Monday, August 17, 2009

king county council proposes closure of animal shelter

our king county council members--in particular executive kurt triplett--in response to the recent budget deficit, have decided to put animal care and control on the chopping block. while i have sympathy for those tasked with deciding where our funds should and shouldn't go, it is my opinion that the care of our animals is a county mandate and as such should be off limits. This budget is not finalized until September 27th, so we have until then to let them know how we feel about putting hungry animals out on the street.

i've included a copy of the letter i wrote and to whom i sent it. feel free to copy it and sign your name if you don't feel like writing your own. however you choose to show your support for keeping the shelter open will be greatly appreciated.

thanks guys!! :-);

As a King county resident, I am distressed by the recent decision to close Animal Care and Control. I believe it is an essential function of a compassionate society to care for its animals. By devaluing organizations dedicated to the welfare of companion animals, the council is sending the message to voters that abused and abandoned pets are not worth prioritizing.

There are an estimated 600,000 dogs and cats in KCACC’s service area. Between June 2008 and May 2009, KCACC handled 10,600 animals, and spayed or neutered a combined 3,390 dogs and cats*. Without animal services, where would those animals have gone? Without surgery, how many litters would those animals have produced? By removing the KCACC funding, the potential increase in the stray animal population will create a larger problem than the budget cut would solve in the short term.

We cannot responsibly shift the entire burden of animal rescue to our local private shelters, who are themselves underfunded and overworked. Moreover, private shelters have the option to refuse sanctuary to any given animal; KCACC's open door policy increases the chances of those animals receiving care.

In the past year, animal cruelty prosecutions have increased over 300% with the addition of a dedicated Animal Control Officer working full time to gather evidence and recommend charges to prosecuting attorneys**. By closing the shelter, King county will be shirking its duty to the community to investigate animal abuse cases and enforce cruelty laws.

Council member Dow Constantine said: “We have an absolute obligation to the animals in our shelter to provide humane care, medical treatment, and the best chance to be adopted into a loving home. Nothing less is acceptable.” If we close the shelter, we will be depriving the animals who depend on us that chance.

I urge the council to reconsider their decision. I will encourage my friends and family to express their opinion through their votes as well.

Thank you for your time and attention.

Abbie Deleers. LVT
2149 N 89th Street
Seattle, WA

* KCACC records

Thursday, September 18, 2008

hey, you got your kayak in my camping

this rules the planet. last year it was blind island, this year strawberry island. everyone should do this at least once, if only because floating thru a kelp bed from which you can see the bottom 60 feet down is sweet as h***. also because boat-in only camping means more nature for us! we are not quite rich enough to own our own kayaks, so we rent them from moss bay boat rentals. more pics live here.

strawberry, as seen from cypress

could we BE more p.n.w.?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

abbie as 1960's movie actress hiding out in rehab

autumn and jeremy got married last weekend on the beach. it ruled. here are all the pictures.

(thanks, keith!)

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

isla holbox: mucho calor, muy tranquillo, y mucho cojones

my bug bites have finally stopped itching. as usual, there are many more pictures at my kodak gallery. here's an overview of the first annual holbox spay/neuter clinic. the group was organized by kim morgan from the feral cat spay neuter project and included 5 vets and 4 techs from washington, oregon, ohio, and one vet from merida, near cancun. we also had non-veterinary v'teers (including thad!), so if anyone is interested in helping out next year, you don't have to be a vet or tech.

isla holbox is at the tip of the yucatan peninsula, northwest of cancun. because of its relatively remote location and small size, it's a great place for a relaxed, non-pretentious vacation (no big resorts, no chain restaurants, no cars). also because it's kind of a pain in the butt to get to, it currently remains a great place for a relaxed, non-pretentious vacation. travel to holbox includes a flight to cancun, then a drive north to the town of chiquila (2 hours by car, 4 hours by bus), then a 30 minute boat ride to the island.

with marilyn on the boat from chiquila

we arrived at night and took a taxi/golf cart to our cabinas at los mapaches. since the island is longer (25 km) than it is wide (1 km across), a ride from the dock to our place was about 3 minutes long. needless to say, subsequent trips to the dock were made on foot. los mapaches was a great choice: close to el centro, close to the beach, and relatively cheap at about $40/night for a kitchenette. they gave us a discount because we were there volunteering -- i think their regular prices were more.

our cabina, the "blue" house

day one was spent sleeping in, eating breakfast, and proceeding to get a brutal sunburn. who knew that noon was the worst time to go swimming? we should have gotten a clue from the complete absence of any other people outside and from the relentless, amazingly hot hot sun. on holbox, everything shuts down from noon until 4 or 5 when the weather is decent, then stays open till 9 or 10.

the beach in front of los mapaches. so ugly.

thad and guy (pronounced "ghee") from quebeq return from some mediocre snorkeling

conga, a resident german shep, goes fishing from the jetty

this sign went up in el centro the night before the 1st clinic (thanks anna for the pic!)

Day 2 started off early in the morning in a local house donated to us for surgery. some folks checked animals and did exams on the porch,

while the rest of us set up inside and did surgeries. we had three tables with three vets working at once in the living room, so it was a little snug, but we managed just fine. at least we had an enclosed space and running water. luxury!

thad, marilyn and dr.tony from nearby merida wait for our first client

and here they come!

local kids volunteered to help us move animals and wash instruments. They rocked!

