Animal-shelter report "shocking," council members say
Sick cats in the county animal shelter in Kent went without food and water for two days last month, a consultant told the Metropolitan King...
Seattle Times staff reporter
Sick cats in the county animal shelter in Kent went without food and water for two days last month, a consultant told the Metropolitan King County Council today.
In a report that council members called "shocking" and "damning," Nathan Winograd, director of the No Kill Advocacy Center in San Clemente, Calif., said most of the cats in the infirmary were held in filthy cages with empty food and water bowls during the first two days of his visit to the shelter in February. He showed the council photographs and video footage of the cages.
Winograd, who was hired by the council to study the county's ability to operate "a model no-kill program," also reported:
• Some cats have been cleared for adoption but haven't been moved into a room where people interested in adopting can find them. One-third of the cages in the cat-adoption room were empty.
• Not all animals coming into the shelter are being vaccinated against diseases common in kennels.
• The number of dogs dying of illness has increased this year, "in some cases triple last year."
• Two dogs impounded last August in connection with an animal-cruelty investigation are continuing to be held as evidence — "even though there's no case pending."
Winograd said many problems have festered for years despite pleas from shelter staffers for improvements in the animals' living conditions.
Jim Lopez, deputy chief of staff to County Executive Ron Sims, told the council he wasn't prepared to respond before reading Winograd's final written report, which has not yet been issued.
"The executive remains committed to working closely with the council in making improvements to our Animal Care and Control services," Lopez said. "We certainly listened very closely today and we take these issues very seriously."
Keith Ervin: 206-464-2105 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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