Humane society fundraisers bled money

Between April and December 2012, the Humane Society Yukon spent just over $40,000 on fundraising events. But in the same period, these events generated just under $20,000. This does not include money raised through collection boxes or bingos.

Between April and December 2012, the Humane Society Yukon spent just over $40,000 on fundraising events. But in the same period, these events generated just under $20,000. This does not include money raised through collection boxes or bingos.

Much of the money spent on fundraising was to bring up dog trainer and celebrity personality Brad Pattison, board members told society members gathered Monday night at the Canada Games Centre.

Members had gathered to pass financial statements so they could be submitted to the government. And those events just didn’t make money, members learned. Pattison first visited Whitehorse last June and returned amid public outcry in September. Also in September, the society paid to have television personalities Rescue Ink visit.

Some humane society members protested Pattison’s visits, asserting that the trainer’s methods were abusive to animals. Those protests led to the society refusing to renew some memberships in July.

But the events did more than just increase turmoil on the board. They also added to financial woes.

The fundraising costs account for about one-tenth of the society’s expenses between April and December. Those expenses were just under $450,000. Revenue for the entire period was just under $350,000.

Not all of the fundraising expenses were spent on bringing up Pattison or Rescue Ink, Shelley Cuthbert, president during the events, said in an email on Tuesday. It also included costs for activities like car washes, raffles and a spay and neuter clinic.

But bringing up Pattison and Rescue Ink accounted for a lot of it.

Pattison’s fees were $3,200 each time, said Cuthbert. Rescue Ink’s fee was $4,000. Combined, appearance costs for the celebrities equals over $10,000 – a quarter of the amount spent on fundraising. Flights for both of Pattison’s appearances were donated, and so was his hotel and vehicle for the first event, said Cuthbert. The society paid for his hotel and vehicle in September. It also paid for some of Rescue Ink’s travel expenses.

To make money on fundraisers, the society needed to invest in them, she said.

But the society isn’t making money. That is, in large part, because it still hasn’t regained charitable status with the government. Without it, it can’t host bingos. Bingo accounts for about a third of its revenue.

After last April to December, the society had a shortfall of over $90,000. In comparison, the society’s debt at the end of its 2011-2012 financial year, which ended in March, was just over $8,500.

It still has about $40,000 in debt, treasurer Chris Nemeth said after Monday’s meeting. A lot of this comes from unpaid veterinary or bookkeeping bills.

The old board “failed to do its job properly,” president Hoby Irwin told the gathered members at the meeting. The current board, elected in December, has spent months tracking down financial information to send to its accountants in Ottawa. It finally received all the information they need last week, just in the nick of time. The deadline for submitting financials to the government was April 30. “We’re sliding right under the wire,” Irwin said after the meeting.

Irwin does not know when the society will receive its charitable status back, he told members.

In December, the Yukon Supreme Court ordered the society to hold its annual general meeting to elect a new board and pass financial statements. Seann Springford was elected president at the time, but resigned in February for personal reasons. Irwin, then vice-president, took over. Originally, he planned to be president only until financials could be approved. But after the meeting, he told reporters he plans to stay on in the role for at least a year and see what happens next.

Contact Meagan Gillmore at

mgillmore@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Yukon First Nation Education Directorate education advocates and volunteers help to sort and distribute Christmas hamper grocery boxes outside Elijah Smith Elementary School on Feb. 23. (Rebecca Bradford Andrew/Submitted)
First Nation Education Directorate begins Christmas hamper program

Pick-ups for hampers are scheduled at local schools

Cyrine Candido, cashier, right, wipes down the new plexi-glass dividers at Superstore on March 28, before it was commonplace for them to wear masks. The Yukon government is relaunching the Yukon Essential Workers Income Support Program as the second wave of COVID-19 begins to take place in the territory. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon Essential Workers Income Support Program extended to 32 weeks

More than 100 businesses in the territory applied for the first phase of the program

City of Whitehorse staff will report back to city council members in three months, detailing where efforts are with the city’s wildfire risk reduction strategy and action plan for 2021 to 2024. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Council adopts wildfire risk reduction plan

Staff will report on progress in three months

asdf
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for Nov. 25, 2020

Ivan, centre, and Tennette Dechkoff, right, stop to chat with a friend on Main Street in Whitehorse on Nov. 24. Starting Dec. 1 masks will be mandatory in public spaces across the Yukon in order to help curb the spread of COVID-19. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
UPDATED: Masks mandatory in public places starting on Dec. 1

“The safe six has just got a plus one,” Silver said.

Lev Dolgachov/123rf
The Yukon’s Information and Privacy Commissioner stressed the need to safeguard personal information while shopping this holiday season in a press release on Nov. 24.
Information and Privacy Commissioner issues reminder about shopping

The Yukon’s Information and Privacy Commissioner Diane McLeod-McKay stressed the need to… Continue reading

Keith Lay speaks at a city council meeting on Dec. 4, 2017. Lay provided the lone submission to council on the city’s proposed $33 million capital spending plan for 2021 on Nov. 23, taking issue with a number of projects outlined. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Resident raises issues with city’s capital budget

Council to vote on budget in December

Beatrice Lorne was always remembered by gold rush veterans as the ‘Klondike Nightingale’. (Yukon Archives/Maggies Museum Collection)
History Hunter: Beatrice Lorne — The ‘Klondike Nightingale’

In June of 1929, 11 years after the end of the First… Continue reading

Samson Hartland is the executive director of the Yukon Chamber of Mines. The Yukon Chamber of Mines elected a new board of directors during its annual general meeting held virtually on Nov. 17. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Yukon Chamber of Mines elects new board

The Yukon Chamber of Mines elected a new board of directors during… Continue reading

The Yukon Hospital Corporation has released its annual report for 2019-20, and — unsurprisingly — hospital visitations were down. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Annual report says COVID-19 had a large impact visitation numbers at Whitehorse General

The Yukon Hospital Corporation has released its annual report for 2019-20, and… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

City council was closed to public on March 23 due to gathering rules brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The council is now hoping there will be ways to improve access for residents to directly address council, even if it’s a virtual connection. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Solution sought to allow for more public presentations with council

Teleconference or video may provide opportunities, Roddick says

Most Read