Regional Animal Services in effect July 1

Thursday, July 8, 2010

On July 1, residents in unincorporated King County and 27 contracting cities, including Shoreline and Lake Forest Park, have a new Regional Animal Services model to handle animal control and licensing services.

King County Executive Dow Constantine was joined by mayors from the cities of Mercer Island, Redmond, Shoreline and Lake Forest Park to ceremonially sign the service contracts for each city.

“We are very pleased with the collaborative effort between the cities and the county. The City-County Workgroup completed some very delicate negotiations to resolve some potentially contentious issues,” said Lake Forest Park Mayor David Hutchinson. “It is a great example of how, by working together, we can achieve a more effective and efficient animal control program for all of the residents of the county.”

Under the new model, King County will be divided into four animal control districts, each staffed by at least one animal control officer, and cities will enjoy significant economies of scale.

The cost for pet licenses for spayed animals will remain unchanged at $30 and will be reduced to $60 for an unaltered pet (previously $90).  Seniors 65 and older can license a pet for $15 with proof the pet has been spayed/neutered.  

The new model changes King County Code to institute a no-tolerance fine for unlicensed pets in the county, with fines ranging from $125 for a spayed or neutered pet to $250 for an unaltered pet. 

As part of the transition to the new model, residents will have a 90 day amnesty period from July 1 to October 1 to purchase a license for unlicensed pets without facing a fine. Residents can purchase pet licenses in person at City Hall as well as online. Visit the King County webpage for a list of other sales locations or to purchase or renew a license online.

Under the new Regional Animal Services model, there are a number of discounts for disabled and senior residents, as well as for those with juvenile pets up to 6 months old. All dogs and cats over 8 weeks of age must be licensed.

King County Pet licenses come with many benefits including:

  • The first time your pet is found, King County will attempt to skip the shelter and deliver the pet to your home.
  • Licensed pets have a longer stray hold at the shelter to give residents a chance to locate a lost pet before it is made available for adoption.
  • The Vacation Pet Alert Program allows residents to provide contact information for a pet’s caretaker while they are away so that King County will have the correct contact information if something happens while the owner cannot be reached.
  • Pet license fees fund programs that help thousands of homeless animals in King County find new homes each year, and pay for services such as spay/neuter programs.
  • Licensed missing pets are found faster by reporting them to Regional Animal Services. If a resident finds a stray pet wearing a pet license, they simply need to call the phone number on the license to get contact information for the owner, even after business hours.

Shoreline and Lake Forest Park have contracted with PAWS in Lynnwood for shelter services.

Many of the 27 participating cities signed a two and a half year contract. Shoreline's goal is to take animal control in-house, but staff and police felt that the other option of six months only was not enough time to get a program set up, hire staff, find facilities and equipment and the two and a half year contract would be more than enough time.

For more information, visit the King County website


Anonymous,  July 9, 2010 at 12:36 AM  

I wonder if they will again be coming door to door to ask if pets are licensed.
WOW, that was intrusive!
I'm happy to license my pets or pay a fine for not licensing them just as I do my car.
But...sending people door to door is SO over the top!

Anyway...good for them for coming up with a workable agreement that includes plans for a different model down the road.

And..thanks to those who take care of our pets if they become separated from us.

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