Humane society seeks to quell financial turmoil

Changes could soon be coming for the Humane Society Yukon. The society will be holding a special annual general meeting on April 29.

Changes could soon be coming for the Humane Society Yukon.

The society will be holding a special annual general meeting on April 29. It will be reviewing financial statements at this meeting and is hopeful it can have all of the information back from its Ottawa accountants in time, said president Hoby Irwin.

The statements are crucial for a society coming out of internal and financial turmoil. Until the members approve the financials, the society can’t return to good standing under the Societies Act. It needs to be in good standing to apply for a bingo licence – and bingo is one of the society’s main fundraisers. The society right now is about $40,000 in debt, Irwin said this week.

Last fall, the registrar of societies found the former board had broken the law by illegally denying memberships and refusing to hold a special meeting when requested by the members.

The government ordered the board to re-instate members and hold a special meeting to elect a new board. It didn’t. And that meant the society was no longer in good standing under the act.

Getting the society back on track has been difficult. Seann Springford, elected president in December, resigned in February for personal reasons. Irwin, the vice-president, took his place.

The shelter is full and can’t accept any new animals, Amanda Farrell, shelter manager said this week. More animals will have to be adopted out before they can bring in new ones. The shelter is running on a day-to-day basis, she said. It costs around $20,000 or $30,000 per month to operate the Tlingit Street facility.

But members have been working hard to keep the society functioning. Recent fundraisers have generated about $8,500, said Linda Priestley, a board member who has been organizing fundraisers. Local businesses have also been supportive. One recently donated a washer and dryer.

But it’s still an “uphill battle,” Priestley said. Fences and kennels need repairs, and the heating and ventilation system at the shelter needs to be replaced. But members are committed to finding new ways to keep it going. They’ll be out bagging groceries at Extra Foods on Saturday.

And they’ll continue to work for the animals regardless of what happens at this month’s meeting, said Priestley. “We’re in it for the long haul,” she said.

Contact Meagan Gillmore at

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