Judge gives pooch a break

Trevor the dog will live a little longer. At a court hearing Thursday, the German shepherd/Rottweiler was spared from euthanasia until a licensed dog trainer can determine just how dangerous he is.

Trevor the dog will live a little longer.

At a court hearing Thursday, the German shepherd/Rottweiler was spared from euthanasia until a licensed dog trainer can determine just how dangerous he is.

Trevor’s fate will be decided at a court case on September 22, after it has been evaluated whether or not the dog can be rehabilitated.

Whitehorse resident Kevin Sinclair brought the case to the Supreme Court when he learned the city’s animal shelter was going to kill the dog.

Matthew Allaby handed Trevor over to the pound on July 15 for him to be euthanized after he attacked his landlord, Paul Sheridan and three of his friends, he claimed.

But the humane society, which joined Sinclair in his case against the Whitehorse bylaw services branch, said Allaby didn’t have the right to have the dog euthanized because he was not the owner.

The humane society used the issue of ownership to leverage a case against sentencing the dog to death.

In the application to adopt the dog from the humane society, Tamara Allaby, Matthew’s sister, was listed as the primary caretaker, not Matthew.

“There was no secondary household address given and the brother was mentioned (on the application), but not that he would be a caretaker,” said Rachel Westfall, the humane society board member who represented the case in court.

Tamara broke the rules of the adoption contract when she handed the dog over to her brother, said Westfall.

“Our position is that the humane society became the default owner when Tamara Allaby broke the contractual agreement.”

Citing the animal control bylaw, Westfall argued that the city, before it took the dog from Matthew and decided it would euthanize the dog, should have first contacted the humane society.

‘The city of Whitehorse didn’t give notice to the owners that Trevor was a dangerous dog, as required under city bylaws,” said Westfall.

The contract shouldn’t be relevant, said lawyer Lori Lavoie, who represented the city in court.

“When looking at the definition of an ‘owner’ (in the animal control bylaws), it is ‘any person that owns or possesses or has controlled care or custody over the animal’, so anyone caring for it at that particular time” she said.

And if a dog is automatically considered dangerous by a bylaw officer, then a notice to the owner is not necessary, she added.

But the humane society should have been involved in the discussion, said Judge Randall Wong.

“By contract the humane society is at least a putative owner and therefore has an interest in Trevor and a role to play in what happens (to him),” said Wong

Due to the number of attacks traced back to Trevor, Wong ordered a licensed dog trainer mutually agreed upon by both the city and humane society to decide whether the dog could be rehabilitated.

“Having Trevor assessed will be helpful in regards to whether the stay should be lifted,” he said.

An order to stay the euthanasia was given to Welland and Sinclair on the condition that certain requirements be met, including the dog be kept in isolation at the humane society shelter, be taken out only if he is on a short leash and with a muzzle, and that the shelter have insurance up to $500,000 to cover any possible future injuries.

“If the assessment comes back favourably, then hopefully it can be resolved between the city and the humane society,” said Lavoie.

“If it comes back unfavourably then a decision will have to be made.”

During a court recess, Sinclair said he felt the judge’s decision was “fair.”

“Trevor will get assessed and if (the assessment) comes back negative then everybody has to take their medicine,” he said.

John Taylor, manager of bylaw services also saw the outcome as “a win for everybody,” but maintains the safety of citizens is still his primary concern.

Contact Vivian Belik at

vivianb@yukon-news.com

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

Just Posted

In a Feb. 17 statement, the City of Whitehorse announced it had adopted the what3words location technology used for emergency response. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Three words could make all the difference in an emergency

City of Whitehorse announced it had adopted the what3words location technology

Jesse Whelen, Blood Ties Four Directions harm reduction councillor, demonstrates how the organization tests for fentanyl in drugs in Whitehorse on May 12, 2020. The Yukon Coroner’s Service has confirmed three drug overdose deaths and one probable overdose death since mid-January. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Three overdose deaths caused by “varying levels of cocaine and fentanyl,” coroner says

Heather Jones says overdoses continue to take lives at an “alarming rate”

Wyatt's World for Feb. 24, 2021.
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for Feb. 24, 2021.

Approximately 30 Yukoners protest for justice outside the Whitehorse courthouse on Feb. 22, while a preliminary assault hearing takes place inside. The Whitehorse rally took place after the Liard Aboriginal Women’s Society, based in Watson Lake, put out a call to action over the weekend. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Courthouse rally denounces violence against Indigenous women

The Whitehorse rally took place after the Liard Aboriginal Women’s Society put out a call to action

Susie Rogan is a veteran musher with 14 years of racing experience and Yukon Journey organizer. (Yukon Journey Facebook)
Yukon Journey mushers begin 255-mile race

Eleven mushers are participating in the race from Pelly Crossing to Whitehorse

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. As the legislature prepares to return on March 4, the three parties are continuing to finalize candidates in the territory’s 19 ridings. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Nine new candidates confirmed in Yukon ridings

It has been a busy two weeks as the parties try to firm up candidates

David Malcolm, 40, has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm a police officer after an incident in Whitehorse on Feb. 18. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Man resists arrest, assaults officer

A Whitehorse man has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm… Continue reading

Yukon Energy in Whitehorse on Aug. 4, 2020. A site on Robert Service Way near the Alaska Highway has been selected as the future home of Yukon Energy’s energy storage project. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Site selected for Yukon Energy battery project

Planned to be in service by the end of 2022

The Yukon government and the Yukon First Nations Chamber of Commerce have signed a letter of understanding under the territory’s new procurement policy. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
First Nation business registry planned under new procurement system

Letter of understanding signals plans to develop registry, boost procurement opportunities

US Consul General Brent Hardt during a wreath-laying ceremony at Peace Arch State Park in September 2020. Hardt said the two federal governments have been working closely on the issue of appropriate border measures during the pandemic. (John Kageorge photo)
New U.S. consul general says countries working closely on COVID-19 border

“I mean, the goal, obviously, is for both countries to get ahead of this pandemic.”

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Start of spring sitting announced

The Yukon legislature is set to resume for the spring sitting on… Continue reading

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

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse City Council this week

Most Read