Companion Animal Medical Center To Close Oct. 15th

Dr. Leslie Kasper, Burien Animal Care & Control Manager, with friend, at Companion Animal Medical Center. The center will close Oct. 15th.

by Ralph Nichols The continuing recession is forcing Dr. Leslie Kasper to close her Companion Animal Medical Center in Normandy Park effective Friday, Oct. 15.

But, Kasper told The Normandy Park Blog on Friday (Oct. 7), she will continue to manage Burien’s new Animal Care and Control program.

Kasper took the reins of Animal Care and Control on July 1 when Burien opted out of a King County partnership with cities for animal control to start its own program.

Her contract to provide all animal control services for the city – except pet licensing – for $120,000 a year runs through June 30, 2013.

Primary services include round-the-clock emergency response for vicious animals, animals with life-threatening injuries, and cases of hardship or law enforcement assistance, and the maintenance of an animal shelter with 24/7 emergency access.

Companion Animal Medical Center will close Oct. 15th.

Kasper, who wants to continue working with the city, said the program is “working out very well” after its first three months.

“I’m optimistic that this is going to work out just fine,” she added about providing Animal Care and Control services while ending her private veterinary practice.

And, said city Management Analyst Jenn Ramirez Robson, “We’re very happy with the job she’s doing” – an endorsement also made by City Manager Mike Martin.

“We want to keep doing business with her,” Ramirez Robson stressed. “Burien’s local program will continue.”

The telephone number for Burien Animal Care and Control will remain the same – 206-870-8471.

Kasper is subcontracting for kennel space for dogs as well as some cats with PJ’s Pet Ranch in SeaTac, where owner P.J. Seidenstricker has been “gracious enough to work with us.”

She is also talking with A Place for Pets in Burien about kenneling kittens and possibly some cats.

“We’re trying to get as many cats and kittens as possible adopted during the next week. We are lowering our adoption prices for cats and kittens to $25 without spaying or neutering,” Kasper noted.

Most of the adult cats now sheltered have been spayed or neutered; most kittens have not.

“I am hoping in the coming months to find a place for a shelter again where the public can come and adopt pets in one convenient, centralized location,” she continued.

Kasper’s financial problems at her veterinary clinic are unrelated to the services she now provides Burien. They stem mostly from unforeseeable bad timing – she opened Companion Animal Medical Center shortly before the recession hit.

Then, if a slumping economy wasn’t enough, along came Normandy Park’s 1st Ave. S. renovation project, which has been plagued by contractor and other management problems. Now in its second year, the project has made access to the clinic difficult.

Earlier she notified both city staff and the owners of her patients of the clinic’s imminent closure, and “the bank and I have decided that the best course of action is to find another veterinarian to purchase the practice.

“What what is best for me at this time is to focus on Burien animal control. It’s the best utilization of my time and energy. The city is very gracious to continue to work with me as we get through some bumps.”

Kasper also voiced appreciation for a positive public response with the start of the new program.

Ramirez Robson agreed that the problem is clinic finances, not with animal control services. “She was letting us know as soon as she could that there would be an issue with her facility,” she said.

“We have a contract with her to provide sheltering and field services, and as long as she is willing to fill that commitment we’re willing to have some patience even if the logistics are a bit messy for a short time.”

Burien police dispatch can contact Kasper regardless of where she locates so she can respond to calls about injured or vicious animals.

The city took over pet licensing services from King County and reduced license fees on July 1. Licenses issued in July were free to boost public interest and participation in Burien’s Animal Care and Control program.

Since Aug. 1, fees have been $20 for spayed and neutered pets and $50 for unaltered pets. Pet licenses can be obtained at:

  • Burien City Hall, 400 SW 152nd St., Suite 300: 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday
  • Burien Community Center, 14700 6th Ave. SW: 8:30 a.m.-8 p.m., Monday-Thursday; 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday
  • Burien City Hall North, 1218 46 Des Moines Memorial Drive: 10 a.m.-noon, Tuesdays and Thursdays
  • Online at

In the local program’s first three months, a total of 1,157 licenses were issued in July, 189 in August, and 121 in September.


Animal Care and Control received 154 calls in July, including 33 calls for service, 28 about lost or found animals, and six dispatches by police.

In August, 107 calls were received, including 30 for service, 40 about lost or found animals, and four dispatches. In September, 71 calls, including 26 for service, 15 about lost or found animals, and three dispatches.


11 Responses to “Companion Animal Medical Center To Close Oct. 15th”
  1. You have got to be kidding me you are going to adopt out kittens WITH OUT spay and neutering them. Are you mad. You can’t do that responsibly. No way. I have worked way to hard to trap, neuter and return cats in Burien, for some irresponsible person to let their cat have babies or better yet the kitten gets and and never comes back. Then makes kittens for to trap in 6 months. This is not what a shelter is about. Oh may be you should charge 200.00 for a spay and 150.00 for a neuter.

    Are you even offer those people options to get there animals spayed or neutered? Probably not.

    Shame Shame

  2. Marianne says:

    I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read that UNSPAYED and UNNEUTERED kittens are being adopted out of Burien Animal Control and Care! This isn’t rural Virginia we’re living in. To not spay and neuter in this day and age and in a progressive metropolitan area is unbelievably irresponsible (and embarrasing). Leslie Kaspar is a veterinarian for goodness sakes–why can’t she spay and neuter the kittens that are adopted out of this agency? I would like to know the names of the officials that gave the ok on what will ultimately be a death sentence to most of the future offspring of these unaltered kittens.

