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July 31st, 2009, 12:39 PM

Humane society backs death-row dog in fight for life
Updated Fri. Jul. 31 2009 8:50 AM ET

The Canadian Press

WHITEHORSE, Yukon -- The Yukon Supreme Court is to hear its first capital case in living memory when a judge decides the fate of a dog who supporters say stands unjustly accused.

If they win, the German-shepherd-Rottweiler cross named Trevor will probably go to a new home in the bush outside Whitehorse.

If they lose, he will be destroyed.

"He's on death row," says Kevin Sinclair, the Whitehorse man who's already won one injunction to save the two-year old male with big brown eyes from that most dreaded of all vet visits.

"Trevor just got a raw deal," says Gerry Steers, president of the Yukon Humane Society. "That's why we're fighting to save his life."

Trevor entered the canine legal system last January when bylaw officers found him chained up outside a home. He had been abused and neglected to the point where his flesh was growing around his collar.

He was removed from the home and taken to the humane society's animal shelter, where he was nursed back to health and resocialized.

In May, he was adopted out to a woman, who would end up giving Trevor to her brother. But on July 14, the dog was accused of having bitten three people and was turned over to the city pound.

"(One victim) got out of his vehicle and the dog ran up and bit him on the arm -- no provocation," said John Taylor, Whitehorse's head of bylaw enforcement. "He broke the skin and bruised him quite badly."

Taylor declared Trevor a dangerous dog and Whitehorse bylaws stipulate that he should therefore be destroyed.

Trevor hadn't had a rabies shot, so the city had to hold him for 10 days to make sure he hadn't infected anyone.

That gave Sinclair time to act. He filed for a temporary injunction to save Trevor from being killed. The order was granted Tuesday.

On Aug. 6, Sinclair is to argue before a judge that Trevor's adoptive owner breached the contract she signed when she gave the dog to her brother. The contract says that when adoptions fail, the animal must be returned to the humane society.

Trevor belongs to the society, not the city, says Steers. And the society isn't prepared to give up on him without a fight.

Whitehorse has provisions to allow owners to keep dogs designated as dangerous if they are properly contained and muzzled. The status may be removed if the dog's behaviour remains good.

Sinclair and Speers say they've got experienced dog owners with proper facilities lined up to take Trevor home.

They question the conditions he was kept under in his adopted home, and point out that, up until he bit someone, Trevor seems to have been a good dog.

Even when he was chained, hungry and hurt, he presented no problem to the officer who rescued him from his original owner, they say. Shelter staff report he was friendly and calm during his time there.

At the pound, he's a favourite.

"We had a barbecue last week and we fed him hamburgers," says Taylor, who's got two adopted dogs himself. "He's a good skookum (courageous) dog."

Aug. 6 is probably Trevor's last chance. Steers says the humane society doesn't have the money to fight a protracted court battle.

Taylor says public safety has to come first.

"Because of the number of bites, we have concerns about that."

So if every dog has his day, Trevor's will have to be in court.

"If we don't win this," says Steers, "it's too bad, because (then) Trevor's gone."

July 31st, 2009, 12:40 PM
Poor dog, I hope he wins his case and is given to somebody who is experience with dogs who have been formally abused.

July 31st, 2009, 01:47 PM
poor dog! He was not given a fair shot, the people that had him are questionable at best, and he deserves a proper shot. Shame on the people that are willing to fight to kill him without a fair chance!

July 31st, 2009, 01:59 PM
I hope Trevor gets the opportunity he deserves, which is to live, and find a good home.:pray:

October 22nd, 2009, 01:30 PM

Yukon court spares dog's life
Biter to live under strict rules with any new owner


Last Updated: 22nd October 2009, 2:00am
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FacebookDiggDel.icio.usGoogleStumble UponNewsvineRedditTechnoratiFeed MeYahooSimpySquidooSpurlBlogmarksNetvouzScuttleSit ejot+ What are these? .WHITEHORSE -- Trevor the death row dog has been granted clemency by a Yukon court, and will be permitted to live as long at the Humane Society Yukon can find an owner willing to follow a strict management plan for the convicted canine.

After hearing testimony from a veterinarian hired to assess the German shepherd-Rottweiler cross, Yukon Supreme Court Justice Ron Veale has decided the dog will not be euthanized for biting several people.

