Whitehorse animal shelter gets new president

Seann Springford is the new president of the Mae Bachur Animal Shelter in Whitehorse following a court-ordered election this week to replace the board of directors.

Court-ordered election for board of directors held this week

CBC's Heather Avery reports from Whitehorse 1:58

Seann Springford is the new president of the Mae Bachur Animal Shelter in Whitehorse following a court-ordered election this week to replace the board of directors.

Newcomer Springford and past president Jordi Jones were nominated for president of the troubled animal shelter.   In the end, Springford won the vote, 51 to 45.

"I have been involved with the dog community for quite a few years, love dogs, love what the shelter stands for and I think I can provide something to it," said Springford.

"I tend to work on a consensus management style. I find that works best to get things done — not necessarily the quickest — and I think that might be what the shelter needs."

Local musher and dog handler Frank Turner was at the meeting. He said he's thrilled to see someone new in charge.

"He's got some experience in the community, he got a lot of support here, so I am really optimistic," he said. "I think he is going to be a great leader."

The election ends a long drawn-out fight for control of the Whitehorse animal shelter. It's been mired in controversy with rumours of infighting over the past few months.

"It's time to talk and it's time to get down to brass tacks," said Shelley Cuthbert, the former president of the shelter.

"This is not a time for personal vendettas. We have been saying that for months. No personal vendettas. So I think Seann will do well. He is the type of person, judging by his personality, that he'll do great."

Springford has a lot of work ahead of him. Right now, the shelter is broke and nine staff have been laid off. Donations are down by as much as $38,000. 

Springford has no timetable, saying his priority is to get the books in order so the shelter can start taking in animals again.