The Mae Bachur Animal Shelter has 40 dogs sharing 18 kennels, and 10 cats.
It’s so overcrowded staff are packing three dogs to a kennel.
“And it’s turning away animals everyday,” said Arthur Mitchell.
Standing outside the shelter on Friday, with dogs barking in the background, the Liberal leader promised to increase the shelter’s annual government funding by 50 per cent – to $120,000 from $80,000.
“Animals serve us in many ways as pets, companions, friends and working animals,” he said.
“And it’s time we did more to look after them.”
The Liberals are also promising to set up a one-year fundraising campaign to build a new, bigger animal shelter. A Liberal government would match all proceeds donated to the shelter for this purpose, up to $1 million, he said.
Most animals in the communities also face a lower standard of care than those in Whitehorse, said Mitchell.
“And we will move aggressively to address that.”
The Liberals are promising to establish a travelling vet clinic that will visit every Yukon community three times a year. “Yukon pets shouldn’t suffer just because they live in rural communities instead of the capital,” said Mitchell.
The Liberals are also planning to work with Yukon College to develop an animal care course to better educate animal owners and caregivers.
There are also problems with the Yukon’s Animal Act, said Mitchell, citing media accounts of animals being kept in horrendous conditions.
“We are going to review all existing legislation,” he said.
Porter Creek North Liberal candidate Dawn Beauchemin had “a wonderful cat from the shelter.”
“Where would we be without the shelter?” she said.
“I am glad to see the Liberals doing their part.”
Mitchell also owns a rescue dog, but it’s not from the shelter.
He got the dog from folks who were moving away and couldn’t keep it.
“No matter what happens in the legislature, the dog still loves me when I get home,” said Mitchell with the laugh.
Contact Genesee Keevil at firstname.lastname@example.org