What are your hours of operation?
We are open to the public Tuesday through Friday from 11 am to 6 pm and noon - 4 pm. We are closed to the public on Sunday and Monday.
What is your location?
We are located at 126 Tlingit Road, Whitehorse Yukon.
Do you euthanize animals after a period of time at the shelter?
We DO NOT euthanize animals due to lack of space or here “too long.” If an animal is sick beyond treatment, we work with veterinarians for the most humane end to their suffering. We work with foster homes for animals to give them a break outside the shelter and we reach out far and wide for adopters for animals who have been in the shelter for a longer period of time than we think for their emotional and physical needs. We also work with other animal organizations within and outside the territory to find homes for these animals.
Can I come to the shelter and visit the animals to see which one I want to adopt?
For the routines and emotional well-being of the dogs and cats, all our meetings are done by appointment only with pre-approved adopters. We also take the health and well-being of our staff seriously and, with the COVID-19 pandemic, we limit the number of visitors in the shelter at all times. The appointment system is effective and gives the potential adopters the time and space needed for full attention. We aim to treat every client with compassion and dignity, and interruptions make this impossible, we respectfully request that you do not show up to the shelter with the intention to meet an animal if you do not have an appointment.
How do I learn about the animals if I can’t walk around the shelter?
Animal bios contain valuable information on Facebook, Instagram, and our website. We also have a photo adoption board in the shelter foyer if you do not have good access to the Internet. Please read all of the animal bios information carefully. For example, if it's noted “not good with cats” and you have a cat, it is not likely it is a good match; “high energy” and “needs exercise” but live in a condo/apt, no green space, work 10hrs/day and not active, unlikely a good match. Our goal is to give the animal a good quality of life and to match your lifestyle to the animal's temperament and needs as assessed.
How does the adoption process work?
Animals that are surrendered to us are posted on our website, Facebook page and Instagram after they have been screened by a veterinarian for any health concerns.
If you are interested in an animal, you need to fill in an adoption application here providing two references who are not related to you. References are checked and screened for suitability of the placement of the dog or cat to be re-homed and successful applicants are contacted for a meeting. Please note: If you are a tenant of Yukon Housing you will need to get pre-approval from Yukon Housing before submitting an application.
Why haven’t I been contacted for the animal I have applied to adopt?
We often receive multiple applications for each animal but there can only be one adoption. If you are not the successful adopter, your application will still be processed and kept on file for one and a half years. You will be advised by email once your application is approved and you can call us to let us know if you’re interested in another animal within the application validity period. Your interest will be noted and forwarded to our Kennel Manager for review and you’ll be contacted for a meeting if you are short-listed as a suitable re-home destination.
If your application has been approved that means we consider you a good adopter. If you aren’t contacted to meet an animal you’re interested in, it simply means there was another applicant who was assessed as the most suitable fit for the animal’s needs.
How do the meetings work?
You will be contacted to come to the shelter for an initial meeting, and possibly another meeting if you need time to decide. It is imperative that all adult members of a household are informed and approve of the adoption of an animal into the home. In the case of dogs, if you have a family dog at home we will arrange a second meeting to introduce the dogs and assess compatibility. If it is a good match, you will then take the dog for a trial adoption. In the case of cats, if it is a match, you can go straight to a trial adoption to see how the cat fits in your home with existing pets. We do not have clients bring dogs to meet cats. That is done in the home setting. If you set up an appointment to meet an animal and it is with the intention to adopt the animal, please note we are unable to hold an animal for an extended period of time. We receive several qualified and approved applications for many of the animals in our care, and in the interest of the animal's health and wellbeing, we endeavour to move them into a comfortable home setting as soon as possible. Holding animals in the shelter for longer than necessary is not in the best interest of the animal or shelter space.
What is a trial adoption?
We send every animal home with the potential adopter for a two-week trial period. If within that two-week period you find that the animal is not suitable for your home and lifestyle, you can return the animal at any time. Every trial adopter is provided with food, beds, litter, litter boxes, any needed medicine and all the supplies for the two-week trial which are to be returned with the animal if not suitable and returned if the animal is adopted. This gives the adopter time to purchase needed supplies for post-adoption, and if it’s not a suitable match in the trial period, no expenditure is placed on the trial adopter. Trial adopters are required to present a working credit card, we WILL NOT be charging anything to this card, we simply take a digital imprint of your card and keep it on file as a security measure during the trial period. The adopter is welcome to pay the adoption fee, including the card left on file during the trial adoption. Please note: that any charges to cards on file are subject to a 4% processing fee, if you would like to use the card you have on file with us we encourage you to bring it with you to the final adoption appointment so we can process it as a new transaction.
What is fostering vs. adoption?
Sometimes we have kitty and puppy litters – and/or some mature animals who do better in a home setting for a short duration, so if you want to care for dogs or cats for a period of time without the commitment of adoption, this is a good program to explore. There is a foster application on our website. Adoptions are permanent and the animal becomes part of your family.
How long will I have to wait for a dog or cat that I am interested in?