"The owner has to be aware that the dog needs to be managed for life," the veterinarian, Shelley Breadner, said. "This is a dog with a disability that will be with him for life .... If (the owners) lapse in their management, then Trevor will lapse."

Trevor has been at the centre of a battle between the City of Whitehorse and the humane society since July, when the dog was brought to the city pound because he had bitten people without provocation.

The dog had been adopted from one of the humane society's shelters after being rescued from neglect by a bylaw officer. A metal chain around the dog's throat had been cinched so tightly for so long that it had grown into the soft skin at the back of his neck.

But Trevor was taken to the city pound within weeks of being adopted, after biting two people and lunging at others.

Trevor was slated for euthanization but his death was postponed by the court action filed by a local animal rights activist.

The report by veterinarian Breadner said Trevor was a dangerous dog and had to be treated as such for the rest of his life. She outlined the steps necessary to prevent him from being a risk.

October 22nd, 2009, 01:41 PM
I hope they find the right home for him. Not only was he abused and neglected, he apparently wasn't even given the proper evaluation when they adopted him out.

October 22nd, 2009, 02:16 PM
I hope they find the right home for him. Not only was he abused and neglected, he apparently wasn't even given the proper evaluation when they adopted him out.

It may not be the case that they did not evaluate appropriately. In many of the cases with dogs and cats in shelter environments, the evaluations are difficult because it is not a normal setting. Some animals are stressed more so than others and they develop coping mechanisms to unusual environments. Not all readings or testing are 100% accurate - it is next to impossible.

I have evaluated hundreds of dogs in shelters and though I can read them pretty well, I cannot say that it is fool proof. I have had some dogs that were tested by 2 or more people due to uncertainty and yet the reading will be the same in the end.

I would also like to make one more very important statement. Even if the dog bit 3 people unprovoked, something triggered this behaviour. Things like this does not happen for no reason - it just does not. There is an underligning explanation for this and it is not hopeless. Living with a GSD for 11 years that would be considered a 'dangerous dog', was in fact a very loving and loyal companion. He needed constant positive reinforcement EVERY DAY for 11 years that he was with me. It is workable and does not mean that dogs that bite should die. I am NOT a believer in this at all. The problem lies with finding the right, experienced homes that is difficult. If that one person is willing and able to help a dog, things do turn around.

October 22nd, 2009, 02:20 PM
BenMax, that's a good point. He was stressed before he got there, and no doubt stressed when he was there.

Hopefully, his next owner will know how to take care of him.

I don't like the practice of putting down a dog that bites. I've always thought, there had to be a reason. An adult approached the dog the wrong way, made a movement that the dog saw as threatening, a child perhaps poked the dog or pulled it's tail. So many reasons. Heck, if someone poked me, or made a move towards me I find threatening, I'm going to defend myself.

October 22nd, 2009, 02:29 PM
I agree. It also depends on the dogs severity of the bite. Many dogs use their mouth to give a warning, and a lot of times - skin isn't even broken for people to consider having the animal PTS. Very sad.

October 22nd, 2009, 02:35 PM
And really in a case like that where he was abused and neglected he may have lashed out simply because these people in some way reminded him of the bad owners. I'm glad he's getting another chance...I'm sure someone will fall in love with him and care for him the way he deserves!:goodvibes::pray:

October 22nd, 2009, 04:09 PM
I was reading about Trevor this morning and I hope he'll get a better life with someone.
If I had been,chained,not fed and otherwise abused,I probably would bite too:pawprint:

November 25th, 2009, 11:04 AM
An update on poor Trevor :wall:

November 25th, 2009, 11:11 AM
This poor dog needs lady luck on his side. What was that woman thinking?:wall:

November 25th, 2009, 01:14 PM
Why is it that dogs pay for what stupid humans do :yell: :wall: :sad:

November 25th, 2009, 05:51 PM
You would think that expecially an animal that has had a rough life, they wouldl fight tooth and nail. I mean that is one of the sole reasons why people do rescue, work for a animal welfare agency. To hopefully show that there is a good life out there, care for the outcasts of society, that we made outcasts. To give animals a second chance. I think we owe it to the unwanted animals, to show them all of the above. But just like everything else, we crate a problem, get irriated with it and just disreguard or come up appauling solutions and then place blame on everyone and everything else. I believe that every tough animal, should be seriously worked with, and ask questions "why is this dog aggressive? It is fear, etc?

Sadly shelters are failing our animals. We are the people to be there for them, not shun them.