Yukon North Of Ordinary

News archive for September 7, 2012

Animal shelter organizing big fund-raising venture

The Mae Bachur Animal Shelter is preparing for a major fund-raising event scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 15.

By Ainslie Cruickshank on September 7, 2012 at 3:54 pm


Photo by Whitehorse Star

Shelley Cuthbert

The Mae Bachur Animal Shelter is preparing for a major fund-raising event scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 15.

The event will be hosted at the Kwanlin Dun potlatch house and will feature education sessions by New York’s Rescue Ink team.

Rescue Ink is a volunteer-run organization that goes into organizations and homes to rescue abused and neglected animals.

The group was featured on a National Geographic television show.

The three founding members will be in Whitehorse for the event, along with three other volunteers.

Along with their education sessions on both the Saturday and Sunday of next weekend, the Rescue Ink team will be advocating against breed-specific legislation, Shelley Cuthbert, the shelter’s executive director, said today.

While no breed-specific legislation is under review in the Yukon, it is in B.C., and Cuthbert said they just want to make sure it doesn’t make its way north.

Breed-specific legislation looks at banning specific breeds such as pit bulls.

Along with Rescue Ink, controversial trainer Brad Pattison will also be back in Whitehorse next week for the fund-raiser. He will be hosting hiking and street safety training sessions.

Several letters published this summer in the Star described Pattison’s methods as overly-aggressive.

Asked why the shelter decided to invite Pattison back after a public outcry from residents concerned about his methods, Cuthbert said:

“The reason we brought him back is because his training methods have been proven, he did nothing that crossed the line that could be construed as abusive.

“We did have the animal welfare officer present to put all that stuff at bay, and the animal welfare officer did not see anything wrong with what he was doing.

“Yes, Brad is controversial; however, he is very good at what he does. We also brought in one of his assistants to train the staff.

“The staff are feeling much more confident in how to deal with some of the dogs’ behaviours that they come across and prevents them from being injured.”

Cuthbert said they’d be happy if they raised between $5,000 and $10,000 for the shelter over next weekend’s events.

Most of the cost of bringing up Rescue Ink and Pattison was covered by corporate sponsors.

Cuthbert said she couldn’t say yet how much the shelter would have to cover until the finally numbers are tallied after the event.

In another fund-raising initiative, this time international in scope, the shelter is participating in Pedigree’s Adoption Drive campaign.

Pedigree has donated $5,000 to the shelter to help with adoption-related activities. Over the course of the campaign, Pedigree will donate more than $1 million to animal shelters across the country.

“It’s a lot of advertising, marketing and assisting with the adoption of our animals into forever homes,” said Cuthbert.

CommentsAdd a comment

Katherine Champagne

Sep 9, 2012 at 8:19 am

If Mr Pattison’s methods are so successful, Calgary would be awash with his trainers. That doesn’t seem to be the case now. The market appears to have spoken, loud and clear.

Yvette Van Veen

Sep 9, 2012 at 11:25 am

Re: Training techniques being “proven”.  I would respectfully request that evidence be given showing that these techniques are more effective.
A wide body of research shows that confrontational methods are LESS effective, can trigger side effects and can trigger aggression.  It triggers dogs to bite their owners.

If someone makes a statement of fact, I would like to see it substantiated.  For example, here is one link to substantiate what I have said.  I can provide many more if you would like.


Meira Frankl

Sep 9, 2012 at 11:47 am

I am very surprised that a Humane Society would host a very inhumane dog ‘trrainer’ to teach staff how to manage dogs who have already been through very tough situations. 

I hope you consider some other options when many of these dogs come back into the shelter system.

I am praying that Rescue Ink puts Brad in his place, and confronts him about his abusive training methods.

Leah Roberts

Sep 9, 2012 at 12:14 pm

Proven to do what?  Shut dogs down in fear to the point of where they appear to be “obedient?”  You seriously want to feature a “trainer” (in quotes for a reason) who explains in his latest book how to properly hit a dog in the face?  Who has admitted to having absolutely no education in dog behavior and doesn’t understand the most basic principles of behavior modification and learning theory?  You do realize that boycotts follow Pattison supporters like flies follow garbage?

