Dog owner died during Hurricane Florence protecting his hunting beagles

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In Kingston, North Carolina, the owner of hunting beagles woke up in the middle of the night, just as Hurricane Florence made landfall. The avid hunter and dog lover went outdoors to calm his 12 hunting beagles who were frightened and howling in their backyard kennel. As he did what he usually did and pulled his pickup truck to the kennels and had been shining the headlights into their pens, something happened to Bennie Lee Sutton.

According to APNews, shortly before dawn on Friday, Bennie could be heard talking – most likely according to his daughter,  speaking to his beloved dogs trying to calm them down as the wind raged in full force at 70 mph. Hours later, however Bennie had not returned home, and his daughter Tameria and her mother, Marian, went outside to find him.

Some of the dogs were wandering outside of their pens, and behind the kennels, Bennie, 77, was found lying on his back on the property the family had owned for nearly 50 years. Tragically Bennie is thought to have had a heart attack. He previously underwent a double bypass and wore a pacemaker. In addition he had a bad knee, and could have fallen and passed away. An autopsy has been scheduled, although no foul play is suspected.

Bennie carries with him a wonderful legacy and was known throughout the community and highly respected. His wife has since stated she is too old to care for her husband’s dogs and plans to give them away. We hope they go to excellent homes; after all they certainly deserve the best.

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8 replies
  1. Jan Barnes says:

    Sorry he died, but I can’t help but wonder how many innocent defenseless animals he hunted and killed! Hope and pray the beagles will find loving caring homes where they won’t be forced to hunt!

  2. Susan says:

    Not sorry to see a hunter who kept his animals in cages kick the bucket. Yeah, let’s hope the animals go to someone who will not use them in blood sport

    • pennysdachshunds says:

      I so agree with you Barkley’s Mom… This man Risked and lost his Very one Life making sure his dogs were watched over during the storm… Holy Cow People stating they were glad he died!! Wow that is nothing short of total disrespect of a another individual that was doing his best to keep his dogs calmed down and not being afraid… I too hope the little ones find good and caring homes. I had two beagles growing up Bing and Beau brother and sister… couldn’t hunt a Mouse!! ha but the again the were family pets…

  3. Dalma Bugg says:

    Whilst I’m sorry for this man’s family, I’m very thankful that his Beagles are moving on, and my Thoughts and Prayers are that they will find loving furever homes where they will be treated well, not like hunting dogs, and never again have to work hard to kill other creatures for their owner’s leisure, sport or entertainment.

  4. Adrienne says:

    However you feel about hunting animals, this man truly cared about his dogs and for that we should be grateful. Many hunters have zero feelings for their dogs other than making sure they hunt down what he is trying to kill. It would be wonderful if they could all go to loving homes where there is no more hunting for them,but have a feeling some of his other hunting buddies might take one or two. Feel so bad for his wife and daughter and not the best way to find your husband or father. Hope things go well for all of them.

  5. Susan says:

    Unless I’m mistaken, this guy left his dogs outside during a hurricane. Why wouldn’t he have brought them in? And while I’m sorry for the family to have lost a loved one, I don’t see why I should feel one shred of compassion for someone who used those poor dogs to terrorize and brutalize, bears, deer and hogs. Holding him up to the very low bar of “typical” hunter behavior doesn’t do much. Nope, hunters are bloodthirsty sadists who choose to slaughter for fun, refuse to police their own and degrade the environment in the process. They make up a small percentage of the population but have overwhelming control over state legislatures. Why any animal lover would think hunting is ok is truly a mystery to me. I don’t get it.


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