  3. Christine says:

    Dear City of Burien Council Members,

    Companion Animal Medical Center located at 19655 1st Ave South #106 Normandy Park, Wa, the facility that manages the City of Burien Animal Control, has decided to euthanize all of the cats. Dr. Leslie Kasper stated that one of the kittens adopted out last week had the Panleukapania Virus. Dr. Kasper had not accurately determined that the Panleukapania Virus was the cause because she did not run any blood work to determine if the white blood cell count was low. Dr. Kasper did run a parvo test on the kitten but the test can read false positive or false negative which is not the determining factor that the kitten had the virus. Dr. Kasper has decided to euthanize all of the cats based on this information.

    Dr. Kasper is going out of business effective tomorrow Friday 10/15/10 and has no where to house the current animals at the shelter. She has conveniently decided that all cats have the Panluekapania Virus and will euthanize them.

    Many of the kittens at the shelter have died, due to not being treated and taken care of properly. Many of the kittens required antibiotics and fluid therapy of which she failed to treat them due to financial expenses but yet the City of Burien is paying her monthly to take care of these animals.

    I would hope that the City of Burien would care for the welfare of these animals and expect that the animals are treated fairly and not just outsourcing the animal control services in spite of saving money and not caring for the welfare of these animals. I would hope that is not what the City of Burien intended. The citizens of Burien need to know what is actually going on when they bring in a stray animal to this shelter.

    Dr. Kasper has euthanized many healthy dogs due to requiring additional space for her boarding dogs. These dogs were great dogs and very healthy. They have paid the ultimate price due to the horrible management of the animal control services taking place at Companion Animal Medical Center.

    The King County Animal Shelter located in Kent took much better care of these animals and at least they had a chance. They do not have a chance at this facility as the facility itself is not set up properly for animal control services and Dr. Kasper is in the animal control business only for the money and not for the welfare of the animals. Dr. Kasper has tried very little to find foster parents or additional animal resource centers to find homes for these animals. Instead, they are just euthanized.

    The City of Burien may be saving some money outsourcing the animal control services elsewhere but the animals are paying the ultimate price and this is not moral or ethical.

    I expect the City of Burien council members to review, revise and change the way you are handling animal control services. The current contract with Companion Animal Medical Center needs to be canceled immediately.

    • Steve says:

      Christine you seem to think you know everything why don’t you step up and try to do the job. Maybe then when you fall on you face you’ll shut your mouth.

  4. Christine says:

    The City of Burien only likes Dr. Kasper because she is saving The City of Burien money. Has anyone thought about the quality of care these shelter animals are receivng? Better yet, does anyone care? I would surely hope so. The public is oblivous as to what is actually going on. Many of the animals at the shelter have been euthanized for no reason at all other than they required care and Dr. Kasper simply did not have the resources, staff or empathy to treat these animals. How sad and how can anyone be so heartless. Dr. Kasper puts up a good front to the public about how she cares so much for animals. Sadly, that is not true. It’s all about money for her and not the animals.

  5. Christine says:

    Of course Dr. Kasper would like to continue with the animal control services, she’s making 120K a year to do this. How can she spay and neuter these animals without a facility. She will just euthanize more animals. If you are heartless, this is not a bad gig for 120K a year.

    She is not an official animal control officer she’s a DVM. There is a big difference. The City of Burien needs to go back to King County to professional maintain animal control services.

    • Steve says:

      No1 All you idiots that are slandering Dr. Kasper and Companion Animal Clinic need to get your info straight and don’t always believe everything you read like the posting from Monica Horn who was an intern that let three of her own personal pets die and then got ring worm from her own pets by not properly caring for them and she was going to school to be a vet WOW and you people are going to listen to this person. As for the $120,000 a year does anyone no what it costs to run a business apperantly not when she has to use her own personal vehicle to pick up strays and also viciuous animal calls from the police plus the cost of the meds to care for the animals that she was having to use from the clinics supplies. Apperantly none of you know what it really costs so before critisizing try and start your own business and see how much money it really takes to run a clinic plus animal control since the city and the state doesn’t pay for vehicle maintenance and expects her to pay for everything but charges her to put on adoption booths at the Burien City Jubilee days or the whit center fair or the desmoines fair when they charge her for booths to do adoptions they aren’t helping find these animals new homes but they don’t have a problem calling her to come get animals. So in closing it is the cities like Burien,Normandy Park,DesMoines,WhiteCenter, that are to blame maybe if they would put strickter regulations on pet owners and fine owners for surrendering their animals there would be less animals in clinics that are sick.

  6. Carrie says:

    This note is BS the city would not help with care of these animals all they did was pay for them to get the animals off the streets not care for them. She took supplies from her clinic to care for the strays. She tried to find other shelter…s to take the animals when she knew she was closing and no one would take them so she had no other option. She also did several adoption fairs trying to get these animals adopted and no one wanted them, she tried every possibility she knew of. Maybe if you were to have looked into this more you would have realized it. In closing maybe who ever wrote this letter should put the blame back where it belongs and that would be on the cities of Burien and Normandy park and the state for not giving her the correct funding to support the animal control part of her clinic. I know Dr. Kasper personnally and she is great with the animals that she cares for and I don’t know who wrote this but you don’t know what you are talking about.

    • Marianne says:

      If proper funding was not given to Dr. Kasper to run Burien Animal Control, then why is she continuing her contract with the city?

  7. stacy colombel says:

    Dr Kasper’s salary should be stopped immediately. What a waste of money. Burien need to recontract with King County. Kaspar came from Bothell Vet- why was she a completely unknown person in Burien allowed to receive this contract”?

  8. Nancy says:

    Well this is just freaking awesome…I adopted a kitty there in August and now its sick and I need a check up and cant take it there for its check up??!!

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