Kim Campbell

Sep 9, 2012 at 12:40 pm

Brad Pattison’s training techniques are controversial because he has a completely flawed understanding of dogs and the “dominance theory”. Dogs are not pack animals, there is not a clear cut dominant structure in a group of dogs, they do not see us as other dogs.Period, this is proven.  Dogs are not constantly scheming to dominate us and take over the world, they do need to be shown in a humane manner what behaviours you do want.  Setting a dog up to fail, then jerking it,hitting it, pulling it around on a leash, over and around obstacles is not building a relationship of trust, it is causing the dog to be fearful of what the handler is doing. As for the shelter saying they had an animal welfare officer on site, if they didn’t find what was done beyond questionable, I would question their education, training, and sensitivity. I can’t imagine anyone with knowledge of a dog’s body language and stress signals not having seen the dogs at the last seminar as incredibly stressed, being dragged over parking barriers, and placed is situations where they received
The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association has a Position Statement on Dog Training which includes:
“The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) supports the use of humane training methods that are built on current scientific knowledge
of learning theory.  Reward-based methods are highly favoured.  Methods causing fear, distress, pain or anxiety are unacceptable.”

It is easily researched that Mr. Pattison uses almost exclusively the methods they recommend NOT to use.  He advocates hitting a dog in it’s head, including specific instructions, on how to do so in his book “Synergy”, in his new “Puppy Book” he instructs people to pinch the ear of a puppy until it screams in pain in order to have it release what it is holding in it’s mouth. A simple trade of what the puppy has for another toy, or a treat is much more effective and humane. Using a trade method, also ensures your puppy won’t run away when they see the owner approaching them as they fear getting an ear pinched. 
Perhaps the staff should have the book http://www.amazon.com/Low-Stress-Handling-Restraint-Behavior/dp/0964151847 purchased, and use that as a template of humane, safe handling of animals in their care.  Dr. Sophia Yin is not only a veterinarian, she is a highly respected authority on training animals, and humane handling.significant jerks applied to the dogs neck. If the staff is feeling more confident now that they know how to treat animals in these manners, then you will be seeing staff members bitten. Please know that when that happens, they will have a very good case of poor training against the BOD.  As a retired Vet Tech (23 years) I am very confident that if I saw someone treating an animal in the manner he teaches, they would be doing some remedial training before they touched another dog.
Frankly I find it very disconcerting that they would invite Brad Pattison back, knowing there were numerous complaints, instead of seeking someone who would encourage more humane training techniques. 

Kim Campbell, AHT,

Cherie Ekholm

Sep 9, 2012 at 2:17 pm

I’m baffled why any Humane Society would chose to affiliate itself with a self-declared trainer who advocates hitting dogs, pinching puppies ears, and forcibly holding dogs on their backs until they defecate. Those are not my words - those are in Mr. Pattison’s books and videos.

I’m also baffled how anyone who works with dogs can look at the pictures from the last event Mr. Pattison did for your humane society and not see either abuse or intimidation. There is one picture in particular of a black lab being dragged by its neck over a parking barrier. The dog is clearly resisting and Mr. Pattison is clearly dragging it. By its neck. This can cause serious injury to several parts of a dog’s anatomy. There is no reason to ever do that to a dog. If the animal was not physically capable of jumping over the barrier, it should not have been asked to. If it was physically capable of making the jump, there are dozens of ways to teach a dog to do that without using force or causing potential injury to the animal.

If you look at the pictures from the event that took place earlier in the year, you can see clearly that the dogs were not having a good time. In almost every picture, the dogs had tails tucked, ears back, necks hunched down between their shoulders. Often they are turned away from the people handling them, which is an appeasement or avoidance behavior. In many pictures they appear to be panting. All of these are signs of fear or stress.

If, as the folks at the HS claim, the dogs had a great time at the event, perhaps they should post those pictures. Because what they have up now certainly tells a very different story. And should this set of pics disappear from the HS site after my letter is posted, don’t worry. The internet is forever.

