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Owner’s death leaves dogs without a home

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014, at 12:38 p.m.
  • Updated Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014, at 12:53 p.m.

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Sasha, Sabaka and Comanche have lived their entire lives together, and Carlene Hinton hopes to keep it that way.

The 10-year-old cattle dog and Doberman mixes are litter mates whose owner committed suicide at Christmastime. He shot himself in his garage, according to the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office. But before he did, he put a letter in the mail to a friend who is the executor of his estate. She received the letter Dec. 27 and went to his home outside Goddard. Animal control took the dogs, who wound up at the Kansas Humane Society.

That’s where Carlene Hinton comes in.

She runs Dobe and Dog Rescue. She said the shelter called to ask if she could take the dogs, and she agreed to put a hold on them. The bonded dogs spent a week at the shelter, and Hinton took them to her home Jan. 6.

“It was haunting to me” when she learned of the man’s suicide, Hinton said. “The two males were mourning something terrible.”

Also at the home were 201 birds, including 150 racing pigeons as well as ducks, geese, chickens and four parrots.

The man, who was facing health problems he couldn’t afford, made the Sedgwick County Zoo the beneficiary of his estate. The zoo found homes for all but two of the birds, director Mark Reed said. Reed said the man once took a tour with deputy zoo director Ryan Gulker and it apparently made an impression because he left his home and possessions to the zoo.

Hinton would like to keep the dogs, who weigh about 50 pounds each, together if at all possible but understands that might be a challenge.

She will require an application and ask for donation to help cover vet expenses for the dogs so far.

People interested in the dogs, or in donating toward their care while at Hinton’s home, may call Hinton at 316-993-2652.

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