Trevor case receives final adjournment
The Humane Society Yukon has one last chance to find Trevor the dog a permanent foster home.
The Humane SocietyYukon has one last chance to find Trevor the dog a permanent foster home.
At a Yukon Supreme Court hearing held Tuesday morning, the society’s lawyer, Carrie Burbidge, asked the judge for one more month to secure a home for the German shepherd-Rottweiler cross who has been the focus of a year-long legal tangle.
The adjournment was granted, but both the city’s lawyer and Justice Ron Veale made it clear this will be the final adjournment on the matter.
“The city does not want to keep coming back to this,” said Whitehorse’s lawyer, Lori Lavoie.
If the current foster application doesn’t work out, she indicated, she would make an application to stop the back-and-forth between the humane society and the city.
Whitehorse has already put “an incredible amount of time and resources” into Trevor’s case,” Lavoie said, adding, “I don’t even want to get into the amount of money.”
She said the current prospective foster owner is the last one the city will consider.
“It’s not prepared to go through this process indefinitely,” she said of the city’s position.
“Nor am I,” Veale responded.
Trevor first came to public attention when he was rescued from a neglectful owner by a city bylaw officer.
He was later fostered out by the Mae Bachur Animal Shelter, but was returned to the city pound by a member of his foster family who said he lunged at and bit a number of people.
The city planned to put the dog down, as it does with all aggressive animals brought to its pound, but was stopped by a court order.
Local animal rights advocate Kevin Sinclair filed a petition with the Supreme Court challenging the city’s right to kill the animal.
He was soon joined by the shelter, which successfully claimed the dog was its property and therefore could not be destroyed without its permission.
Since then, Trevor has been assessed by an animal behaviour expert who says he is and always will be a safety liability, but can be controlled and at least partially rehabilitated under a strict training regiment.
Finding Trevor an appropriate home has not been an easy task for the humane society, largely because of a stipulation that he must live within city limits.
But other aspects of the court order, such as the size and type of yard Trevor needs, exclude pretty much every property in the city, as the humane society has pointed out in past hearings.
In response, the city has said the dog can leave Whitehorse, but only with the blessing of his new neighbours, which is why the last foster home fell through.
Up until last week, the humane society was planning to send the dog to live with a Burwash Landing resident. However, a letter from the Kluane First Nation, received Monday, put an end to that plan.
“Kluane First Nation cannot support Trevor relocating to Burwash Landing,” the letter reads.
Now, another potential foster owner has stepped up to the plate.
Ibex Valley resident Len McGuinness “has decades of experience working with dogs like Trevor,” Burbidge told the court.
McGuinness, who was in court Tuesday, said Trevor is “an awesome dog. Better than most of the dogs running around the Yukon.”
McGuinness, who lives on a 21-acre property, said he has visited Trevor a number of times, but has kept his distance “in case it doesn’t work out. I don’t want to get too attached.”
McGuinness has taken in at least one dog like Trevor in the past, “and now he’s just a big tit,” he said with a grin.
The Ibex Valley’s local advisory council will hold a meeting in the next two weeks to find out if residents would accept Trevor into their neighbourhood, the court heard Tuesday.