I hope the HS is successful in their endeavor to meet their goals to care for the animals. It’s unfortunate they could not make better decisions about how they raise funds to do that. Canada has a number of very good, very well know trainers who use positive methods that do not harm the animals. If they wanted to encourage people to have fun with their pets doing agility or agility-like activities and think bringing in an outside “name” is the only way to raise money, they could have contacted someone like Susan Garrett, who has represented Canada along with her dogs in many agility competitions and is known worldwide as a fantastic trainer. If they’d wanted to give folks a way to learn to build better partnerships with their dogs and do interesting training for problematic issues, they could have contacted Linda Tellington-Jones, creator of the Tellington Touch Method, or her sister Robyn Hood. Both give fantastic classes and work with shelters around the world.

Any of these people would have probably cost a great deal less money, including possibly donating a portion of their time/fees because that’s what real supporters of Humane Societies do. There certainly would not have been a question ahead of the event as to whether the event would make money (can you actually call something a fundraiser if you don’t know if it will raise funds once you’ve paid the fees for your “celebrities”?). And the folks I mention above certainly wouldn’t have generated the controversy and bad publicity of HS’s current choices.

Sabine Almstrom

Sep 9, 2012 at 3:35 pm

I agree with Shelley Cuthbert that Brad Pattison is indeed very good at what he does, i.e. at the use of inhumane methods that inflict suffering, fear and terror in the animals subjected to them. As an eyewitness during Pattison’s seminar in Whitehorse on June 2 I saw dogs that received his treatment utterly stressed, shiver all over, pant, drool and try to crawl back to their owners. A helper filmed the proceedings, although I have my doubts whether Pattison would care to show the video to the public. I saw a dog shut down so completely that he didn’t even get up any more when Pattison repeatedly stepped on his sensitive toes. I saw Pattison yank and choke dogs by their martingale collars into Sits without warning, not even attempting to ASK them to sit. I saw him yell at and aggressively slap a young puppy in the face multiple times, after he had placed the fear-reactive puppy right next to another dog and the puppy predictably growled. I saw him terrify Halen, a timid, submissive young shelter dog, by forcing the resisting dog through a commotion of chairs, swinging and clanking them above him, then forcing him onto the chairs by choking the helpless and struggling dog. Anyone may decide for themselves if they want to hand over their dogs’ leashes to someone of Pattison’s calibre. The “line that could be construed as abusive” was, in my opinion, crossed more times than I care to remember. And incidentally: Where does the word “Humane” come into play in the above scenario?

Kelly May-Blake

Sep 9, 2012 at 5:11 pm

“we did have an animal welfare officer present” if you know the speed trap is up ahead you do the limit.  Did you really think he would slap or drag the dog by the leash while being watched?  If Mr Pattison could learn to train humanely I am sure the public outcry would subside.  Please reconsider your decision to have someone who trains so harshly work with the rescue / shelter dogs.

Jacqueline berg

Sep 9, 2012 at 6:33 pm

I have heard Brad Pattison teach things like jerking on a leash to make a dog sit or to interrupt a dog’s behaviour and get his attention, yelling at a puppy during house training,  he wrote in a book a detailed description, right down to the angle at which your hand should approach the jaw, of how to properly hit a dog in the jaw (I wonder how many dogs were hit as a result, after all it was written by an “expert”) and he is still speaking about ‘alpha’ theory and that owners need to be dominant.  These are all things that we now know can be detrimental to the well being of the human-dog relationship.  It is becoming extremely well known that force is not needed, and can be dangerous when training a dog, and especially when rehabing a dog.  Positive Reinforcement training is used widely and is very successful when working with aggressive dogs.  Brad Pattison calls this ‘treat training’ and, in my opinion,  ads false information about exactly what positive reinforcement training is.
This is not about what works in dog training.  I don’t care WHAT your dog can do, I care very much about HOW you got your dog to do it.  A co-worker once said to me that any fool can force a dog to do something, but it takes a special person to take the time to learn how to teach a dog with patience and kindness.
There is nothing wrong with using kindness and gentleness when training a dog and is especially necessary when working with dogs in a shelter.  I would ask the Yukon Humane Society to listen to the public when they speak up out of concern for the dogs in their care, because that is what this is about.

