WHITEHORSE—Minister of Environment Wade Istchenko today released this statement following the Yukon coroner’s report on the death of Shane Glada-Dick:
“On behalf of the Government of Yukon, I would like to thank the chief coroner for her report and once again extend condolences to the family and the community of Ross River. We are saddened by the details of Shane Glada-Dick’s tragic death. He was a young man who was taken too soon.
“I reached out to Ross River Dena Council Chief Jack Ceasar earlier today to express my condolences to him and the community.
“The Department of Environment will be providing a formal response to the coroner and community at a later date but I would like to take this time to note some of the efforts made following the coroner’s engagement with our program, staff and the community in May 2016.
“The Animal Health unit began working together with key community volunteers, and so far:
- More than 20 dogs have been voluntarily surrendered. This has reduced the number of unwanted dogs in Ross River far more effectively than ‘dog catching’ programs that were attempted in the past.
- We have formalized our partnership with Humane Society Yukon for additional funding of up to $30,000 to support the care and adoption of these dogs, and those from other communities that may be surrendered through our new Community Dog Care Initiative.
- Funding was provided for the Ross River Dena Council to hold a veterinary clinic in the community. We understand this clinic is scheduled for November 2016.
- We launched the new Community Dog Spay Project to provide $250 per spay surgery of one female dog per owner in rural Yukon communities. Money is available on a first-come, first-serve basis for a maximum of 115 dogs per year.
“We are encouraged to see many elements of the coroner’s recommendations overlap with work that has already begun. The positive work and success we have already seen will help us in addressing the coroner’s recommendation to continue working with the community, establish a joint working group, and implement an action plan.
“I have committed to reviewing animal protection programming and corresponding legislation. An internal review has already begun and we look forward to engaging Yukon’s public and other stakeholders following the upcoming election.
“By continuing this work together with the Ross River Dena Council and the community of Ross River, I am confident we will be able to address the coroner’s recommendations and improve public safety and animal health in Ross River.”