King County animal control under fire for mismanagement

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by By ERIC SCHUDISKE / KING News

KING5.com

Posted on October 26, 2009 at 2:01 PM

SEATTLE - King County Animal Services comes under fire again for mismanagement and lack of accountability.

An audit was just released to the King County Council. Now, a majority of the council supports getting out of the animal sheltering business altogether.

A majority of council members just introduced legislation that would transfer the cost of the animal shelters to a new entity, perhaps the Humane Society. The move could save the county $1.5 million a year.

The report by the King County auditor was released Monday and is the fourth report on animal care and control in the county within the last two years.

The audit criticizes animal control for rotating leaders and lack of accountability. Auditors say the combination leads to delayed care and affects the health of the animals. Council members say that includes the spread of disease.

Those at King County Animal Control agree with the findings and say it's a financial issue. They say they will support another entity running the shelters.

"This is a funding issue," said Christine Lang, King County Communications Manager. "We would all love to run an ideal program, but right now King County just doesn't have the resources. And we are going to work on transitioning on the animal control business."

If that legislation passes, the county could be out of the animal shelter business by April 1st. A second audit on the shelter's euthanasia policy is due out early November.

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