Day 3
took us back to the mainland via ferry, then further inland to the town of solferino.

transporting the heaviest surgery table ever across to the mainland

chillin with dr tony. i got some bad lens
solution so i was wearing my glasses the entire

time down there. talk about sweaty!

in solferino we had a larger space (the schoolhouse), but no water and things were decidedly less clean. we got some tables from the local bar and wahoo! surgeryfest continues.

marilyn needed a booster log to reach our ghetto surgery table.

what is thad doing to that dog . . . ?

apparently we're entertaining the locals who watch from outside

Day 4
in kantunilkin, a larger town further inland. this was the best location despite the ugly tagged building -- we had shade, running water and 2 rooms for prep and surgery. wahoo!

the other side of the house is all tagged up

guys, this is my rockin' cart to which you can return me after you take my balls.

with my favorite tech caitlin

'ritas, anyone? nothing hits the spot after a long
day of blood and guts like frozen booze!

baby raccoon (mapache) found by
local kids. aaawwww.

we had the next day off, so went river kayaking with caitlin, anna, and new friends melissa and paul. no crocodiles but plenty of pretty scenery and feeesh.

who's that gringo saboroso in the camo hat?

Friday, May 02, 2008

best rescue group ever

the world of animal rescue is rife with tricky acronyms (PAWS, EARS, NOAH, et al) and cute animal-related names (Meow, Purrfect Pals), but my current favorite organization and name is RESCUE INK. these guys, a bunch of tattooed badass bruisers who crusade for adoption and against abuse, make me want to give them all big hugs. i can't stand it! i'm ordering my t-shirt today.

Big Ant says "please spay or neuter your pets."

Saturday, March 29, 2008

ron sims, rat lover

recently, king county executive and shelter advocate ron sims stopped by to give some props to the kcac employees and volunteers. besides being a big hugger, we also discovered that he's a fan of pet rats, which he had as a kid. yay for ron, and yay for rats everywhere.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

a birdalicious afternoon

the quince bush in front of our house was chock full of these little finches this afternoon, all singing and hopping around. it was so neat, especially because we'd just gone to see the jean-luc mylayne exhibit at the henry and all his photos contained birds. a nice little diversion.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

your tax dollars at work

i know that few of you, friends and family of mine, have been spared my ranting about the recent citizen's advisory committee/witch hunt evaluating conditions at king county animal control, in which shelter employees were portrayed as negligent, animal-abusing retards, even though none of us were given the opportunity to tell our side. we were recently treated to another reaming at the hands of nathan winograd, a private consultant that the county hired to investigate the shelter, for which the county paid him just shy of $50,000. winograd is the author of the book redemption, in which he claims that there is no pet overpopulation problem, and that the blame for the tragic euthanization rate of our country's unwanted pets lies in the hands of shelters, not with breeders, puppy mills, pet stores or lack of spay/neuter.

mr. winograd was at the shelter a total of 5 days. the staff he spoke with were the shelter director, two of the supervisors and the shelter vet. he did not interview the officers who work in the trenches with the animals, nor did he bother to verify many of the claims he made about what negligent retards we are. while it is true that the shelter is in need of a makeover, winograd's report contained exaggerated, sometimes fraudulent claims, some of which i know from personal experience to be untrue. call me crazy, but wouldn't that 50 grand have been better spent on improvements to the shelter? x-files conspiracy theory moment: the council has been talking about shutting us down for some time, so isn't it handy that the consultant they hired to condemn us had a preexisting bias against open-door shelters? hmmm.

i won't go on here: if anyone has questions i'd be happy to discuss it further. if you happen to be chatting about this--or the inflammatory article that just came out in the PI--with your friends and neighbors, please reassure them that we at the shelter are doing the very best with our limited staff and tiny budget. we care about the animals, that's why we work there! if anyone is in a civic-minded mood, feel free to contact the council and urge them to help us by allocating us more staff and resources. thanks for listening.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

what the??

this tiny puppy came in to the shelter yesterday and we all fell in love with him. he never made a normal puppy noise even though he talked a lot -- i think at one point he even said "redrum"...

Monday, March 03, 2008

my new favorite thing

i may be the last frequent flier on the planet to use this, but how sweet is farecast? it analyzes trends and notifies you of the best time to buy an airline ticket. for example, in its infinite wisdom (confidence 80+%), it is telling me to wait to purchase a flight to isla holbox in mexico for an upcoming (may) spay/neuter clinic. okay, psychic farecast, i await your direction . . .

Thursday, February 21, 2008

howdy, pardner

yay for horses! today lise took me out for a trail ride at beautiful lang's ranch near mt. vernon. perfect weather, nice horses and a great guide. many options, especially in summer, for various rides, classes and overnites. and of course they gladly accept volunteers . . .


yummy fern snack

lise and digger share a laugh

i'm walkin' here

300 acres of trails in the woods

the rider becomes the ridee

Monday, February 18, 2008

a gorgeous president's day in the PNW

perfect for a hike! this is for the poor saps that don't work for the county and had to go to the office today. Here's what y'all missed . .

the first mosquito of spring! like a little bloodsucking groundhog.

bruno on lookout, scoping the scene for something to pee on

jupiter loves cougar

ava, hold still so i can take a picture

could that sky be any bluer?

i love fungus!! tastes nasty but looks so cool. this one is growing in the hair moss on the side of a tree.

these fungi are just around an inch tall. beautiful!

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