Yukon News

Tagish residents seek injunction to limit dogs at kennel

Pierre Chauvin Friday May 12, 2017

Ian Stewart/Yukon News

dogs.jpg

Dogs in Shelley Cuthbert’s Any Domesticated Animal Rescue and Boarding Kennels in Tagish are seen in 2012. Some nearby residents are asking the courts to put a cap on the number of dogs that can stay on the property.

Tagish residents suing their neighbour over a dog kennel are asking Yukon Supreme Court to limit the number of dogs that can stay on the property.

In an application filed May 11, the residents are asking that Shelley Cuthbert be allowed to have a maximum of five dogs on her property and that they be kept inside from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.

Stefan Ludwik Angerer, Ursula Angerer, Leopold Selinger, Edeltraud Selinger, Gerry McGraw and Stefan Landfriend sued Cuthbert back in November 2016, arguing her kennel had become a nuisance and seeking to put a stop to it.

Cuthbert operates Any Domesticated Animal Rescue and Boarding Kennels.

The injunction would only apply until a trial on the matter takes place.

Lanfried filed an affidavit including articles from the News in which Cuthbert was quoted as saying she had 29 dogs in 2012 and more than 80 back in November 2016.

Lanfried, who rents out cabins on his property, also included letters from tourists who rented the cabin and complained about the noise dogs made.

“We could not understand how this was (a) residential area,” wrote Benjamin Betschart. “We figured it must be more than 20 dogs barking at the same time for hours non stop!”

In his affidavit, Lanfried wrote he suffered “irreparable harm” from the noise because he can’t enjoy his property or sleep properly.

Selinger too filed an affidavit including a detailed monthly log over the past four years of dog disturbances.

At the beginning of the log for 2016 he writes:

“It is always loud at day and night (barking, howling and fighting). Most nights we get four to five hours of sleep with interruption. Very often aggressive dogs came to our place and we were not able to go out of the house.”

Cuthbert didn’t respond to a request for comment. But one of Cuthbert’s friends, who identified herself as Karen Richardson, emailed the News to defend Cuthbert.

Richardson accused people in the area — but did not say who — of harassing Cuthbert by flashing car lights at the dogs and honking in an effort to make the dogs bark to then videotape them.

“I have seen videos online and know the dogs were not just barking as dogs occasionally do,” Richardson wrote. “They are provoked.”

Richardson painted Cuthbert’s kennel as an essential service in the community, writing that at times Cuthbert takes care of dogs that were originally dropped off for a few days but the owner never came back to claim them, at her own costs.

She expressed concerns about what would happen were the injunction successful.

“She does so much to help these four-legged creatures when this community can’t be bothered to take care of the dogs they adopted to begin with,” Richardson wrote.

“If a judge limits her to five (dogs) then what will happen to these babies?”

Contact Pierre Chauvin at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

17 Comments

Ross wrote:
3:50pm Monday May 15, 2017

Okay now this is crazy she goes from being told she helps animals to a severe hoarder. Let’s put an end to that accusation real quick. I have been around Shelley’s place since she moved there. The dogs are cared for fed well, well socialized, troublesome dogs are worked with , many dogs have moved on to new homes, yard cleaned up etc. I see happy healthy dogs that are not in small cages defecating, urinating all over themselves and not cleaned up. They are brushed and groomed just not bathed regularly who would it is outside area, they are in the house at night except for about 10 dogs they are all house trained, crate trained , receive attention when they want it. So how doea that make her a hoarder? Dogs leave when the right fit comes along or get transfered to rescues when space is available they receive vet care etc what more do you want. Ugh stop with all the unfounded allegations and start coming up with solutions

jean wrote:
2:03pm Monday May 15, 2017

“Rescued” dogs frequently have issues with children because all too often they came from a situation where irresponsible adults neglected the dog when it was no longer a cute puppy, and did nothing to stop children from tormenting the dog.  The tormenting and abuse by children continues until the dog naturally begins to defend itself and growls or snaps at the nasty little humans.  At that point the adults decide to get rid of the dog and it ends up in a shelter.

Nearly all problems with dogs are caused by irresponsible humans.

