Better future for King County Animal Shelter

The aging King County Animal Shelter is in focus of attention of County officials. A report last month revealed filthy shelter conditions, under-fed animals, and a higher than usual euthanasia rate.

The county's Kent shelter is 35 years old. The long-term plan is to replace it.

King County Council Chair Julia Patterson says to start, they must "reduce the number of homeless pets by expansion of low cost, high volume spay and neuter services in King County."

County Executive Ron Sims wants to spend nearly$1 million to improve conditions at the Kent and Bellevue facilities. "Longer term, it seems unquestioned that the county needs a new sheltering facility; one that has significantly more capacity and one that is designed for animal care and control of the 21st century," said Sims.

"Animals should not be considered by society or by government as disposable," King County Executive added.

County officials said the upgrades are just the beginning; the long-term fix is a work in progress.

The county will determine whether it should stay in the animal shelter business or hire a private business to take over. The decision is expected in August.