Call off the dogs

Call off the dogs It was disturbing to read that Trevor the dog (Terror of the Yukon) was forced to spend last weekend (and a couple of more days) back at the dismal Whitehorse city pound (his former 'death row', and a real death row for many dogs), beca

It was disturbing to read that Trevor the dog (Terror of the Yukon) was forced to spend last weekend (and a couple of more days) back at the dismal Whitehorse city pound (his former ‘death row’, and a real death row for many dogs), because of a regrettable ‘faux paw’ by one of his handlers.

Luckily, in aid of public safety, a bylaw officer was running surveillance on the dog’s every move, thus preventing a potential bloodbath.

I can only speculate that, as Trevor was not immediately taken off the streets, the officer consulted with the manager of bylaw services, who in turn asked for advice from mayor and council, the city manager, and likely the (very expensive) city lawyer, before staging a raid on the Mae Bachur Animal Shelter to punish this dog for breaching his court terms.

By reading the postings on the Whitehorse Star and CBC websites, I half expected a to hear about a local posse bearing torches, marching down to Mae Bachur to demand Trevor be turned over to them for a public lynching.

It is heartening to see that a relative few of these examples of bloodthirsty human cowardice are posted on the Yukon News website. The Yukon News apparently seems to attract a different sort of audience.

It is time for Whitehorse to cease and desist in its very personal vendetta against this dog and those who care for him.

The very fact that Trevor is forced to live the rest of his life within Whitehorse city limits is a ridiculous life sentence, which makes it pretty much impossible for anybody who would consider giving him a home to live up to the punishing terms.

The notoriety this dog has attracted (much of it from questionable sources) would make having him live in your neighbourhood akin to a registered sex offender living nearby.

Most of the people who protect him are already at their quota of pets they are allowed to keep.

Many of these people also spend time volunteering to help at the shelter.

Instead of spending $25,000 on a (botched and embarrassing) legal persecution of Trevor, the city should try to address some of the root causes of cruelty towards animals in Whitehorse.

According to reports, Trevor is yet another product of the Kwanlin Dun urban First Nation in Whitehorse, which has received worldwide media attention stemming from neglect and cruelty. The Humane Society is regularly inundated with dogs and puppies from the McIntyre and Crow Street areas.

In May of 2008, I attended the open house for the proposed Yukon Animal Protection Act Review. John Taylor, the city bylaw manager, was asked about what the city was doing to address the rampant neglect and abuse.

Red-faced, he gave a flippant answer that Kwanlin Dun were “their own government” (the city could not influence them to do anything to improve the situation of the FN’s domestic animals) Ð just by regularly looking at the online pictures and descriptions of incarcerated dogs at the city pound, most dogs appear to come from Kwanlin Dun addresses, or nearby.

This is not to cast aspersions on all Yukon First Nation people or all Kwanlin Dun people.

The Carcross/Tagish First Nation has recently embarked on a forward-thinking program to foster compassion towards their domestic animals. During my years in the Yukon, I have also personally witnessed acts of great kindness to animals from Yukon aboriginal people.

I ask that Whitehorse and the Yukon justice system release the chains on Trevor and allow him to leave the Yukon.

There are forward-thinking agencies in the south that possess the facilities and dedication to rehabilitate his heart and soul.

I can suggest two places Ð the Animal Advocates of British Columbia who have already spent thousands upon thousands of dollars rescuing and rehabilitating neglected Yukon and other northern dogs, and The Best Friends Animal Society (of Dogtown TV-series fame) in Utah, who take in unfortunate animals like Trevor from around the world, and find them loving homes.

Terry Cumming

Melfort, Saskatchewan