Letter to the Editor

Three’s a charm Open letter to Mayor Bev Buckway re request for amendment of animal control bylaw: Humane Society Yukon works closely with…

Three’s a charm

Open letter to Mayor Bev Buckway re request for amendment of animal control bylaw:

Humane Society Yukon works closely with Whitehorse bylaw services to manage the problem of homeless pets in Whitehorse.

As a no-kill shelter, the Mae Bachur Animal Shelter is often overflowing with dogs and cats.

To operate the shelter successfully as a no-kill facility which values each individual animal’s life, we rely heavily on a limited number of good foster homes and adoptive homes.

We are writing to request an amendment to the animal control bylaw, Section 36, which limits each household to a maximum of two dogs and two cats.

We would like to see the special conditions in section 36 (1) removed, so that every household is able to have up to three dogs and three cats.

Our rationale for this request is as follows.

As the bylaw currently stands, households must apply to the city for permission to have a third dog or cat.

All neighbours within a minimum 100-metre radius are polled, and existing pets in the household are required to have a “good neighbour certificate” or equivalent. Households are charged a non-refundable fee of $100 to apply for permission to have a third dog or cat.

These constitute significant barriers to pet owners, particularly those who are willing and able to adopt non-purebred dogs out of the shelter.

Shelter dogs have often had a hard life.

Some are hand-shy, others have not had leash training and most are not good candidates for “good neighbour” testing.

These are not the highly trained purebred show dogs of the kennel clubs. They can, nonetheless, make wonderful pets in the right home, and a good home is what they desperately need.

It is not clear how a cat can obtain “good neighbour” certification.

The restriction on the number of cats allowed in a home appears to be impractical and unreasonable.

It is our belief that the problem does not lie with the number of dogs or cats in a home.

Rather, there is a problem with negligent owners, who are in the minority.

At Mae Bachur Animal Shelter, we carefully screen adoptive homes, and we ensure that the animals are spayed or neutered.

When we place animals in our foster or adoptive homes, we often have two or more animals going to the same home. Some of these households would be willing to take an additional dog or cat, if there were not so many barriers to doing so in accordance with the city bylaw.

We strongly believe that we need stronger spay and neuter legislation in order to reduce the number of unwanted pet animals in the city.

The two-dog, two-cat limit does not address this problem.

Instead, it makes it harder for us, as a community, to meet the needs of the pet animals that already exist here.

Please help us find suitable homes for animals in need by removing the restrictions on homeowners who are willing to take in three dogs or cats.

Thank you for giving this important issue your prompt attention.

Jane McIntyre, acting president, Humane Society Yukon

Exploit animals

to help animals?

Lamb — a baby sheep — a gentle, innocent creature taken from his/her mother to be killed young for his/her tender flesh —for taste!

The executive chef from the Westmark Whitehorse was on CBC radio on Tuesday talking about how much fun it was to come up with special recipes using beer and lamb for a Humane Society fundraiser this Saturday evening.

This is another classic case where CBC is more than happy to provide free advertising for those who exploit animals and have fun doing so.

Thanks again, CBC.

It surprises me that many of the dishes at the fundraising dinner will be made from animal flesh, since the event is supposedly raising money to save/protect animals.

Then again, the dinner’s two sponsors, Yukon Brewing Co. and the Westmark, are both big sponsors of the Yukon Quest, which to me is a major animal exploitation event.

The Quest involves breeding, injuring and killing of an unknown number of dogs.

I find it ironic that businesses that proudly promote the exploitation of animals are hosting a meat-based dinner to raise funds to protect other animals.

I don’t want to understate the good intention of those who organized this event for the well-being of the animals in the care of the Humane Society.

But I find it unacceptable to take the life of one kind of animal to save another.

If those who planned the menu had any thoughtful consideration for animals, they would have made this a vegetarian dinner — a more compassionate, ethical choice.

Taking babies from their mothers ( for taste) is not compassionate — it is cruel.

Mike Grieco


Handicaps not always

what they seem

To the person who left the nasty note on my windshield in the Wal-Mart parking lot on April 17th, I am glad you are looking after your mom’s best interests.

My kids have done exactly the same for me in the past.

I don’t know your mom’s handicap, just as I’m sure you obviously don’t know mine.

I did happen to notice when they issue us the handicap placards to put in our windshields it does not say what our handicaps are.

It just gives us a right to park in designated areas if they are available to us.

Your note said: “Get a life FAT COWS that are too lazy to walk.

“Stupidity is not a handicap…

“You should be ashamed of yourself.

“It is because of people like you that my mom can’t park here.

“Shame on you.”

To whom it may concern, I am not ashamed of my handicap.

I was hit by a drunk driver years ago and I can’t walk as far as I should be able to at my age.

I am very lucky to be alive today.

So shame on you for not taking the time to look at my handicap placard, which is displayed in plain view on my dash on the driver’s side.

So next time you decide to call anyone down, do your homework first.

Brenda Weaver