Donations to Whitehorse animal shelter down

Donations to the Mae Bachur animal shelter are down by as much as $38,000. Many people seem wary of donating because the fight to control the shelter is before the courts.

Many wary of donating to shelter, which has had legal problems for months

Donations to the Mae Bachur animal shelter are down by as much as $38,000 3:06

Donations to the Mae Bachur animal shelter are down by as much as $38,000.

The embattled shelter is now out of money and not accepting new animals.

Some people are wary of making a donation because the fight for control of the shelter is before the Yukon Supreme Court.

Shelley Cuthbert, the president of the shelter, said unless they get more money, the shelter could close.

Shelley Cuthbert, president of the Mae Bachur Animal Shelter in Whitehorse said sending the surplus puppies south was well timed to reduce the risk of a parvovirus outbreak. (CBC)

"There has been a change in donations and there has been drastic decrease. However, it's about the animals and as a result of the negative publicity and everything that is being posted, there has been a detrimental impact to the humane society and the animal shelter," she said.

The Feed Store in Whitehorse is one business which supports the animal shelter by matching customer donations.

"The biggest concern, I think, is that they don't want any of their donations to be going towards legal fees with the shelter’s current situation happening. So when they donate, we just tell them specifically that it goes to a credit toward their account for purchasing pet products," said Megan Bradley, who works for the store.

Shelter battle in court today

The fight over control of the Mae Bachur Animal Shelter resumes today in Yukon Supreme Court.

Documents filed in preparation for the court hearing paint a dismal picture of the shelter.

Cuthbert concedes the shelter is broke and said nine staffers have been laid off to date,.

Emails forwarded from former board members confirm the shelter will be lucky to pay remaining staff through the month of December.

Cuthbert said unless volunteers want to work every day for free, the shelter will close.

"For an example, the cost to take care of an animal here for two weeks - that includes the cost of staff wages. And people forget that staff have to take care of the animals because we don't have enough volunteers to work here full-time, and in order to provide optimum care we need full-time staff," she said.

Meanwhile, patrons who have been barred from the facility hope a court order today will force Cuthbert out of the job.

They're planning an emergency rescue campaign over Christmas to get the facility back on its feet.