about animals to the point of sacrificing their own money, time, family, and social life.
        And the 16 cat cages, most of which sit empty in the CARES facility, while healthy, adoptable cats and kittens are being euthanized in other area shelters due to a lack of space, why were they even built?
        $120,000 and now $170,000 a year given to CARES for what services– holding two dogs and four cats in the middle of the busiest time of year when it comes to animal rescue work?

      • OMG EXCUSE ME, lauren(TcB are you reading the crap she just wrote). I am pretty sure a new black top was not as needed as actual stainless steel cages for cages that are better disinfect.

        Doesn’t contract for healthy cats. WTF, is cares supposed to do?

        What? They just tell people that are being evicted or just don’t want their damn cat or dog and leave outside to fend for itself. Where the hell is the humanity in that??? OMG not is the “best interest” of an adult to be taken to a shelter. Being starved to death, hit by a car is BETTER.

        What a load of crap

        You have basically admitted that they do nothing to actually help the burien residents .

        NO S**T the shelters are full of adults AND kittens for God’s sake that is what a shelter does, that is what happens in shelters and rescue. DUH

        Hell NO I will never stop criticize cares, hell you just gave me more ammunition to do so.

        I am just amazed at the stupidity of your comments. WOW


  14. TcB says:

    You know Fred, I’m sorry about calling you out on your facts. It’s not so much that I’m a CARES supporter, as I can’t stand, literally can’t stand when people try to use emotion to win an argument and try to obfuscate the facts.

    I always try to point out the clear dry facts because that’s how we should be making decisions about things in Burien. I know, I know, what are “facts” when you have all these helpless little animals that got lost and killed. What’s that, you say there are a number of those 285 animals that could have been reunited with their owners? But you just don’t know how many? In fact that’s the problem? We don’t know? There aren’t any facts? OK then we should go with pure speculation and appeal directly to peoples emotions. Ah that is the best kind of propaganda isn’t it?

    No I won’t go away.

    Come up with facts.

    • Mike says:

      Tcb, here is the fact: 285 animals are missing. They dont have any answer for what happened to the animals. That in itself is the only reason we need to go back to RASKC. No one in their right mind gives someone a contract extension and a $50k check when your that incompetent. Come on man!

      • TcB says:

        No Mike here is the fact. There is no “record” or what happened to 285 animals. They could all be back with their owners. And the other fact. This happened during a start up phase and is not happening now right? So what you’re saying is that we should charge ourselves an extra $300,000 a year for animal control when we have a process for auditing CARES to make sure that things are getting better?

        Of course if another audit proves that CARES is getting worse, not better, especially after getting more money, then I would think different.

        But this 285 animals trope is old. Come up with something else.

        • TcB says:

          “differentLY” Dang Apple marketing…

        • TbC says:

          That’s right Mike, All is just fine and dandy with CARES. 285 animals missing. I’m with my buddy. They aren’t missing, just ahhhh…unaccounted for. Just because CARES had an unusually high kill rate while they were starting up you gotta remember that in the first year and a half they had all their skilled and knowledgeable people quit over the lack proper operating procedures. Now that “Tin Star Ray” might get some additional training that is all in the past. All is well here. You just gotta believe like Tcb. Remember she gets her facts from “The Internet.” We all know EVERYTHING is true on the internet. That’s why I believe in the Easter Bunny!! Relax, no need to question anything in Burien. You just got to trust people like Debra George, Mike Martin, and especially TcB.

        • Mike says:

          Isnt this what you said tcb? I always try to point out the clear dry facts because that’s how we should be making decisions about things in Burien? Then you go on to speculate some could be back with their owners. Really tcb? Do you think before you respond? Or do you just like trying to make everyone else look wrong? The fact is there are 285 animals missing. (Its not getting old, and its not going away, they still dont know what happened to them) Do you mean if they loose more than the 285 animals then you’ll rethink your position? Why? Isn’t loosing that many enough for you tcb? This happened during the start up phase and isn’t happening now? Is that a fact? Or do you have another excuse? I dont know if they are keeping track of the animals, they are out paving and striping the parking lot with our hard earned money tcb, instead of using it to make the facility better for the animals inside. Yes I would be willing pay whatever RASKC would charge for their professional animal control services. I guess in your mind running a half-a$$ed animal control service at a discount rate fits right in with your half-wit comments. Get real, get RASKC.

