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.
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.
- Made the pet adoption website more user-friendly.
- 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.
- Regional Animal Services of King County (RASKC)
- Executive's best-run government priority
- Flickr images for media use—please credit Melissa Blake IMAGES
- How to get involved with RASKC
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.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Chad Lewis, Executive Office, 206-263-1250