Anton Ramos

Sep 9, 2012 at 10:25 pm

Shelley Cuthbert is correct. Nothing that Pattison does could get him prosecuted for animal abuse. However, as a “humane” society, shouldn’t the standards be a little higher than that?
No partaking in animal abuse is not a glowing recommendation. Surely the dogs in Mae Bachur Animal Shelter’s care deserve better.
It’s important to note that Brad Pattison was dropped from the Ottawa Pet Expo and instead of promoting aversive based methods, the organizers heard the swell of complaints and decided to pair up with Ottawa HS.

The Ontario SPCA in its ‘find a trainer’ section warns against trainers like Pattison that rely on force and coercion to compel compliance.
The IPDTA did not endorse Pattison’s methods because they “involve the use of physical force, physical, verbal or psychological punishment, intimidation, fear or pain.”

For shelter dogs - many of whom have already been traumatized by former abuse - the use of force seems uncommonly cruel and while it may provide temporary cessation of unwanted behaviour it never addresses the underlying emotional cause.
Modern professionals agree that aggression in dogs is caused by fear. Pattison ignores the science and claims aggression is an attempt to dominate; because he misconstrues the behaviour he responds with aggression.

Punishing a dog for being afraid is, by my account, abuse. It’s a shame that Cuthbert finds jerking and hitting a dog for being afraid as an acceptable training method.

Corliss Burke

Sep 9, 2012 at 11:40 pm

I hope that prospective participants in this training will take the time to research this trainer’s methods.  I am appalled to see and hear about how Mr. Pattison treats the dogs as well as the human participants in his training courses.

Nicky Mathieson

Sep 10, 2012 at 5:51 am

I am appalled at this. The “humane” society is showing how incredibly ignorant they are!

They should read the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behaviour’s website and their position statements.


Maggi Burtt

Sep 10, 2012 at 6:03 am

The animal welfare officer did not see anything wrong?
Someone needs some more training. The pictures of the previous training sessions show dogs being forced over and into obstacles and lots of stress behaviours. NOT ONE DOG LOOKS HAPPY or interested in the training or their handlers.
Just because there are not overt signs of pain does not mean it is not there.
Mr. Pattison’s methods are patently unfair to the dogs and hold the potential for severe mental and physical injury.
IMO his methods are inhumane.
I just wish you found better ways to raise money then use an uneducated “tv” trainer…
I wonder if Rescue Ink knows Mr. Pattison is Pro-BSL?

Suzy Hewitt

Sep 10, 2012 at 6:15 am

It’s appalling that a shelter where dogs are supposed to be safe would invite someone who does them such harm.  Not only is that man dangerous on a one on one level with a dog but he encourages people to use methods on their own dogs that have been proven to increase owner directed aggression thus increasing their chances of ending up in shelters.  Shameful.

Kailey Irwin

Sep 10, 2012 at 10:00 am

It’s nice to hear Rescue Ink will be up here. Though we do not have breed-specific legislation, there are many areas (ie Trailer Courts specifically) that have decided not to allow specific breeds (such as dobermans) which is absolutely biased as the breed of dog is not the issue it is the way the animal is cared for and trained.

On the training note, I agree that bringing Mr. Pattison up here is a waste of time. I feel his training methods are inhumane and dangerous when dealing with dogs that may be prone to agression if provolked. The best way to train your dog is through rewarding good behaviour and ignoring bad behaviour, it’s common sense.

