UPDATE: Dogs abandoned by owner's suicide adopted by Wichita family

By: Jason Tarr Email
By: Jason Tarr Email
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WICHITA, Kan. -- Carlene Hinton had dreamed this day would come for Sasha, Sabaka and Comanche.

She had wanted nothing more than to see the three dogs she calls "The Siblings" find a forever home.

That's what happened Sunday.

"I don't want to cry about it, but it made me very happy they got a home and did not get euthanized," Hinton said.

The dogs had been in danger of being put down before Hinton rescued them from the shelter. Hinton runs the Dobe and Dog Rescue in South Wichita.

The three 10-year-old Doberman-mix dogs had been abandoned when their owner committed suicide at Christmastime. She reached out to KAKE News and did an interview in hopes someone would see it and the dogs could have a forever home.

"After your story, it blossomed and here come the people to help," Hinton said. "I was so happy that Kansas is like that. We have a lot of animal lovers out there!"

One of the people who saw the KAKE story was Penny Hower's best friend. Knowing Penny's 17-year-old son loves Dobermans, she told Penny to find the story and watch it.

"It was heartbreaking and I felt for the dogs for that reason," Hower said. "A dog is so human and so I felt bad for them."

Penny, who lives in Wichita, says she had been searching for a dog for quite a while. After finding the story, she decided to call Carlene.

"We came over, my son and I, and we fell in love with (the dogs), Hower said.

Hinton says she knew almost immediately Hower was the right person to take the dogs home.

"They were very excited and wanted to go home with her that day so that let me know that they were happy and comfortable," Hinton said.

On Sunday, about a week later, Hower was back at Hinton's rescue. This time she was there to bring the dogs home.

"I'm excited. They will fit right in!" Hower said.

It was an exciting moment for Carlene but one that also meant an emotional farewell to the dogs she had developed such a bond with in the weeks after rescuing them.

"The dogs came and said goodbye," Carlene said as one of the dogs leaned up against her in her arms. "They let me know that they are happy and they are thankful."

After one more hug, Hinton and her granddaughter helped bring the dogs to Hower's red SUV. Hower snapped a picture of the dogs all sitting in the back seat.

When she put down the camera she said, "Alright, let's go home!"

As Hower drove off, Hinton sat in her living room surrounded by the newest dogs she had rescued from the shelter. Over the weekend, she picked up 12 more dogs that will need forever homes.

She says it underscores the great need that still exists and what a blessing it is when people decided to take one of her dogs home.

"We all work so hard together to get these dogs and find them a home so I'm really thrilled when people like Penny look at rescues first," Hinton said.

To learn more about the Dobe and Dog Rescue and see other dogs that may be available, please visit the rescue on Facebook using the following link: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dobe-Dog-Rescue/383402618456475


On her couch in her south Wichita home Monday, Carlene Hinton sat with three big Doberman mix dogs. Each dog, energetic and eager to give her kisses.

What a contrast to three weeks earlier, when Carlene said, they were in a shelter and wouldn't eat.

"They were scared and frightened, they were separated," Hinton said.

The group of 10-year-old Doberman mixes, two brothers and a sister, had been essentially abandoned by their owner when he committed suicide around Christmastime.

Officers say before the man shot himself in his garage he sent a letter to the executor of his estate. She received it December 27th and went to the house near Goddard and found him dead.

The dogs at the home were handed over to the Kansas Humane Society.

Hinton, who runs the Dobe and Dog rescue, says the shelter called her January 6th and asked if she would take the dogs.

She didn't hesitate to say yes.

She immediately put a hold on them so they wouldn't be euthanized.

"The (dogs) were grieving quite a bit," Hinton said.

As Carlene nursed them back to health in the next few days, she researched their previous situation to help best rehabilitate them and to help them quickly adjust.

She learned the dogs weren't the only animals found in the man's home. There were also 201 birds including about 150 racing pigeons.

In his will, the man had left all the birds to the Sedgwick County Zoo.

Mark Reed, the zoo's director, says the man had shown a lot of interest in the zoo. In fact, he had shown so much interest that the zoo's deputy director spent about four hours with him one day giving him a tour.

"We found homes for all of (the birds) except for two Umbrella Cockatoos, which we have kept here," Reed said.

Now, Hinton is trying to similarly find homes for the three Dobermans: Comanche, Sasha and Sabaka. The zoo has decided to donate $500 to Hinton's dog rescue to help with the dogs' care in the meantime, Reed said.

Hinton says the dogs are energetic but gentle. She says that makes them great with children and other animals.

She'd love to see them adopted together but says she will place them individually. She asks potential new owners to fill out an application and sign a contract. There's generally a small adoption fee but any donation is welcomed.

"We stay with people (after they adopt)," Hinton said. "If they've got any problems they can call me at any time."

She says you don't have to be a dog expert to provide Comanche, Sasha, or Sabaka a new home. She says you just have to be someone with heart who is willing to continue to help these dogs to heal.

"If they've got a lot of love to give, that's the main thing," Hinton said.

If you're interested in the dogs, would like to give a donation, or can provide a foster home for future dogs, please call Carlene Hinton at (316) 993-2652.

For more information on the Dobe and Dog rescue please visit their Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dobe-Dog-Rescue/383402618456475

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