There are some other issues there wrote:
11:24am Monday May 15, 2017

1.) Individuals are not taking responsibility for their pets.
2) Shelley Cuthbert has a severe animal hoarding problem and animal welfare laws (lack thereof), combined with the lack of Tagish having any bylaw in the community, leaves it up to who?  As long as she’s feeding and watering the dogs, nothing can be done under the law.  Suing won’t solve the real problem.

3) The woman needs help.  Hoarding is why the dogs don’t get advertised. Shelley in her mind is “saving them” by keeping them with her. She cannot let them go, even if they are good dogs with very few issues.  That’s the hoarders mentality.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_hoarding

Shelley’s place has been a known issue for years. But there are very few people who actually want to deal with the “dog problem”. It’s actually a human problem. The dogs are doing nothing wrong. They are dogs who deserve to live just like the rest of the animals. Look to Ross River as another glaring example of what happens when individuals do not take responsibility. YG has a $250 per female dog spay program in place but people still let their dogs breed! What to do??? Community culls don’t work. Culled dogs are replaced with couple breeding females. It never ends.  Fixing ALL the female dogs in a given community might help for a time. But YTG programs won’t work. People are just too lazy or irresponsible. Many people get dogs when they can’t even care for themselves.  Where is the champion for this cause?

We should be helping Shelley (and the pets in the Yukon) by working together to help get every single community animal spayed/neutered. Someone needs to go to that house in Tagish, SEE HOW THEY ARE LIVING (including Shelley), and decide if that’s ok or illegal.

If we worked together in a caring spirit this problem might be able to be solved. Blaming Shelley won’t do a single thing. Change the law! 

We need to take responsibility for the problem WE created.

Tim wrote:
6:25am Monday May 15, 2017

Question for all the haters on here
Why is this place always under fire when there are mushing teams with multiple dogs living on the same Rd as her and behind her? Doesn’t make sense. There is also farm animals in the area lots of loose dogs on the same Rd yet this place seems to be taking the heat for everyone’s dogs and animals that run loose, bark and defecate like animals do. Just curious

Alan wrote:
8:39am Sunday May 14, 2017

Shelley is more than a taxpayer. She was fined $3800 last year for selling a dog that wasn’t hers. That’s commitment.

Heike wrote:
9:31pm Saturday May 13, 2017

Dear, Joy, just to give you some background information, the dog you are referring to has been a mistreated dog which I, Heike, not Stefan, took in in my house,not Stefans house, in order to provide a home, Unfortunately did this dog threaten my 5 year old daughter and her peers. To deal responsibly with this situation, I asked for the help of a dogtrainer, recommanded by Shelley. After assessing our situation and the dogs behaviour, this trainer recommened to find another home for this dog, as he clearly is not compatible with little children. Her words: “to keep this dog will set you both up for failure.” To spell this out: Failure in this case would have meant: a dog bigger than my daughter would have attacked her or her friends- Attacked as in bitten, who knows how badly….. to throw my story in Stefan’s face is not correct, the dog never lived in his home. And really, Joy, if push comes to shove I rather decide for the well being of my daughter than the well being of a dog.And this is how I would explain that to my daughter. Having said all that: Please, from now on, leave my daughter out of this. Thank you!

Joy wrote:
10:39am Saturday May 13, 2017

To the pple bashing Shelley number one dogs are advertised for adoption just scroll her page 2 the Humane Society issue was started by a contractor who breached hia contract therefore terminated but pple did not see this and ignored the underlying issue. 3 nobody really knows her so before you judge her and the place go and take a look meet her talk with her then for a judgement

yukoner wrote:
8:54am Saturday May 13, 2017

I bet all you Cuthbert apologists would be writing different comments if she and her menagerie were YOUR neighbor.  I don’t care if someone is a seasonal resident, has Germans for customers at their B&B, whatever.  Property owners have a right to enjoy peace and quiet.
Cuthberts past speaks for itself.

susan wrote:
12:59am Saturday May 13, 2017

Personally I think enough is enough Horse shit going on here.  One claims loosing bed and breakfast customers due to the rescue.  Question why now would that come up when she has been a tax payer there longer then four years?    Assuming the clients you are referring to have stayed at your place of business year after year.  Your business dropping could have something to do with new establishments with the same services in the area.  As far as dogs being limited to five that will mean all animal rescues, Mushers, and all Yukon residents.  The judge or her legal advisor could request your financial statements ( 7 years back) to access the loss,  the drop in business taking in account when new businesses started in the surrounding area with similar services offered.  Another question the surnames wonder if they all have Canadian Citizen Ship and are permanent year around residents of the area or seasonal?