Andy Sibbald

Sep 10, 2012 at 10:27 am

Aside from the “training methods” that are obviously problemtic, it would seem Whitehorse also has an issue of the staff at the Humane Society having difficulty differentiating between animal training and abuse. Having people like that in postions of having to protect animals brings into question the point of having this agency funded at all-I certainly would not donate at this point!
I suspect there is only intervention in the most severe cases of animal abuse if there is a lack of knowledge about what consitutes abuse.
Stopping this Pattison guy is one issue, while the Humane Society is quite another. One can quickly be eliminated by not contracting, while I suspect the other may be a longer term problem, unfortunately for the community.
> Andy

Gordon Gilgan

Sep 10, 2012 at 11:08 am

It astounds me that the Humane Society is sponsoring and promoting dog training that is clearly inhumane.  Based on the review of expert dog trainers the techniques that Mr. Pattison teaches are not only cruel and inhumane they are also ineffective.  The Mae Bachur Animal Shelter needs to rethink its sponsorship.

Michelle Cox

Sep 10, 2012 at 12:20 pm

Sarnia District humane soc. tried endorsing brad… The public was very outraged, and they lost way more money than they earned, please call Dylan at the SDHS and ask if he could go back.. Would he do it again?  The answer will be NO, months later they are still playing damage control with the community and many many people that once supported them, no longer will donate or volunteer there…. Please reconsider!!  Humane societies should ONLY endorse humane methods!!

Lee-Ann Carr

Sep 10, 2012 at 12:36 pm

I find it incredibly unfortunate that a humane society would invite such an inhumane “trainer” for fundraising.  When a dog is corrected “hitting, slapping, leash jerks” and the correction is not aversive enough to provide motivation for the dog to decrease the behavior - is it a correction or is it dog abuse?  What was the point of the undesirable physical contact if it didn’t provide any training?

Sara Wisking

Sep 10, 2012 at 1:04 pm

HUMANE is defined as inflicting the minimum amount of pain, and showing compassion.

The method being advocated by this trainer includes pinching a puppy in the ear until it yelps in pain (as written in Brad Pattison’s puppy book), striking a dog in the jaw at a 45 degree angle (as written in Synergy) along with pinning dogs and yanking roughly on the leashes of dogs.

I am not certain how this type of method is congruent with the humane treatment of animals.  There are methods of training that work, and work quite well, which do not involve intimidating animals, or causing them any amount of fear or pain.  A Humane Society should strive to do better than treating animals in a manner that is “not abusive”.

Not my Dogs!

Sep 10, 2012 at 4:16 pm

I was considering taking my small dogs to this event…..WAS…. but not now. I have researched this Brad guy and have read all the comments here as well I have checked out the provided links from other posters and I am not impressed! I will not be bringing my dogs to this event.

Charlie K Bales

Sep 10, 2012 at 8:56 pm

I am appalled that yet another Humane Society would ask a man who slaps, jerks and runs dogs into trees to come teach their staff and the general public to do the same.

In one video of Mr. Pattison is seen striking a very frightened white dog in the face while the dog is looking at him.  He explains that he is teaching the dog “leave it” when it comes to passing bicycles, but the dog was not looking at the bicycles when he was struck.  It was later learned the dog was deaf, so this dog who lives in a world of silence couldn’t even hear the approaching bicycles was struck for looking at the person holding his leash.  The dog was frightened by the quick movement of the bicycles, thus reactive to them.  Instead of being taught to look to and trust in the human holding his leash, he was taught to fear him instead.


You can find that video and others there which all show that Mr. Pattison is not teaching dogs, but harming them.

Margery Cavins

Sep 11, 2012 at 2:59 pm

Perhaps Shelley Cuthbert, other Yukon HS staff and Brad Pattison are not aware of what the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association has to say about Training Methods. IMO, A Canadian Humane Society should advocate and support only those methods that conform with the following statement.

“The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) supports the use of humane training methods that are built on current scientific knowledge of learning theory. Reward-based methods are highly favoured. Methods causing fear, distress, pain or anxiety are unacceptable.”

“Recent years have seen a shift towards reward-based methods, such as clicker training and the use of food, toys and praise as motivators. Animal behaviourists conclude that training techniques that employ punishment rather than rewards-based methods do not improve dog obedience and actually increase problematic dog behaviours.”

