Burwash or bust: Trevor the dog

After more than 11 months behind bars, Trevor the dog has an offer. A home in Burwash Landing is willing to adopt the troubled pooch.

After more than 11 months behind bars, Trevor the dog has an offer.

A home in Burwash Landing is willing to adopt the troubled pooch.

But before packing up his leash and bowl, Whitehorse is consulting with the Kluane First Nation and Community Services.

“Out of respect, we don’t want to download a city of Whitehorse issue on another community without consultation,” said acting bylaw manager Dave Pruden on Tuesday.

“The ultimate concern is public safety.”

“The city is doing its due diligence,” added Mae Bachur Animal Shelter board member Rachel Westfall. “They don’t want it to look like they’re offloading their problems.”

And Trevor has “lots of baggage,” she said.

The German shepherd/Rottweiler cross first arrived at the Mae Bachur shelter two years ago after bylaw seized him from abusive owners in McIntyre subdivision. He was adopted, but last July his new owner turned him back over to bylaw after he bit several people.

Set to be euthanized, Trevor was saved by a loophole. Because his owners hadn’t followed the rules of the adoption contract, Kevin Sinclair, a Whitehorse resident, successfully got a court order giving the mutt another chance.

Trevor was assessed by Shelley Breadner, an animal behaviour specialist from Saanichton, British Columbia, who determined that with the right care, the dog’s behaviour could be managed.

Returned to Mae Bachur Animal Shelter, Trevor was given specific restrictions that included posting warning signs where the dog was kept, not allowing him to be fostered and ensuring Trevor wore a muzzle whenever he was outside his cage.

Then, on November 16, Breadner decided the shelter could let Trevor be adopted to a suitable owner.

That’s when an offer came in from Burwash Landing, but because of court restrictions Trevor couldn’t be taken outside Whitehorse.

Now, nine months later, with no Whitehorse offers forthcoming, Burwash Landing is being reconsidered.

“You can’t keep a dog in the pound indefinitely and expect it to come out alright,” said Westfall.

“We need to get him out of the shelter.”

But that may still take months.

The Kluane First Nation has put Trevor on the agenda for its next council meeting.

But that’s not until mid-September.

“We have to wait and see how things come down the pipe,” said Pruden.

“I’m optimistic, but I don’t want to put the cart before the horse.”

Trevor’s most recent stay of execution expires October 5th.

“And (Justice Ron) Veale wants to see something happen,” said Westfall.

“He said he doesn’t want to see us back in October asking for another six-month extension – he’s going to make a decision one way or another.

“So we need a backup plan.”

“I understand the issue is before the courts,” said government animal welfare officer Jay Lester, referring to Trevor’s possible move to Burwash.

“Whatever they decide will be the best course of action.”

Kluane First Nation did not return calls before press time.

Contact Genesee Keevil at

gkeevil@yukon-news.com