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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Animal group trying to find home for Russian wolfhounds

BY RON SYLVESTER
The Wichita Eagle

WICHITA — The death of an out-of-state breeder has led to dozens of Russian wolfhounds needing adoption in the Wichita area.

The wolfhounds, also called borzois, were raised by an elderly couple who were show breeders. But the husband couldn't care for all of them after his wife died, said Marc Nickl of MeadowBrook Safe Harbor, a no-kill shelter in Sedgwick County.

"He has no family, no children, nobody to help," Nickl said of the 82-year-old man. "So we stepped in to try and help."

Nickl said MeadowBrook may end up adopting some 30 of the 75 dogs. But the group also is trying to raise money to buy food and other essentials for all the dogs.

"When the wife passed away, they lost her Social Security, which paid the dog bills," Nickl said. "He wants to keep some of the dogs because they're older and they've only lived there. And 15- and 17-year-old dogs are hard to adopt anyway. And they've got a beautiful place to live on a farm."

The breeder has asked not to be identified because he's been inundated with calls from people wanting the dogs, Nickl said.

"I have parents that same age, and so I think I've been able to establish some trust," Nickl said. "If my parents were in this situation, I would want someone to step in and help."

The dogs are from a lineage the wife brought from Russia when she immigrated here years ago, Nickl said.

Nickl said he also is working with Big Dogs Huge Paws, an adoption group in the Denver area, to help find homes for the dogs.

Anyone interested in adopting a dog, or donating money for food, may call MeadowBrook Safe Harbor at 316-733-6866. For more information, go to http://meadowbrookstallions.com/index_safeharbor.htm.

Reach Ron Sylvester at 316-268-6514 or rsylvester@wichitaeagle.com.

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