          • TcB says:

            Mike I didn’t speculate. I quoted. And yes I think before I respond. And did ya see how we aren’t paying for the parking lot work? Do you ever get any facts before you post?

            Emotions might be a great propaganda tool but I’ll just be here in the corner calling for cold reason.

  15. peter says:

    Again tcb comes down on the wrong side. Next thing you know she will be trying to convince us that cruelty to animals is just unavoidable collateral damage because everything going on with Cares is just hunky dory. It goes without saying she thinks handing out no bid two year contracts with a hundred thousand dollar increase are just the normal way of doing things here in Burien.

  16. TcB says:

    I wouldn’t go with RASKC because on their watch a woman got her face mauled right Fred?

    • TcB says:

      So as far as missing the boat, you claimed that this was CARES fault? Care to elaborate?

      • TcB says:

        And yes you’re absolutely right. There was an interim animal control. I admit I made a mistake and didn’t get that fact right. The fact that I did get right is that CARES didn’t exist at that time, which was your mistake. Will you admit you made a mistake or just claim once again that your mistake doesn’t matter? Because people will see through that.

      • flashdog says:

        Are you teasing?! TcB, I just wrote out exactly what happened, when and explained very clearly that (contrary to YOUR accusation), RASKC had no contract with Burien at the time of that horrific dog attack. Dr. Leslie Kasper had a contract with the city of Burien for animal control and sheltering at that time. No, CARES was not around then — neither Fred nor I said it was. The point is that CARES is every bit as unsatisfactory as having a veterinary trying to do animal control in her spare time. CARES’ ineptitude is very likely to produce a tragedy equal to or worse than the dog attack we were discussing. You don’t read even one scrap of what other people write, do you?

        • TcB says:

          You’re right again. After careful reading I can see that the comment was carefully constructed to imply that CARES was involved without actually saying so. You win. I concede.
          Everyone, from henceforth CARES is shut down and we’ll be going with RASKC!


          You say I can’t do that?

          You say that the contract was extended for two more years already?

          You say that all this bloviating is just like a bunch of kids in the schoolyard trying to pick a pushing match?

          Oh wow. Do I feel silly.

  17. Hippity Hop says:

    The Burien City Animal Care and Control Contract is a sub-standard Contact. It is not a full service, Best Practices, Industry Standard Contract, hence why it appears to be less money than RASKC, but it’s not.

    -RASKC is full service for all animals, hence it costs more.
    -Burien citizens and pets are not receiving better or more services for less money.
    -CARES is providing less service (per their Contract), for less money than a full animal service Contract with RASKC.

    • The Contract does not include (healthy?) cats and kittens.

    • Cats are the number one animal to enter shelters and the number one animal to be killed in shelters because there are so many of them.

    • Some people just dump cats when they no longer want the cat (95% + which are unaltered and then have—kittens!).

    • Some people cannot keep their cat and need to surrender it to a safe place, (The Contract doesn’t cover this), so how many of those people end up dumping their cat that then has….kittens? (vicious cycle isn’t it?).

    • Craigslist is not a safe place to ‘advertise’ for a new home for your cat (or dog, or ferret, or any pet), so how do you find a home for your cat?

    • Burien has stray/community cats with kittens, (it’s kitten season!). For those that survive to breeding age, we now have….more kittens!

    • There is a $125.00 owner surrender fee. Owner surrender fees are somewhat common with non-profit rescues, e.g., the Seattle Humane Society in Bellevue has surrender fees. What happens to the Burien cat whose owner cannot afford the surrender fee?

    • RASKC has the experience to handle animal cruelty investigations and/or hoarding. CARES does not. (This is both a public safety issue and one of humane treatment). For instance, the Burien portion of the Chihuahua hoarding/breeding case awhile back was not handled properly and no, I will not publically reveal the details.

