Mae Bachur  Animal Shelter

"Protecting those who can't protect themselves"







About Us

The Mae Bachur Animal Shelter opened in 1998, and has remained in operation since thanks to our benefactors (more information can be found in our BENEFACTORS page). The Yukon Humane Society is run by a board of directors, and are in charge of various things to help the shelter, including fundraising, maintainace, and long-term goals for animal welfare in the Yukon (for more information see our BOARD OF DIRECTORS page). Day-to-day operations at the shelter are made by the shelter manager. To see our position on spay/neuter and other issues please check out our OUR COMMENTS page. The shelter also releases a newsletter four times a year. To see back-issues or to sign-up, please visit our NEWSLETTER page.

Programs and Services

The shelter has 18 dog kennels, 2 open cat rooms, and small communal areas to allow social interaction between the residents, and potential adoptive parents. Here are some of the services we offer:


We find loving homes for every adoptable pet no matter how long it may take. Every animal that arrives at the shelter receives veterinary care, food, and lots of love until a permanent home can be found.

Foster Homes

The shelter has a "no kill" policy for adoptable pets. This means we are often faced with too many pets and not enough space for them. We have a foster home network that provides care for our over-flow of animals, and those animals that may need special care. We are always in need of foster homes.

Bathing Room

We have a grooming room that can be rented by the hour, where people can bathe and groom their pets in relative ease. If you are not the adventurous sort, once a month the shelter offers a Dog Wash, where for a small fee, volunteers will wash your dog while you remain dry.

Our Origins/Reasons for Being Here

  • Humane Society Yukon was founded in 1987 as a direct result of a local Yukon 'big game' outfitter allowing his horses to starve to death. 
  • The organization originally had no physical facilities except for a fenced-in dog area on the rural acreage property of Andrea and Florian Lemphers, and a second telephone line in the home. 
  • Humane Society Yukon was officially registered as a non-profit society in Yukon in 1989. 

Shelter Operations

  • The shelter employs 6 staff. 
  • The operating budget is approximately $400,000 per year. 
  • The number of animals taken in by the shelter in the most recent year is 881. 
  • All these animals have been placed with adoptive families. 


The first government funding ever for the shelter was announced by YTG on November 5, 2003 and will end April 2009. The existence of the shelter has had a beneficial economic impact on all retail animal feed and supply outlets, animal trainers, as well as local veterinary practices in Yukon. All adopted animals are either neutered or spayed and thereafter become long term clients of local veterinarians and animal feed and supply outlets.

The City of Whitehorse Animal Pound has been able to decrease its operating hours since the shelter was built, resulting in a cost reduction to the City, a burden which falls directly on the shelter. Also, the number of animals being euthanized have decreased as adoptable animals are being brought to the Shelter to find homes instead.

Shelter costs are currently met through fund raising sources such as operating a weekly bingo, cash and food/pet supply donations, animal surrender and adoption fees.

Humane Society Yukon has a charitable tax number and issues income tax receipts for donations. All Donations are Tax Deductible

Past Programs

  • The Pet Report, featured on Whitehorse radio stations as well as in local newspapers was one of the first programs initiated by the Humane Society. 
  • Involvement in the investigation of referrals from City of Whitehorse Bylaw and the RCMP with regard to animal cruelty cases. 
  • Community outreach programs such as having educational talks with school children about humane treatment of animals. 
  • Extensive lobbying efforts were undertaken to get the Yukon Animal Protection Act changed. Although the Act was amended to include an offense section, there is an ongoing need to lobby politicians for more substantial penalties for perpetrators of animal cruelty and neglect. 
  • A decision was made in 1997 to build an animal shelter in Whitehorse. 

Humane Society Yukon Animal Shelter Project

The Mae Bachur Animal Shelter officially opened its doors on November 4th, 1998. It was the first permanent animal shelter built in Canada, north of the 60th parallel.

Major funding for the shelter came from the following sources:

  • The $50,000 preliminary cost to build the shelter (such as architectural design, feasibility studies, etc.) was paid for from donations to the society. 
  • The Estate of Mae Bachur, of Whitehorse - $220,000. 
  • Yukon Government Community Development Fund - $200,000. (one time donation only) 
  • Government of Yukon donated the land that the shelter is situated on under a lease agreement. 
  • The city of Whitehorse donates the yearly taxes. 
  • Individual donations and fundraising of $80,000. 
  • Countless hours of donated volunteer hours, and countless donations. 

Initiatives: Past and Present

  • In October 2000, Humane Society Yukon organized The Tangled Web of Abuse conference, the first public education seminar in Yukon, concerning the critical issue of the link between family violence and animal abuse. A subsequent follow up workshop was conducted by the Yukon Territorial Government in June 2002. The society received formal support from Kaushee's Place Women's Shelter, Yukon Employees' Union, Yukon Teachers' Association, Victoria Faulkner Women's Centre, and the Yukon Women's Regional Committee in the Yukon Government. 
  • Working on influencing changes to Yukon Housing Corporation policy that will allow senior citizens to keep their pets when they move into seniors' housing. 
  • Lobbying efforts to combine all animal legislation in the Territory into one comprehensive legal document, the Animal Protection Act. 
  • Lobby efforts to have a Territorial position of Official Animal Protection Officer created. This position will have authority to investigate and prosecute animal neglect and abuse throughout the Yukon. 
  • To secure social funding to ensure that the Shelter will remain open.