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King County Executive
Dow Constantine


Executive Constantine delivers on his promise to transform animal services, setting new pet adoption records

Summary

Six years after King County nearly disbanded its animal services program amid high euthanasia rates and poor shelter conditions, the County now operates a high-performing regional agency where nearly 9 out of 10 cats and dogs find a safe, loving home. It's the latest example of Executive Constantine's efforts to build the nation's best-run government.

Story

Transforming Animal Services

Images available for media use. Please credit Melissa Blake.

King County Executive Dow Constantine is delivering on his promise to transform animal services in the region, setting new records for pets that are adopted.

In 2006, the euthanasia rate at King County's animal shelter was nearly 40 percent. Today, 9 out of 10 cats and dogs find a safe home.

"The people of King County want to know that every cat and dog has a safe, loving home; that every animal is cared for," said Executive Constantine. "I am proud that King County has created a model of compassionate, humane animal services that is setting the standard for the nation."

Setting an all-time record for pets saved

Regional Animal Services of King County is a partnership between the County and 25 cities that represent 1 million residents, nearly half the County's total population. Under Executive Constantine's leadership, the agency reduced the euthanasia rate to an all-time low of 12 percent:

  • Shifted the focus away from merely providing shelter and disposing of unwanted animals toward helping every cat and dog that comes into our care find a safe home.
  • Reduced the number of animals that need shelter by focusing resources on spaying and neutering.
  • Created a new volunteer coordinator position to expand opportunities and provide additional help.
  • Made it more convenient to adopt cats and dogs by creating public-private partnerships that make pets more accessible in local businesses, including the Petco store in Kirkland, The Whole Cat and Kaboodle in Redmond, and the Seattle Meowtropolitan Café in Wallingford.
  • Created partnerships with local nonprofits, such as Pasado's Safe Haven, South County Cats, Puget Sound Working Cats, and Northwest Spay & Neuter Center, as well as private organizations, including Pima Medical Institute.
  • Implemented open data practices to make animal services information more accessible and transparent.
  • Applied Lean principles and a commitment to continuous improvement, standardizing work, and employee engagement.
  • Appointed Dr. Gene Mueller as manager of Regional Animal Services in 2012 with the clear direction to apply a data-informed, customer-service driven approach .

A defining example of best-run government 

One of Executive Constantine's top priorities is to create the nation's best-run government. Together with King County staff, he is focused on improving results, saving money, engaging employees, and improving the quality of life for the residents -- and animals -- of King County.

Animal_Services_Pet-Save_Rate_-_King_County

 

Relevant Links

 

Quote

The people of King County want to know that every cat and dog has a safe, loving home; that every animal is cared for. I am proud that King County has created a model of compassionate, humane animal services that is setting the standard for the nation.

Dow Constantine, King County Executive

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Chad Lewis, Executive Office, 206-263-1250

King County Executive
Dow Constantine
Dow constantine portrait

Read the Executive's biography