    The Maddie’s Fund model, which was quoted earlier and a link provided to it, is one method of reducing cat killing in shelters. I have had the pleasure of meeting with, and hearing, Dr. Kate Hurley of UC Davis present and lecture about this model–twice. The early results are excellent and saving cats’ lives.

    However, it is one piece of cat care and population management…not THE cat care management system. The idea is that if a shelter is full, rather than bringing in more tame cats that will be killed due to lack of space, let’s leave them where they are –as long as the cat is good physical condition. Get them spay or neutered, vaccinated, etc. and put them back. This method/model is not in lieu of having cats in a shelter or rescue group for adoption into loving homes; it’s in addition to it.

    Burien needs animal care and control for cats (and other animals too). Unfortunately, the City Council does not see it that way. The majority of Burien citizens do not seem to see this sub-standard animal care Contract as an issue. Until the majority of the citizens do, cats (and other animals), will suffer.

    Since CARES is a 501©3 in the animal care world, my expectation is that they find a way to take in cats and kittens as basic service, (and other animals). Be it through grants, fundraising or otherwise, it is an ethical and moral obligation.

    One last thought. CARES currently has empty cat cages. Please save feline lives by making those cages available to cats and kittens that need homes. Advertise and host an adoption event where you invite cat rescues. It’s obvious that CARES, FCAT and FAF are not on the same page. However, for the sake of the cats ‘n’ kittens, perhaps they can put their difference aside just long enough to host a cat adoption event at CARES. With the proper advertising and marketing, it could be a SMASH hit!

    • TcB says:

      This was very informative and helpful. Thank you. Serious information is the thing to help sway minds.

      The one issue that you will have to work very hard on the majority of Burien voters (not citizens) is this:

      “RASKC is full service for all animals, hence it costs more

      That’s gonna be a tough one.


      • Hippity Hop says:

        TbC, Thank you for your comments.

        The crux is, does the Burien voting population want to pay for full animal care and control services which includes all animals, best practices, prevention, cutting edge programs, and et al, (hence increased cost), or only pay for a few animal services, (which is why it cost less).

        It would be interesting to see CARES cost per animal vs. RASKC cost per animal’. The numbers would have to be apples to apples, i.e., calculated in the same manner.

  18. Hippity Hop says:

    And then there is the community element. What can Burien Citizens do to reduce the number of cats (and dogs, et al), that enter CARES or (any shelter):

    1. Spay or neuter your pets before they have a litter! Aside from the obvious, an altered dog or cat are less likely to roam and get lost. An altered dog is also far less likely to bite.
    2. Put a collar and visible identification tag, with phone number, on your dogs and cats. If they get lost and someone finds them, you’ll get the call, not CARES
    3. Microchip your pet as a backup to the ID Tag and collar. And make sure your microchip information is current. The number one reason ‘found’ , microchipped pets don’t get reunited is because the owner has not updated their registration information.
    4. When you adopt or buy a pet, make a lifetime commitment to that animal. Cats can live 15 – 20 years; dogs, depending on the breed, 10 – 15 (sometimes more); bunnies, 8 – 12 years; and on
    5. Keep you cats inside. They are less likely to get lost.
    6. Whenever outside, keep you dogs leashed or in a (very high) fenced yard.
    7. If your pet goes missing, start looking for them immediately. Do not a few hours or days. Start looking as soon as you know they are gone.
    8. If you find a pet that is not wearing a collar, take it to a local Vet and have it scanned for a chip.
    9. If you find a pet that is not wearing a collar and it is not chipped, and you can hold onto the animal for a few days, try to find the owner before releasing it to CARES. Brightly colored posters; handbills passed out in the neighborhood, Vet offices and other animal related businesses.

    These are just a few ideas and suggestions. There are many more.

  19. TbC says:

    Great comments! Quality thoughts = quality solutions. We as citizens need to pull our heads out and face the reality of CARES and their contract.

  20. Commenting on this story has been disabled due to uncivil behavior.