Sara wrote:
12:35am Saturday May 13, 2017

This is an essential service managed by a compassionate individual. She prioritizes the needs of animals that would otherwise suffer, be abandoned, or would not fit in elsewhere. The needs of our community for such a resource seem to outweigh the rationals of a few local neighbours. As a dog lover and helping professional in our community, I believe that Shelley’s livelihood and organization should not be compromised due to upset neighbours. I believe that people need to move on or come to a more logical agreement. The well-being of dozens of animals should outweigh the need for tranquil tourism ventures (in this location).

Alli wrote:
6:14pm Friday May 12, 2017

Are people able to adopt straight from Shelley? I haven’t had a dog for a few years now and am thinking about getting one. I don’t have children, so I have the time and commitment to take on a rescue dog.

jean wrote:
4:57pm Friday May 12, 2017

Richardson wrote.“If a judge limits her to five (dogs) then what will happen to these babies?”

This sort of foolish, unrealistic, anthropomorphism is the basis of the problem.  They are DOGS not “babies”.  Dogs are not an endangered species.  This foolish notion that every unwanted dog must be saved from being euthanized is what’s causing the problem.

It’s the 80+ dogs at the kennel that’s causing the annoying disturbance.  It would be realistic for a judge to limit every resident to a maximum of 20 dogs.  Then Richardson and other people can take some of the dogs and the problem would be solved.

The Territorial Government should seriously consider offering euthanization services through local vets so that unwanted dogs can be treated humanely, instead of penned in a shelter kennel eating ‘no-name’ kibble for the rest of their lives.

Finally, before some do-gooder gets all self-rightously judgemental, I will remind them that my dog came from a rescue shelter.

Devon wrote:
4:48pm Friday May 12, 2017

I would like to point out that I follow this group on social media and I have never seen her advertise that a dog is ready for a new home or needs a home or anything. She wants all this help and says it’s a lot for her but she brings it on herself

Bobby Bitman wrote:
3:30pm Friday May 12, 2017

The law steps in when basic decency, intelligence and common sense fails.  Having 29 or 80 dogs on a small lot in a residential neighbourhood is patently ridiculous and completely ignorant.  But hey, that’s Shelley.  She can never be wrong, that’s the defining feature here.

I don’t know whether she loves a fight or what her issue is, but I hope the law steps in and stops the bs so the people living in her neighbourhood can finally be at peace again.

Look at the court battle it took to get Shelley out of the Humane Society, where she did not acknowledge the rules of the Societies Act, even after being repeatedly ordered to follow them by the court.  She is a piece of work.  I don’t believe she ever admitted a shred of wrong doing in her tenure as the president of the Humane Society, even though she was found guilty in a court of law.  She just fought and fought.  Is there a diagnosis for this?

That said, I do recognize the good Shelley does for the dogs.  I just wonder if it’s more of a foil for her to engage in her drama than it is about the welfare of animals.

BnR wrote:
3:06pm Friday May 12, 2017

Joy
Awesome comment, I’m amazed you could hold your breath for so long.

Tagish1 wrote:
3:04pm Friday May 12, 2017

Joy Obviously you are not subjected to this non stop terrorism spend a night or two listening to the never ending noise . Maybe I could practice my electric guitar in your backyard at 2 am then you might have an idea .when you will realize this is not personal

Joy wrote:
1:47pm Friday May 12, 2017

Ask Stefan how he is going to explain to his daughter why her dog that he refused to care for will be euthanized if he succeeds pretty sad that pple have nothing better to do but harass this women daily and provoke the dogs maybe pple should take care of their animals then there would be no need for this place

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