New cat cages, dog runs and more employees are among the upgrades at King County’s animal shelters to be funded by nearly $1 million approved this week by the County Council.
The allocation of $965,000, described by officials as interim funding, and the planned improvements are in response to recent criticism of conditions at the two county-run shelters, including one in Kent that serves the Covington and Maple Valley areas.
“Our first responsibility is to the health and safety of the animals that are in our care,” said Councilwoman Patterson. “Releasing these funds allows for these life-saving changes to get underway as quickly as possible.”
The funding is part of an agreement reached April 10 in talks between Patterson and Councilman Dow Constantine and County Executive Ron Sims to improve conditions and reduce crowding and the spread of disease at the shelters in Kent and Bellevue. The facilities house approximately 13,000 stray or abandoned animals each year.
The money, which comes from public donations to the shelters and reprogrammed capital improvement and public health funds, will pay for immediate, short-term shelter and operating improvements, officials said.