“Confrontational methods of training such as the use of physical force, rolling dogs, growling, or staring dogs down may increase the likelihood of aggressive responses in dogs.”

The link to the complete statement is here:http://canadianveterinarians.net/ShowText.aspx?ResourceID=1506

Bren Axon

Sep 11, 2012 at 8:13 pm

I have been carefully studying the photos on the Humane Society’s page taken when Mr. Pattison was last there. As a certified dog trainer who does not need use force and pain to train dogs, (unlike Mr. Pattison) and who has studied dog body language and communication - as all reputable dog trainers should do - I can say with certainty that many if not all of those dogs were in a stressed state. There were photos of dogs being yanked up by the neck and dragged over immovable objects (in the guise of agility) which I believe it is Mr. Pattison’s method of teaching the owners to assert their “dominance” over their dogs (dominance theory has long ago been superceded by enlightened scientific research).
One large black lab type dog looks as if it’s belly was scraped over the wooden block because you can see it touching the wood as it jumps over. This would have caused the dog bruising and pain. In proper agility, all the jumps are made to fall over if touched by the dog, so as to avoid injury. In another photo, the person with the same dog (with the dog tied to her waist) is shown to be taking off at what looks like speed, but the dog is standing still with his head bowed. This means that the dog would have received a substantial jerk on his neck and may even have been lifted off his feet as the momentum of the person’s movement caught up with him.
One of Mr. Pattison’s methods of “training” a dog (I cannot write the word training when it appertains to Mr. Pattison unless it is in quotes because in my opinion what Mr. Pattison practices is not dog training at all) is to have the dog attached to his waist, move at speed towards a tree or a post and make sure that the dog goes one side and he goes the other. This results in the dog receiving a substantial and painful jerk to the neck. This may cause the dog to develop neck and spine problems in the future, let alone a mistrust of any human that happens to be at the end of his leash. I cannot for the life of me understand how anyone with the smallest modicum of intelligence can watch this happening to a shelter dog or even their dog (when they take part in his classes) and think that it is OK.
The horrendous thing in all of this is that this happened at a “Humane Society” and they want him to come back and give him the chance to do it all over again. A large percentage of rescue dogs will probably already have been through a lot maybe even been abused before finding themselves at the Humane Society. Therefore it begs the question; what on earth is a Humane Society thinking of to allow dogs to be abused like this on their premises and with their permission?
As well as having a business, I volunteer my time as a trainer with a rescue organisation and I would never use these methods on any of their dogs, or indeed any dog that a client asked me to help train. The Humane Society needs to take a reality check instead of ignoring the swell of public opinion that is slowly rising. They may find that people are not so willing to donate to them or be so keen to help them. Surely, this is counter productive to their cause.

Riley Carey

Sep 11, 2012 at 8:33 pm

Shelter animals deserve so much better than a 6’ leash, martingale collar and being run around obstacles and over tables and ledges.  These dogs need a gentle word and some compassion.  Bringing Mr Pattison here won’t help at all.

Kim Campbell

Sep 12, 2012 at 9:02 am

According to the Humane Society Yukon’s web site they have a serious outbreak of parvo in the shelter. Due to the parvo outbreak they are closing the shelter to anyone other then serious adopters or volunteers until Sept 18.  Will they still be holding the fundraiser, and are they going to be using shelter dogs again, risking dogs shedding parvo while out in public? Hopefully not, that isn’t very responsible.

Barb Harris

Sep 12, 2012 at 4:58 pm

Having been a former administrator of the Shelter, I’ve tried to stay away from debates regarding shelter operations. Administration changes and boards change. However, having seen some of the videos and never having been a fan of ‘Cesar Milan’ types of training, I can say that this Pattison person would never have been welcomed when I was there. I think that in spite of certain differences at the time, the board of directors with which I worked would have felt the same.

The Mae Bachur Animal Shelter is the best hope for all abused, abandoned and neglected animals in the Yukon and I truly hope that the administration, board and public can come together to ensure that the needs of the animals are met.

