Animal Control officer Jennifer Matison with some community pets at a recent event. Photo courtesy city of Kirkland

Animal Control officer Jennifer Matison with some community pets at a recent event. Photo courtesy city of Kirkland

New Kirkland class teaches how to prepare for an emergency with pets

On Jan. 29, Kirkland Emergency Management is offering Emergency Preparedness for Pets.

On Jan. 29, from 6-7 p.m., Kirkland Emergency Management is offering Emergency Preparedness for Pets, a free class at City Hall.

Animal control officer Jennifer Matison will be leading the event. Though animal-specific pointers will be the chief focus of the event, other relevant information will be touched on, including general household tips.

“A lot of these tips are going to be very applicable to those situations where you’re at home without power, or you’re just at home and can’t go anywhere for multiple days,” said city communications program manager Kellie Stickney.

Kirkland’s Office of Emergency Management offers regular classes on a variety of topics, according to emergency preparedness coordinator Karissa Smith. But over time, Smith said, the office has gotten more questions from community members noting that while they might be ready for an emergency at home, they aren’t as sure about animal-centric considerations.

“That’s kind of where the initial input idea for it came, was just to answer that question from the community as part of our regular offerings,” Smith said.

Although the class coming to City Hall is technically the first of its kind, the event has roots in 2019. At one point last year, Matison was asked by a neighborhood association to do a brief, pet-oriented class.

At the upcoming class, Matison will be the primary speaker, with Smith in attendance to help answer additional audience questions.

“We kind of take the approach that your entire household needs to be prepared, and that includes all members of the household,” said Smith, who added that there will be a mixture of preparedness concerns for everybody. “Things to expect in our community that you might need to be prepared for and then we’ll transition into more specific considerations and some of the services that we have specific for pets and animals in Kirkland.”

Smith added that it’s likely that this will be the sole instance this event will be publicly offered this year.

Stickney said that since this is the first time the class has been offered community-wide, it’s unclear how many residents will attend. But she hopes that it draws a crowd, since it seems like winter storm events are happening with increasing regularity.

“We know, especially in a large-scale emergency such as an earthquake, it may take quite a long period of time before emergency responders or other kinds of aid are able to get to our neighborhoods,” Stickney said. “So the more people prepare themselves, the better the chance you have of being resilient through a large-scale emergency.”

To register for the class, go to

In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Life

Washington State Fair cancelled

COVID-19 outbreak claims another event

Decorated statue at Marina Park in support of Black Lives Matter efforts. Reader submitted photo.
Ribbons for Black Lives Matter

The display at Marina Park coincides with statewide efforts of the local King County Black Lives Matter chapter.

Kirkland Wednesday Farmers Market will run every Wednesday from June 5 through September 25.
Kirkland farmers markets are ready for shoppers

Both Kirkland Wednesday Market and Juanita Friday Market are practicing social distancing during their reopenings.

TLG Motion Pictures CEO Erik Bernard and TLG founder Courtney LeMarco on a set. Photo courtesy TLG Motion Pictures.
Local production company seeking film, TV pitches from young minority creatives

The Big Pitch competition, put on by TLG Motion Pictures (“Hoarders”), started about six months ago.

Local musicians hold virtual benefit concert for mental health

The stream-a-thon supports NAMI Eastside and nonprofit Hold Your Crown

Hannah Scholes. COURTESY PHOTO
Waste reduction from home

A monthly column from Waste Management.

Medic One Foundation’s Gratitude Meals offer support to first responders, local businesses

The initiative provides hearty lunches to first responders staffing the COVID-19 testing sites as they work to test their colleagues.

UW students create Spira app to gather COVID-19 data

The app was created to screen for respiratory diseases but the teen creators shifted their focus once the COVID-19 outbreak began.

Showing their appreciation for EvergreenHealth workers

First responders from Kirkland, Bothell and Woodinville stopped by the Kirkland medical center to show their support for their colleagues.

‘Don’t assume it can’t happen to you’

Federal Way resident Evelyn Allcorn shares story of her husband’s battle with COVID-19 after he tested positive on March 28.

From left, Evan Shouse, Lauren Shouse and Ellienn Tatar stand outside their Kirkland residence. Courtesy photo
Making ends meet during the coronavirus pandemic

LWTech Foundation COVID-19 Student Emergency Fund lends a helping hand.

Savannah Lynn and Will Chadek in the Second Story Repertory of Redmond’s production of “The Fantasticks.” “The Fantasticks” had been performed three times by the organization until coronavirus concerns resulted in the cancellation of the remaining dates. Photo by Michael Brunk
How is the coronavirus affecting the arts?

Representatives from Eastside arts institutions discuss their experiences.