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Shelley Cuthbert

Tagish kennel owner appeals court injunction

Shelley Cuthbert is continuing her fight to keep her Tagish kennel operating.

By Stephanie Waddell on November 10, 2017

Shelley Cuthbert is continuing her fight to keep her Tagish kennel operating.

Earlier this week, the owner of Any Domesticated Animal Rescue and Boarding filed court documents appealing an October injunction handed down by Yukon Supreme Court Justice Leigh Gower.

The injunction comes out of a lawsuit filed by six of Cuthbert’s neighbours who spoke during a four-day trial. They argued the animal rescue is disrupting the quality of life in the area for residents.

Gower ruled that Cuthbert can have no more than two dogs, and that the animals must be inside from 10 p.m. until 7 a.m.

If she, and any future owners of the property, want any more than two dogs, they will be required to go through a special application process which would include consultation.

Cuthbert was given four months to comply with the conditions.

In her two-page appeal document, Cuthbert seeks to have Gower’s order set aside, or that it be changed to “less draconian measures,” or that a new hearing take place.

Cuthbert was self-represented throughout her case.

In an emailed statement Thursday, she said she’s hoping to retain legal counsel for the appeal (and there is currently a Gofundme campaign underway to do just that).

She has also had some lawyers offer to help her with the matter in their free time.

Cuthbert stressed the case is very serious, and that if she’s not successful, dogs could be euthanized.

“The reality of this place is clear: if I am not successful many dogs will die in my arms so that they are not sent south to die with strangers,” she wrote.

“I own this place and own the dogs as their caregiver, I will place dogs to right owners not to just anyone.

“Dogs should not have to die because they bark like dogs do for communication. They do not bark constantly as laid out in the video evidence I provided the courts.

“The dogs bark when people bother them or damage my property. If the dogs and me are left alone it will be quieter.”

Many of the canines have come to the shelter after being placed in homes where adopters that weren’t “ready to manage their behaviours.

“They are all good dogs that just need stability, rules, boundaries, limitations and love,” Cuthbert said.

She highlighted the extensive work done with the dogs by a core team at Any Domesticated Animal to address their issues.

She plans to file a motion in January to stay the execution on the orders from Gower.

In the meantime, lawyer Graham Lang, who represented Cuthbert’s neighbours in the case, said Thursday he was set to file a notice of appearance as the first step in fighting the appeal.

He also said he would file an application that Cuthbert post a security bond of $6,000 to cover their costs if Cuthbert loses her appeal.

“That’ll be the first thing,” he said, pointing out such bonds are not uncommon in these cases.

The hearing over the bond will be heard in December, Lang said.

He stressed that his clients just want to put the matter behind them.

Lang said he will do everything possible to move the matter along so it’s dealt with as expeditiously as possible.

Comments (9)

Up 5 Down 22

Stupid comments on Nov 15, 2017 at 6:20 pm

Get your facts straight you misinterpreted what Cuthbert posted on the Yukon news article it says she has one dog that is easy to adopt and the rest are special needs that need experience owners so before you call someone a hoarder get your facts straight and know what you are actually talking about.

Up 13 Down 2

Questionable Motives on Nov 15, 2017 at 2:47 pm

Let's not forget there have been other issues beyond the decreased quality of life for her neighbors. She's making some odd choices that's for sure.


Up 34 Down 5

Get your facts straight on Nov 15, 2017 at 10:00 am

@BnR - if you think PitBulls are the problem, you need to do more research. Chihuahuas are WAY more aggressive but they are small so no one takes them seriously. I have a pitbull cross and she is the NICEST DOG IN THE WORLD. She is way more gentle, less aggressive and kinder than any little dog we meet on our walks. She minds her own business and doesn't attack anything at all. It's bad owners and not bad dogs when it comes to pitbulls or any other seemingly "dangerous" dog breed.

Aside from that, I saw something yesterday that Shelley posted saying that she only had one dog that was rehabilitated enough to be adopted out. I'm sorry, but she is a dog hoarder and not a rescuer. The same thing happened when she ran the shelter. I don't disagree that some of these dogs have issues but if she can keep that many and they don't kill each other. If they are really that damaged, they would be constantly fighting and injuring/killing each other. I've seen 2 female dogs fight over a toy so I can only imagine what 60 mixed dogs would do to each other.

I feel badly for the dogs in there and know it's them who will suffer but it was Shelley who is giving them this fate now. I LOVE dogs but I would never go in the "rescuing" business because I know I would get attached, like Shelley. I'm thinking it's more about her loving and not wanting to part with the dogs as opposed to them not being able to be adopted out.

Up 35 Down 4

moe on Nov 14, 2017 at 6:19 pm

Allowing this appeal is a ridiculous waste of resources. She needs to leave that neighbourhood or get rid of her dog situation and stay. Stop wasting time and money on kicking this ball around.

Personally, I agree that she should be bought out and relocated if that's what she wants. Why? Because I do care about the dogs, and she did start out with a legal situation, and I do believe that her neighbours had it out for her and were at least some part of the problem as well. I think they did things to her that they shouldn't have.

The zoning out there allowed her to start this kennel. The way she ran it was unacceptable to the point where it was found in a court of law that she unreasonably destroyed other peoples' enjoyment of their property, so she was legally busted on that point alone.

Sell her place - there's maybe $160,000 toward a new place. Have the government cough up a piece of land like they do on a regular basis for the same 'farmers' year after year. Spend the money building her a new cabin and dog yard.

I'm done with the stupidity here. This is the second time Cuthbert has refused to accept 'defeat' and has wasted a ton of our money. Enough of the BS.

Up 43 Down 11

Anie on Nov 14, 2017 at 9:57 am

"Give" her a chunk of land???? Okay, how about those of you who want this person's life style to continue, organize yourselves, raise the money, and BUY her a place? Or maybe give her some of your land. Then you can be neighbours.

Up 33 Down 9

Dave Evans on Nov 13, 2017 at 6:10 pm

I find it offensive that my money is being wasted in this manner, the irony of course being that by the time this whole mess is dealt with we could buy a property, build on it, move this woman and her dogs, give her a living wage for six months and still be under the cost of the trial and appeal.

Sadly my money will be spent and, arguably, the best to come out of it all is many live dogs and a dog hoarder justified or many dead dogs and the neighbors mollified. Either way is gonna suck in some manner....not to mention money, energy and time wasted accomplishing effectively nothing.

Cut the court bs, give her fair market value for her land and a bit of assistance in relocating, as long as it isn't next to me. Win win for less....unless its next to me...as I said.

Up 38 Down 12

yukon56 on Nov 11, 2017 at 4:55 pm

Give her another place to keep them all away from neighbors!!!!! OK Drum poney up the cash

Up 27 Down 46

drum on Nov 10, 2017 at 5:23 pm

Give her another place to keep them all away from neighbors!!!!! Simple answer - who does not realize this would be the answer. Her heart is in the right place - she wants to care for dogs that no one else wants. They are abandoned and would be dead if not for her caring and love. The Government have many spots abandoned etc. Give her one. Stop this nonsense.

Up 26 Down 44

BnR on Nov 10, 2017 at 5:10 pm

Can’t save all the dogs. And honestly, any mutt with PitBull in its lineage, well, good riddance.

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