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Letter | KC animal services responds to talk of subregional model
King County is pleased to have provided the city of Mercer Island with animal services for many years, and we hope to continue this beneficial working relationship in the future. The vision for Regional Animal Services of King County (RASKC) is one of hope for animals, service to our customers, effective stewardship for our limited public resources, and transparency for the communities we serve. As part of this vision, RASKC does not euthanize adoptable animals or have a time limit for how long animals can stay in our care. Our Angel Fund uses donations to provide life-saving medical care for injured and ill animals in our care, and foster families provide loving, temporary homes for hundreds of animals in need.
Our numbers back our vision, as the euthanasia rate at RASKC has decreased dramatically in recent years. Regional Animal Services now has one of the lowest euthanasia rates in the nation for a public shelter. In 2011, 14.3 percent of the animals taken in by RASKC were euthanized, a dramatic reduction from the 49 percent rate in 2003. By comparison, using the same methodology RASKC uses to calculate its euthanasia rate, the Seattle Humane Society (SHS) had a 9.9 percent rate in 2011.
Public safety is part of our mission, and we have to impound and euthanize dangerous animals, unlike SHS, which selectively admits animals into its adoption program. SHS also imports large numbers of highly adoptable animals from shelters outside our community, which affects their euthanasia numbers.
Of course, there is more work ahead. We are working to reduce the time animals spend in our care. We continue to collaborate with adoption partners to help us place even more pets into new homes. We are always looking for more volunteers and foster families, and exploring ways to make our operations more efficient and stretch taxpayer and donor dollars further.
We are proud to serve Mercer Island — and are optimistic our vision of hope, service, stewardship and transparency will earn us the opportunity to serve Islanders for years to come.
Regional Animal Services of King County