King County Executive Ron Sims plans to release a report next week to the County Council rebutting many of the recent findings by a consultant concerning the county’s management of its two animal shelters.
“Our overall reaction is frustration that the consultant’s report didn’t take into account any of the work that we have done to date,” said Natasha Jones, communications manager for the county’s executive branch, in a phone interview Wednesday. She was referring to the report Nathan Winograd gave to the Council that took the county to task for management of its shelters in Bellevue and Kent. Most of the criticism centered on the Kent shelter, the larger of the two.
Winograd, who runs the No Kill Advocacy Center in San Clemente, Calif., was hired by the Council to evaluate the two shelters. He wrote in a 147-page report last month to the Council that the county has “failed for more than a decade to take the necessary measures to reform the shelter despite numerous reports, recommendations and credible complaints over the inhumane and inadequate condition of the shelter.”
In a March 17 meeting with the Council, Winograd said he had doubts the county can create a model no-kill program because even now it can’t properly feed the dogs and cats it houses.
Jones on Wednesday said the report paints a more dire picture than is actually the case.
“We’ve acknowledged problems and have taken steps to correct deficiencies,” Jones said. “It is not to the level of deficiencies the consultant tried to portray.”
Besides a rebuttal, Sims’ report – which is more than 160 pages long – also will propose a plan to improve conditions at the shelters.
“We think everyone is starting to realize that we agree things need to be fixed and it’s a matter of where we go from here,” Jones said. “We will have a plan of how to make conditions better for the animals.”