Mae Bachur refusing new animals

The shelter, run by the Humane Society Yukon, is overloaded with puppies and doesn’t have enough space or money to take care of more animals, the society said in a release Monday.

The Mae Bachur Animal Shelter has stopped accepting animals.

The shelter, run by the Humane Society Yukon, is overloaded with puppies and doesn’t have enough space or money to take care of more animals, the society said in a release Monday.

The society will see whether it can accept new animals in two weeks, president Shelley Cuthbert said in an email.

The shelter “is not closing at this time,” and is not euthanizing any animals, the release says.

The shelter is currently housing 13 cats and 51 dogs, Cuthbert said. The shelter is still adopting out animals. Any new animals will need to be sent to Whitehorse bylaw officers or the government’s animal welfare officer, she said.

To save money, the shelter has laid off four staff. But what the organization really needs is new leadership, former staff say.

“As far as we knew, there’s always been a shortage of money. But we’ve never turned away animals,” said Hazel Phillips. She worked her last shift as an animal care attendant on Saturday. She learned she was being laid off when she came in for a volunteer shift on Friday.

It costs $450,000 a year to run the shelter, the release says. It spends $20,000 on employees’ wages a month, the release says.

The society receives $79,000 from the territorial government, with the remainder raised through fundraisers.

And lately, these fundraisers have been a “trainwreck,” said Mike Seed, a laid-off animal attendant.

“I think if the shelter is to survive another month, it’s unquestionable,” he said. Since Cuthbert became president in January, donations have “gone down to about zero,” he said.

“She’s running the place into the ground,” he said. “She just won’t call it quits.”

In September, the Yukon government ordered the society to hold a meeting to elect a new board by Oct. 5., after more than 20 per cent of the society’s members petitioned the board asking for this.

Last month, the society announced it would be holding its annual general meeting on Nov. 23. But this morning, Supreme Court Justice Leigh Gower decided to delay the meeting. The court will set the new date, said Tom Ullyett, assistant deputy minister of justice.

Shelter staff and board members will not be answering questions about the meeting, Cuthbert said in an email.

The board has flouted a government order to grant memberships to people who had theirs illegally denied. As a result, the society has been charged with not obeying government orders. 

The board’s actions are “obviously ruining the shelter in terms of funds, and the name of the shelter itself,” said Seed. “And I just think it’s so selfish to hold on to your position when you know it’s damaging such a fragile place like the Mae Bachur.”

Seed learned he was being laid off at the end of his Saturday shift. He had worked at the shelter since October 2011.

Once there’s a new board, he would return to work at the shelter, he said.

Phillips agrees.

“I would prefer for the AGM to happen, that a new board could be elected, and the shelter could stay open and animals could be adopted again,” she said.

“I really want the shelter to stay open because it’s where the animals go. Without the Mae Bachur, there’s no no-kill shelter in Whitehorse.”

Animals that the shelter has turned away have had to go to city bylaw services, she said. There were three turned away on Saturday, she said.

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 Employees’ Union says a lack of staff training and high turnover at the Whitehorse Emergency Shelter is creating a dangerous situation for underpaid workers. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon Employees’ Union says lack of training at emergency shelter leading to unsafe situations

Health and Social Services Minister Pauline Frost said the staffing policy “is evolving”

Justice Karen Wenckebach will begin serving as resident judge on the Yukon Supreme Court early next year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
All-female justice roster ‘a good step’ for diversity in Yukon Supreme Court

Karen Wenckebach is the third woman appointed to the Yukon Supreme Court in history

The Liberal government blocked a motion by Yukon Party MLA Brad Cathers that would have asked the federal government to provide the territories with more than a per capita amount of COVID-19 vaccine doses during initial distribution. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon Party says a per capita distribution of vaccines would leave Yukon short

The opposition is also asking the government to release their plan for vaccine distribution

asdf
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for Dec. 4, 2020

Dawson City’s BHB Storage facility experienced a break-and-enter last month, according to Yukon RCMP. (File photo)
Storage lockers damaged, items stolen in Dawson City

BHB Storage facility victim to second Dawson City break-and-enter last month

A sign outside the Yukon Inn Convention Centre indicates Yukoners can get a flu vaccine inside. As of Dec. 4, the vaccinations won’t be available at the convention centre. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Whitehorse Convention Centre ends flu vaccination service early

Flu vaccinations won’t be available at the Whitehorse Convention Centre after Dec.… Continue reading

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

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Nominations continue to be open for Northern Tutchone members of the White River First Nation to run for councillors in the 2021 election. (Maura Forrest/Yukon News File)
White River First Nation to elect new chief and council

Nominations continue to be open for Northern Tutchone members of the White… Continue reading

The Town of Watson Lake has elected John Devries as a new councillor in a byelection held Dec. 3. (Wikimedia Commons)
Watson Lake elects new councillor

The Town of Watson Lake has elected John Devries as a new… Continue reading

The new Little Salmon Carmacks First Nation council elected Dec. 1. (Submitted)
Little Salmon Carmacks elects new chief, council

Nicole Tom elected chief of Little Salmon Carcmacks First Nation

Submitted/Yukon News file
Yukon RCMP’s Historical Case Unit is seeking information related to the unsolved homicide of Allan Donald Waugh, 69, who was found deceased in his house on May 30, 2014.
Yukon RCMP investigating unsolved Allan Waugh homicide

Yukon RCMP’s Historical Case Unit is seeking information related to an unsolved… Continue reading

A jogger runs along Millenium Trail as the sun rises over the trees around 11 a.m. in Whitehorse on Dec. 12, 2018. The City of Whitehorse could soon have a new trail plan in place to serve as a guide in managing the more than 233 kilometres of trails the city manages. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
2020 trail plan comes forward

Policies and bylaws would look at e-mobility devices

Snow-making machines are pushed and pulled uphill at Mount Sima in 2015. The ski hill will be converting snow-making to electric power with more than $5 million in funding from the territorial and federal governments. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Mount Sima funded to cut diesel reliance

Mount Sima ski hill is converting its snowmaking to electric power with… Continue reading

Most Read