Moe the dog is missing.
Moe, a shepherd cross of about three years, had been at Humane Society Yukon’s Mae Bachur shelter since April.
On Tuesday, a man came and took Moe for a walk, and never brought him back.
Incidents like this happen about once a year, said Amanda Farrell, the shelter’s manager.
Last year someone stole a dog named Jackson, and as a result all dog walkers must now come and go through the front desk area of the shelter so staff can keep an eye out, she said.
Staff describe the man who came to get Moe as about 5’10 with dark hair, heavy set with scruff or a beard. He wore jeans and black coat and drove a red hatchback.
He came in around 4 p.m. Staff recognized him as an occasional dog walker, so they did not check to see if he was registered as a volunteer.
When he hadn’t returned at 7 p.m., as the shelter was closing for the day, staff checked their records and saw that he had signed in under the name “Jack Sprat,” said Farrell.
They called the RCMP.
It’s a fine line to walk when ensuring there are systems in place to prevent incidents like this, said Farrell. There needs to be protection for the animals, but you also don’t want to discourage volunteer dog walkers by treating them like potential criminals.
“We assume everyone is going to be honest when they’re coming in and taking animals.”
When incidents do happen, it’s usually a puppy or kitten that is taken.
Because Moe is an adult dog, staff suspect that the person who stole him could be his former owner or someone who knew him, said Farrell.
Moe was known to staff before he arrived at the shelter, because he used to run loose in the neighbourhood and would come visit the dogs, she said. Bylaw officers eventually picked him up and brought him to Mae Bachur.
Dog owners whose pets end up at the shelter can claim them and pick them up for a fee of $60. The fee goes up by $60 each subsequent time the same dog is brought to the shelter.
That fee helps cover the costs of boarding the animal, an estimated $20 per day, and veterinary costs. It is also intended to act as a deterrent so that dogs are not left loose in the future.
The cost of adopting a dog ranges from $100 to $300, depending on the age of the animal.
Anyone who sees Moe is asked to call the RCMP or, if he is running loose, pick him up and bring him to the shelter.
Contact Jacqueline Ronson at firstname.lastname@example.org