Kennel owner didn't need to kill dogs, Yukon humane society says

'We were basically waiting for the animals to come,' said Dan Moore, executive director of Humane Society Yukon. 'I’m not sure what happened.'

Shelley Cuthbert says she euthanized 10 dogs last week to comply with court order

Shelley Cuthbert at her Tagish kennel in 2016. Cuthbert says she euthanized 10 of her dogs last week to comply with a court order. (Paul Tukker/CBC)

The executive director of Humane Society Yukon says his organization could have found homes for any dogs surrendered by Shelley Cuthbert's Tagish kennel.

Dan Moore says he expected a bunch of Cuthbert's dogs to arrive at the Mae Bachur animal shelter in Whitehorse last week. Cuthbert is under a court order to shut down her kennel and surrender most of her animals to Yukon's Animal Health Unit over the coming months.

Cuthbert says she surrendered 10 animals to the government last week, as required, and was given the OK to have them euthanized herself, by her vet. She told CBC News the dogs died "in my arms." 

The Animal Health Unit won't confirm whether the animals were in fact killed, and Moore doesn't know either.

"We were basically waiting for the animals to come," said Moore. "I'm not sure what happened. I don't know for sure what happened to the animals."

​​After losing her court case last year, Cuthbert said that she would rather euthanize her dogs than turn them over to another facility. She says some of her dogs have behavioural issues, and could never be adopted out. 

'It's sad,' says head of Humane Society Yukon

'I'm not sure what the issues are. We're here for the animals, we're not here for egos,' said Humane Society Yukon executive director Dan Moore. (Humane Society Yukon)

Moore is not so sure, although he admits that he doesn't know anything about Cuthbert's dogs or what their needs are. He also doesn't know why Cuthbert wouldn't let his shelter get involved.

"I'm not sure what the issues are. We're here for the animals, we're not here for egos. We're not here for anything else other than trying to find good homes for the animals," he said.

"It's unfortunate that that's the situation that's happened. It's sad."

Moore says, in the past, the Whitehorse shelter has sent problem dogs to other shelters in B.C. and "there's been nothing but successes."

"That's what they do on a constant basis, is dealing with difficult, aggressive animals," said Moore. "And they've been able to turn them around and get them into homes that are accepting of the situation."

Cuthbert is required to surrender another 10 dogs by Mar. 15. Moore hopes to see those animals make it to his shelter.

"We have fosters in place, we have trainers here locally that are willing to jump in and help," he said. "I'm just hoping that the next time around, we can do what's best for the animals — and not individuals."

With files from Sandi Coleman and Alexandra Byers