Winter Games athlete missing

An Arctic Winter Games athlete has been missing in the Whitehorse area since last week. Uma is a shy, blue-eyed sled dog from Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, who got loose during one of the mushing events in Mount Lorne.

An Arctic Winter Games athlete has been missing in the Whitehorse area since last week.

Uma is a shy, blue-eyed sled dog from Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, who got loose during one of the mushing events in Mount Lorne.

At the time, organizers tried to catch her on a snow machine, but this only served to scare the small, brown-and-white husky mix.

Since then, Uma’s been spotted running the trails in the Mount Lorne area.

Local musher Susie Rogan was out on a training run with her dogs on Sunday and saw the timid husky three different times.

But Uma was skittish and bolted whenever she saw the team.

When Rogan got home, she called the City of Whitehorse to report the sighting.

But the fellow who answered at bylaw services said he was not able to pass on any complaints coming from outside the city’s boundaries.

Rogan didn’t fare any better with the territorial conservation officers, who only deal with wild animals, not domestic pets.

At first, this frustrated Rogan.

“I mean, this is a living creature,” she said. “It’s a frightened sled dog that was competing at a city event.”

Then Rogan had some sober second thought.

“I realized we all need to have a bit of flexibility and need to take some responsibility,” she said.

“As pet owners, citizens, neighbours, and as Arctic Winter Games participants and volunteers, we should all be out there dealing with it, because we can’t call the government for every single thing that happens. We can’t have conservation officers chasing around loose dogs.

“It’s up to all of us to get involved.”

Rogan heard back from the City of Whitehorse that she could rent a live trap for $25.

But she ended up getting one from the conservation officers for free.

“It was good of them to do that because this is a domestic animal, not a wild one,” she said.

That’s the kind of flexibility Rogan is championing.

Out at the Mount Lorne golf course, she plans to set up the trap and a local resident has agreed to check it every six hours.

Rogan also headed out again with a team of dogs on Thursday afternoon, hoping to run into the lost dog.

“I saw lots of tracks, but I don’t know if they were hers,” she said. “I left out food.”

Uma’s owners had to return to Nunavut, added Rogan, who hopes to reunite the family with their dog.

“We need to take more responsibility for our animal citizens,” she said.

Uma is about 43 pounds, light brown and white with medium-length fur and blue eyes.

She is a mixed breed, does not look like a stereotypical husky, and is very shy.

If anyone sees Uma, or has any tips, they should call Rogan at 668-2703.

Contact Genesee Keevil at

gkeevil@yukon-news.com

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