Letter to the Editor

Look to the classifieds Re Saturday’s 2007 Yukon Quest Volunteer Appreciation Day: I hope the many Quest volunteers are aware that their…

Look to the classifieds

Re Saturday’s 2007 Yukon Quest Volunteer Appreciation Day:

I hope the many Quest volunteers are aware that their volunteer efforts helped contribute to the deaths of three dogs and to many more being injured, in this year’s race.

I hope the volunteers are aware that a Quest spokesman told media this year that the Quest organization does not care how mushers participating in the race cull their dogs.

For ample testimony of the special bond between mushers and their dogs, take a look in the Wednesday, March 28 ‘pets’ classifieds in the Yukon News:

“Kennel reduction, Iditarod and Quest finishers age two to six, many leaders, some good for serious racing”; “Experienced dog team. Yukon Quest veterans. Includes leaders. Excellent lines.”; “Nine month old puppies. Mother was on 2006 Percy Dewolfe team, and many Yukon Quests…”; Free — two lead dogs for rec team, nine males, eight females…”; “DOG TEAM, 11 running dogs w/command leader…” — this in a week where media reported about Whitehorse’s Mae Bachur Animal shelter being burdened with a record number of unwanted puppies.

I might respectfully suggest that some Quest volunteers/dog lovers ‘put their money where there mouths are’ and adopt some of these unwanted sled dogs themselves, or foster or adopt some of the puppies at the shelter.

And while they were celebrating this year’s race, I hope they will spare a moment’s silence for Hope, Melville, and Jewel, who are hopefully frolicking around right now in a better world than the one they have recently departed from.

Terry Cumming, Sled Dog Watchdog Coalition, Whitehorse

Just say no to

drug-sniffing dog

It should go without saying any responsible adult would support Porter Creek Secondary School’s policy to provide a drug-free environment for our children and teenagers.

To place a drug-sniffing dog with handler in a public high school seems extreme, to say the least, and shows a blatant disrespect for the student body by treating all students as suspects — without suspicion or evidence.

In addition to being costly and ineffective in detecting drug dealers, random searches are unlawful and treat all students like criminals.

That’s not the best message to send in a democratic society.

Statistics show drug tests routinely alert police to conduct searches on private property where no contraband is present.

This violates the students’ right and freedoms with no legal recourse and should not be tolerated in Canada.

Educators, parents, administrators and other adults participating in the education of our children at Porter Creek Secondary must increase their engagement with the student body and responsibly implement honest drug education, behavioural intervention, mentoring, rehabilitative referrals to treatment, and research prior to any military-style policing in our schools.

As for the Porter Creek drug dog committee, end your counterproductive scare tactics.

What’s next on your agenda? Blanket drug testing for all schoolaged children?

Name withheld by request