Trevor is one lucky dog.
The German shepherd/Rottweiler cross was set to be euthanized by bylaw services after biting at least three Yukoners. But a Supreme Court hearing on Thursday gave him another chance.
The 16 other dogs killed this year by bylaw weren’t so lucky.
Since 2006, Whitehorse bylaw services has euthanized 141 dogs.
Most of them weren’t vicious, and probably hadn’t bitten anyone.
When bylaw picks up a stray, officers have to wait a minimum of 48 hours before killing the dog.
Euthanasias are done on Wednesdays, so it’s really a matter of when the dog gets picked up.
A dog caught on a Thursday has almost a week before possible death, while an unclaimed dog caught on a Monday may not be so lucky.
Bylaw tries to turn unwanted dogs over to the Mae Bachur animal shelter. But sometimes, Mae Bachur just doesn’t have space.
Most of the dogs who have been killed in the pound have died in anonymity.
Their doe eyes, droopy tail, or the way they sit on their haunches to get attention have all gone unnoticed.
But for some reason, Trevor got lucky.
Discovered about a year ago in a McIntyre backyard with a chain grown into his neck, he was confiscated by bylaw services.
Mae Bachur took Trevor, who had surgery to get the chain removed from his neck.
Three months later he was adopted by Tamara Allaby, who gave him to her brother Matthew.
Then Trevor started biting people.
He’d obviously been through a lot, and probably had his reasons for biting people.
But dogs can’t go around chomping on unsuspecting humans, and Trevor ended up back in the custody of bylaw where he was set to be euthanized.
He would have ended up another statistic, like the other 76,181 cats and dogs euthanized in animal shelters across Canada last year. But for some reason, Trevor was singled out.
The pooch’s story made national news, and “save-Trevor” letters began to flood local media outlets.
Whitehorse resident Kevin Sinclair took the matter to court in hopes of releasing Trevor, and the dog was issued “a stay of execution” until he’s assessed by a trainer to see if rehabilitation is possible.
He’s even got a potential home waiting for him on a farm outside Whitehorse.
It’s good news for Trevor.
He may experience the joys of belly scratches, a good bone full of marrow, and the excitement of chasing chirping ground squirrels.
But why did Trevor, a dog who’s been known to bite, get so lucky?
Why didn’t Biscuit, or Fluffy, or Freckles get national support, letter-writing campaigns and a court date?
Thousands of dogs are put down every year in Canada—not because they bit someone, or were sick, or old—only because they couldn’t find a loving home.
The dogs stuck behind wire mesh gates, hemmed in by concrete walls in pounds and shelters across the country are all waiting to be scratched behind the ears and cuddled.
Trevor is one of thousands, and a troubled one at that.
But he’s made national news and was given a Supreme Court hearing.
Conservationists hoping to preserve the Peel Watershed should tap the pooch for advice.
And the dogs waiting at the Whitehorse pound for someone to claim them and give them a home—perhaps their mistake was licking their loved ones instead of biting them. (Genesee Keevil)