'They're all my favourites': Yukon bylaw officer takes selfies with animals he picks up

·2 min read
Jalen Henry is a bylaw officer in Dawson City, Yukon. (Submitted by Jalen Henry - image credit)
Jalen Henry is a bylaw officer in Dawson City, Yukon. (Submitted by Jalen Henry - image credit)

Dogcatchers typically tend to shun the limelight, but a bylaw officer in Dawson City, Yukon, is getting a lot of attention for his Instagram feed of selfies taken with the animals he nabs.

"I just wanted to bring people joy," said bylaw officer Jalen Henry.

"It just shows another side to my job. It just puts a face to everything — seeing me with these animals."

Henry is originally from Ontario and he decided last summer to apply for the job in the remote northern town. He figured it was a good opportunity.

"I thought it would be a really cool life experience and I really wanted to do it," he said.

As a bylaw officer, he does more than just deal with stray animals. But in the depths of winter, earlier in this "depressing" pandemic year, he decided to start sharing his photos on Instagram.

Most show a smiling Henry, sitting in his bylaw enforcement vehicle, with a sometimes guilty-looking dog sitting beside him or behind bars in the back. In one shot, a nonplussed cat peers through the bars.

Busted. Henry with one of his rare feline passengers.
Busted. Henry with one of his rare feline passengers.(Submitted by Jalen Henry)

Henry says he doesn't have a favourite.

"They're all my favourites. Every single dog I pick up. I think I'm doing the right thing … A lot can go wrong if they're loose," he said.

Dawson City has a no-kill policy when it comes to stray animals, so any footloose pet picked up by Henry is taken to the local shelter to wait for their owner to come get them, and pay a fine.

Henry says he's had a good time in Dawson so far.

'It just shows another side to my job. It just puts a face to everything — seeing me with these animals,' said Jalen Henry, a bylaw officer in Dawson City, Yukon.
'It just shows another side to my job. It just puts a face to everything — seeing me with these animals,' said Jalen Henry, a bylaw officer in Dawson City, Yukon.(Submitted by Jalen Henry)

"I feel like a lot of people are very supportive about what I'm doing. Obviously there are a lot of people that don't see the point," he said.

As for his Instagram feed, he's surprised at its growing popularity.

"That really excites me that I'm bringing people joy to people from all over North America ... I'm for it!"