Frank Smith

Sep 12, 2012 at 5:07 pm

Look at all the comments. It’s Trevor the dog all over again. Where are you so called “animal defenders” when a record number of grizzly bears were killed this year? Where are you? No wonder our society is going down the toilet. Just look in the mirror.

Bella Amie

Sep 13, 2012 at 12:03 pm

I, too, am withdrawing my financial support of the Mae Bacchur Shelter based on these terrible decisions.

A few months ago, I also enquired into the date of the next General Meeting of the Board, open to the public - and was told that if I had ‘concerns’, I could email them in for response.
For a supposedly non-profit organization, beholden to the public for most of its funding, it doesn’t sound like they are very responsive to that public.

A few weeks ago, they held a lawn sale, supposedly to raise funds for an industrial washing machine.  They did well…but then I heard that a machine was in fact donated to them. 

Alexandra Rochat

Sep 13, 2012 at 1:49 pm

I am very pleased to see all the comments. Everything is well said and I am literally thrilled to read peoples response on what dog behaviour and dog training should be about. Not attending Saturday’s fundraising event is the best way to demonstrate our opposition to the Humane Society’s (surprising) decisions and Brad’s (unbelievable) methods.

Marjie Klein

Sep 13, 2012 at 3:06 pm

I too was a previous administrator of this animal shelter. I had the unfortunate experience of working for the board that is currently in power. Shelley Cuthbert is the president making the the majority of all decisions and is the one responsible for Pattison being brought up here. She also made it her personal battle to ban me and several other society members for speaking up about the methods she has employed since taking on her new role.
As there are over 800 non-profit organizations in this Territory, it is my hope that most people would recognize the nature in which this organization is being run.

After the last event many people spoke up against the training methods on offer by Pattison, immediately following these concerns, the HSY Board denied several people membership to the society, stating we were not “fostering a caring and compassionate atmosphere…”
Yet she chooses to bring him back again?!!

It is great to see so many people, of their own volition, recognize that this society is not being managed. This board doesn’t listen to their membership, and if you speak up against their methods or hold any kind of opinion as I did while working there, you will be given no choice but to leave or get be forced out of the organization. And all of you who obviously care for your animals, come to the special meeting as soon as it is called. The Registrar of Societies has ordered the Society to call a Special General Meeting before October 5, and President Shelley Cuthbert told the registrar she plans to take the decision to Jusrisdictional Supreme Court!

Kim Campbell

Sep 13, 2012 at 5:42 pm

This was shared on my fb wall and is an article describing the misconception of “alpha” and “dominance” in dog training and life. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/my-puppy-my-self/200905/pack-leader-or-predator


Sep 13, 2012 at 10:23 pm

More cat fights in the
Land of Trevor the $45,000 Dog.

L Pottinger

Sep 14, 2012 at 9:09 am

I am deeply saddened to hear that your shelter staff was trained by BP.  Please consider finding a positive dog trainer with credentials.  I have donated time at my local SPCA and the volunteers were trained by credible dog trainers (not tv celebrities).  Shelter dogs deserve a kind hand not a closed fist, not a leash yank—you will be surprised how much you can teach a dog with a few pieces of cheese and rewarding when the dog offers good behavior like a sit.  Mark that behavior with a “yes” and deliver a reward (ie cheese) and you are on your way to being a modern dog trainer.


Sep 14, 2012 at 10:42 am

If someone at the shelter wanted to encourage donations, maybe they should have worked hard to get a gig like this instead of a PROVEN disliked person like Brad Patterson http://www.vancitybuzz.com/2012/07/dog-whisperer-vancouver-2012-show/


Sep 14, 2012 at 12:27 pm

I feel like going just to give him s**t because if he ever tried to lay a hand on my little baby dog he would be out of this town so fast! This makes me disgusted that the humane society is doing this and basically shooting themselves and all the dogs in the foot because no one will donate to a shelter like that. Give your head a shake


Sep 14, 2012 at 1:33 pm

I think that the current president should step down as the registrar of societies have already made a recommendation to elect a new board, and let the new board decide how to best fundraise for a place that is supposed to have humane treatment for the dogs in their care. And how does Shelly have the right or the funds to take the issue to supreme court? Who will pay for the costs incurred?? I hope it is gonna come from her own pocket instead of the donations given to the shelter.

