King County's reputation for serving animals and connecting them with families helped earn the county $75,000 in grant money, Executive Dow Constantine announced Wednesday.
Several years ago, the county considered getting rid of its animal services program. The euthanasia rate was nearly 40 percent in 2006, and Constantine opted to transform the agency and help get more pets connected with families.
Now, about 90 percent of cats and dogs that come to King County adoption centers are reconnected with their owners or adopted by a new family.
That success helped the county win a $75,000 grant from the Petco Foundation to create better living spaces for cats and provide better services to dogs with behavior issues.
“Thanks to our dedicated staff and volunteers, King County has set a new national standard for effective, compassionate animal care,” Constantine said in a news release. “Our commitment to continuous improvement is now helping unite even more cats and dogs with their forever families, delivering on our promise to improve the quality of life for all people, and all creatures great and small, in King County.”
The grant money will be used to hire a behaviorist and dog trainers to help employees and volunteers discover and address behavioral problems in dogs. The county will also change traditional cat kennels at a Kent facility to "more spacious condo-like structures."
The condo-like structures helped improve the adoption rate at a center in Kirkland, Constantine said.