Yukon North Of Ordinary

News archive for August 3, 2012

Dog trainers feel bite of new city policy

Local kennel clubs say they’ll have nowhere to go if the city doesn’t allow them to continue renting the Takhini Arena for training and pooch-related events.

By Ashley Joannou on August 3, 2012 at 2:57 pm


Photo by Vince Fedoroff

WHERE TO GO? – Glenn Wadsworth is seen Thursday with Khylo (left) and Khalif. The Afghans, champion show dogs, belong to Wadsworth and his wife, Brigit.

Local kennel clubs say they’ll have nowhere to go if the city doesn’t allow them to continue renting the Takhini Arena for training and pooch-related events.

At least five groups will be making a presentation to city council next Monday evening. They will ask that they continue to be permitted to rent the mezzanine space indoors, where the clubs have been meeting for years.

The clubs have about 100 registered members, said Glenn Wadsworth, secretary of the Yukon Kennel Club, as well as the many non-members who take classes each year.

In the fall and winter, the groups put on events like obedience training, dog show prep groups and agility training at the arena.

In the summer, they are able to hold events outside.

For years, the arena was the only public city-managed facility that still permitted animals indoors.

Now the groups will no longer be able to rent the spot, as the city has officially made all city-managed facilities animal-free.

“With many people suffering from allergies and other health-related issues, should they come into contact with animals, the city is obligated to ensure that it has taken all steps to ensure public facilities are accessible to all members of the public,” Mayor Bev Buckway said in a statement.

“This April, after a full year’s notice, the city took steps to ensure that all its facilities remain open and accessible to persons with animal-related health issues.”

Wadsworth said the groups have been looking for a new indoor space since about last year, with the help of some city officials.

So far, they’ve not been able to find anything to meet their size or budget requirements. All the groups are non-profit organizations.

“Most of our classes only have up to eight dogs so that you have enough attention paid to each one,” said Wadsworth, who trains Afghan hounds. “It’s hard to make a lot of money doing that.”

The groups have looked at places with rents as high as $8,000 a month — far beyond the scope of their budget.

The indoor space also needs to be large enough and free of things like pillars or other dangers for dogs.

Linda Rapp, the city’s parks and recreation manager, said she is aware there are groups disappointed with the change.

“While some people have been impacted in these efforts, the city has been working and will continue to work with those impacted to help them find alternative arrangements,” she said.

“The city will continue to work hard to ensure that its recreation facilities remain a place that every member of the public can enjoy.”

Volunteers are currently considering applying for grants to help cover costs.

However, that will take time, and any money wouldn’t be in place in time to start classes in September, Wadsworth said.

“At this point, we’re kind of stuck. I’m not sure what we are going to do.”

Star Reporter

CommentsAdd a comment

Max Mack

Aug 3, 2012 at 4:11 pm

Since CoW seems to think that its duty to accommodate means making all indoor City facilities “animal free zones”, may I also propose the City also ban the following:

* all perfumes and scents, including those resulting from natural products and plants, to accommodate individuals with scent-related health issues

* all chemicals and chemical compounds, including those occurring naturally, to accommodate individuals with chemical sensitivities

* all persons to accommodate those individuals who suffer anxiety when in proximity to other people

Shall I go on? Do you think our oh-so-brilliant city councilors will even hear the message?


Aug 3, 2012 at 5:13 pm

This is such a complete crock.

As a person with life threatening animal allergies, I think this is taking it too far. I have NO problem with the dogs using this space. LET THE DOGS STAY!
Quit trying to over-regulate our city.

Jamie Trey

Aug 3, 2012 at 8:00 pm

I do not understand how kicking the Kennel clubs out of Takhini impacts the rest of the public in a positive way? They are making the city a safer place for the public by offering training for dogs and owners alike all year round. I worry more about the down turn in trained animals/owners.


Aug 4, 2012 at 8:23 pm

What a load of !! Has CoW gone completely off the rails? Thank goodness we have an election coming up; this bunch has to go to another planet. Are service dogs banned from CoW facilities? Once again, a well thought out decision by our eminent leaders. Folks with allergies know to avoid areas when allergens are present. Max Mack, great post, maybe CoW should consider chopping down the historic tree outside City Hall and you forgot to include stale body odor in your list; I am allergic to that!


Aug 6, 2012 at 12:33 am

This so unbelievable but doesn’t surprise me.  The Yukon Kennel Club helps train dogs and if this stopped how many will end upon the street or the shelter?  My dog has attended these classes and I have the most well balanced dog you will ever meet…......yes I have the famous “Mitzi” from Mitzi’s Closet Pet Boutique and everyone who has ever met my dog will agree with me and CoW your welcome to come meet what a well behaved dog is like.  Stop the BS OF BANNING dogs we need this training in Whitehorse.


Aug 6, 2012 at 1:12 pm

It’s obvious that the mayor and council got a complaint from someone that they cannot use the arena because of their allergies or similar reaction to being around dogs.  In the mayor’s statement, she referes to the danger of one of these folks coming “into contact” with the animals.  Well, these people that are training their dogs and for that matter, trying to make a living from showing people how to train their dogs and helping to make the dogs better “citizens” of Whitehorse, are all taxpayers too.  When dog training is in session, why not close off the area and let people know that if they suffer from allergies not to enter the area?  Typical COW; cure the cold by cutting off the head.  Frankly, as other commenters have pointed out, the election cannot come fast enough for me.


Aug 6, 2012 at 5:42 pm

C’mon folks - I think it’s silly too but do you think they came up with this on their own? I guarantee there is a whiner somewhere dancing with glee over this decision.


Aug 7, 2012 at 11:35 am

Now that we are getting big and “citified” here in Whitehorse we are starting to see BS bylaws like the ridiculous ones you see in cities down south.  In pet friendly cities like San Francisco you can even take your pet with you into the corner store without anyone having a fit like they do many places in Canada.  Enough with the “big city” rules.


Aug 7, 2012 at 1:38 pm

How very Minority Report of the city. There are no complaints or issues but the speculative probabilities of problems down the line are compelling them to arrest the dog trainers’ programs now.

I wonder if this has anything to do with the conflict awhile ago where the hockey league wanted the mezzanine at the same time the dog training was booked, and complained quite rudely (I thought). It’s pure speculation, of course.

Did I hear right that the clubs are paying the city $2800 a month for the use of the mezzanine? If that’s right, the city must be pretty confident they have another tenant. Or it could be they haven’t thought about it. One of these days the city’s cavalier attitude towards the small fry is going to bite them back, financially.


Aug 7, 2012 at 2:48 pm

They have dog shows down south in the arenas I have been to them there

manda popa

Aug 7, 2012 at 10:25 pm

wow! can we ban people without common sense from this city please? We spent thousands of dollars on Trevor the dog but we have no facility to train dogs now? Seriously? What’s next?

Culture Vulture

Aug 8, 2012 at 10:08 am

I’m allergic to morons, and I’m running quickly out of Reactin. Howza bout banning stupidity?

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