Jennifer Smith

Sep 14, 2012 at 2:35 pm

Wow.  This just blows my mind.  If only there was this much outrage when there are people involved.  Maybe we need a ‘human’ shelter instead of a ‘humane’ shelter.

Bella Amie

Sep 14, 2012 at 3:44 pm

Considering the shelter is supposedly closed this weekend for a parvo outbreak, it will be interesting to see if they use shelter dogs for the demonstrations…

Maybe they wanted the publicity in bringing Pattison back to town…well, they got it.  They will also get fewer donations as a result.

Kailey Irwin

Sep 14, 2012 at 3:56 pm

I have another thought with respect to dog training in the Yukon, why doesn’t the Humane Society include instructors or trainers from the 4H Dog Club?

I recall taking my dog to classes with the 4H Dog Club when I was young and they always taught reward training as opposed to correction training. And they always maintain a warm caring atmosphere in all of their training sessions.

I really think that the local 4H club would have been a million times better than Mr.Pattison.

Professional Dog Trainer

Sep 14, 2012 at 9:29 pm

I’m Sorry but Brad is here to help and you need to be able to see that. The shelter is over run with unwanted dogs.
Yes, financially strapped people or unwanted litters get dropped off but if the dog owners and citizens of Whitehorse had more training skills that worked and NOT fluffy dog training clicker skills then these dogs would be more adoptable.
Lets give Brad a hand for coming here and trying to help. If Caesar showed up here and tried to help…would you not show him support? By the way Caesar does not use a clicker, he uses firm corrections when NEEDED and shows the owners proper leadership skills.
By the way vets know very little about training. If they did know about training they would probably be offering training classes instead of health care.


Sep 16, 2012 at 12:34 am

What are all you critics trying to do, close down HSY? If so you are doing a great job. Brad would not be my choice of trainer because I have small dogs, but we live in a democracy and some folk like him. Fit the solution to your personal/animal problem. Caesar has his fans and nay sayers too. If you don’t like Brad’s methods then stay away, but don’t call down HSY. All of you critics are doing damage to HSY, so please do not tell me you are supporters and animal lovers.

Kim Campbell

Sep 16, 2012 at 10:38 am

“Professional Dog Trainer” wow you speak Brad language! You must be Brad or one of his CTE’s.  The dogs being dropped off at the shelter were not trained using reward based methods, or they would still be in their homes. Likely they were not trained at all, other then an occasional yelling at, kicking, hitting, yanking on it’s neck.  You appear to be woefully ignorant of what reward based training is, perhaps you should read “Reaching The Animal Mind” by Karen Pryor. 
Reward based training is positive reinforcement, not permissiveness. 
BTW Cesar Milan is now using some reward based training methods himself, after having talked to Dr Ian Dunbar.


Sep 16, 2012 at 2:24 pm

Bugs… maybe if the Humane Society made better decisions at the Board level about fundraisers that were likely to inspire community support and meet the mandate of the shelter, and maybe if they were financially transparent and people could be more assured of where their donations were going this problem wouldn’t be going on. 

Humane Societies need to be accountable, responsible, and make good decisions if they expect support.  Those factors ensure that people are supporting an endeavour that will best help animals.

Romeo Crennel

Sep 16, 2012 at 4:40 pm

Outrage over fund raising for an animal shelter? Wow, tough times these are

Katherine Champagne

Sep 16, 2012 at 5:40 pm

Actually, Professional Dog Trainer, there are veterinay behaviourists. One becomes a vet first then takes further courses on dog ethology.

Max Mack

Sep 17, 2012 at 11:34 am

Based on most of the comments posted here, it appears that dogs really are people too.

Billy Polson

Sep 17, 2012 at 1:22 pm

that’s it, I wanna be a dog. Think of all the friends I’d have!

Woof woof

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