There are several variables, and it is not a set timeline. It is also not a first-come/first-serve system. The most important factor is the suitability and matching of animals to lifestyles and animal needs.
It also depends on factors such as the number of applications received and how quickly we hear back from a landlord if renting, and your two references. If we cannot contact your references after two calls we do not proceed with the application, so if you haven’t received an acceptance email within a week, give us a call to check on the status.
References cannot be a relative or family member, which includes spouses, fiancé(e)s, partners, etc. Please ensure the references you put on your application are personal references that will be responsive to our calls. Please do not put pet care professionals unless you have a personal relationship with them outside of the scope of their business, many of them have confidentiality policies in place or do not have the time to field our calls. A leading factor in why applications are unable to be approved is due to reference checks unable to be finalized by our staff and not because we think an applicant would be an unsuitable pet owner.
There is no need to fill out another application if approved; multiple applications slow down the processing of all applications. If you are approved, you can call in at any time you see an animal that you would like to meet.
Applications are prioritized by many factors. For example, applicants who don’t already have a pet can be prioritized, especially for kittens and puppies. We strive to provide companionship for everyone who is eligible and a good match.
Applications for animals who are in our care and named on the application will be processed before ‘general’ applications as we want them to find their new home as soon as possible.
How does adoption work?
Once you have completed a two-week trial, you will come in to complete paperwork for the adoption, pay the adoption fees, fill out the microchip registration and collect health records and confirm the spay/ neuter appointment date if not already spayed/neutered. At this time, you will return the trial adoption supplies. You are now a new pet owner! If at any time you need advice or support, we are always willing to help.
Why can’t I know all about the animal’s history and reason for surrendering to the shelter?
We take confidentiality very seriously at the shelter and pledge to keep the information of the people who turn over their pets private. People give up their beloved pets for various reasons and it can be a heartbreaking and traumatic experience which we try to facilitate in the most sensitive manner possible. Privacy of information is one of the most important aspects to reduce the stigma of pet surrender. We will not under any circumstance disclose the personal information of people who have adopted from us or surrendered to us.
What are some of the rules around adopting an animal?
Within city limits, if you already have either two cats or two dogs, a permit will be required (or proof process is started) before we can adopt a third cat or dog to someone. The permit is issued by Bylaw Animal Services.
If you are renting, we need to contact your landlord to confirm that pets are allowed in your agreement.
Our adoption fees are applied on a sliding scale based on the animal’s age and include vaccination, microchip and spay/neuter vet voucher if not already spayed or neutered. Also included is the assurance that the animal you are adopting has been seen by a vet and had any necessary health concerns attended to with medication or surgery.
You may need to have some follow-up at the shelter for follow through with spay/neuter appointments.
Lost & Found Pets
If I find a lost cat or dog, can I bring it to the shelter?
We do not have the capacity or authority to accept found/stray animals. We only accept animals surrendered by the legal owner. It is only in special circumstances that we will accept a found animal outside of city limits. This must be cleared with shelter management. You cannot just drop off a found animal at the shelter.
If you find a lost animal within city limits, your first call is to Bylaw Services at (867) 668-8317.
If it is a community animal outside of Whitehorse, call YG Animal Control Officer Jay Lester at (867) 667-3597
If the animal you have surrendered to either of these authorities is not claimed by the owner within 72 hours, the animal will be turned over to the shelter and we will proceed with placing it up for adoption. We do not board lost/found animals at the shelter.
Bylaw does not euthanize animals in their care. They are held for a 72-hour period and posted on their website with a photo on the Bylaw Services website. If your animal is posted, contact them at the number above to arrange retrieval.
If I do have a lost animal, will you help me find it on your social media and what are other resources to find my pet?
Facebook pages and groups are very effective in finding lost animals as they circulate widely. Some of the most common ones are Whitehorse Yukon Lost & Found Pets, Yukon Helpers Network, and your local community/neighbourhood pages/groups. We can also post on our page if requested. These are all great resources to see if someone else has found/lost an animal. The Yukon has many animal lovers who often share these posts and help get the word out.
All owners are encouraged to have their pet licensed with the city, have their pet microchipped and wear a collar and ID tag. ID tags and licensing are done with the Bylaw at the city animal shelter.
My pet has suffered a medical emergency and I do not have the funds to pay the vet bill, can you help?
Unfortunately, at this time Humane Society Yukon does not have the funding to aid already owned animals. We understand the financial stress a veterinary emergency can put on a family and we wish we could help everyone; however, Humane Society Yukon has to prioritize our very limited budget for the animals under our care.
I have had an emergency come up and need a safe place to temporarily house my pet, what can I do?
If you have reached out to your support network of family and friends and are unable to find assistance caring for your cat or dog Humane Society Yukon has an Emergency Boarding program, it is strictly limited to providing compassionate relief to pet owners in unavoidable and unexpected circumstances, such as but not limited to; natural disaster, temporary hospitalization of the pet owner. The program is not in place for travel or rental difficulties. Emergency boarding is limited to a two-week stay and requires pre-approval from the Executive Director.