Tagish residents seek injunction to limit dogs at kennel
Ian Stewart/Yukon News
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?”