Shelley Cuthbert is going back to court to keep more than two dogs on her Tagish property. (Mike Thomas/Yukon News file)

Tagish dog rescue owner Shelley Cuthbert files appeal

‘If they are sentenced to death by the courts then they will die in my arms’

Shelley Cuthbert is going back to court in an effort to save her Tagish dog rescue, calling a judge’s order last month limiting her to keeping no more than two dogs on her property “draconian.”

In a two-page document filed Nov. 6, Cuthbert appealed the injunction granted by Yukon Supreme Court Justice Leigh Gower Oct. 11 that would dramatically decrease the number of animals she’s allowed to keep. Cuthbert reportedly had up to 80 dogs at her rescue at one point and is believed to have about 50 to 60 now.

The injunction, which gave Cuthbert four months to comply with the conditions, was the result of a successful lawsuit by six of her neighbours who testified during the four-day trial in September that the noise from the rescue was seriously disrupting their quality of life.

It also orders Cuthbert to keep her dogs inside between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. and requires her and any future owners of the property to go through a special application and consultation process should they wish to keep more dogs.

In her notice of appeal, Cuthbert asks that “the judgement of the trial judge to be set aside or in the alternative, that the order granted as a remedy by the trial judge be amended to be less draconian measures or in the alternative that a new hearing be ordered to determine the appropriate remedy.”

In an email, Cuthbert said she will be representing herself again “but consulting with an attorney,” adding that there have been “a few attorneys that have offered to assist on their own time and I hope they will continue.”

“The dogs will always be priority and I will fight for their rights till [sic] the end. I do believe in the rescue and what it represents,” Cuthbert wrote. “As a [sic] owner the dogs are my responsibility and I will stay with them till [sic] the end. If they are sentenced to death by the courts then they will die in my arms not a strangers [sic] arms.”

In a phone interview, Graham Lang, who represented Cuthbert’s neighbours in the lawsuit, said that he will be filing a notice of appearance later this week and intends to “strenuously” defend the injunction.

Contact Jackie Hong at

Animal shelterTagishYukon courts