Friends remember beloved dog trainer who died in crash

Board members and others who work at the Humane Society of Oldham County say Dave Benson was more than a dog trainer. He was a friend but also a mentor to many.

OLDHAM COUNTY, Ky. — He was in tune with the dog world so much that he named himself “Dave the Dog Man,” but it was the big heart of Dave Benson, 43, of Pewee Valley, whose so many people remember. .

Benson was killed Wednesday night in a motorcycle accident on Westport Road. He was a mentor and dog lover, but most importantly, he was compassionate.

“That was one of his goals, was to be a better human being every day and to help others,” said Becky Roberts, canine coordinator for the Humane Society of Oldham County.

Roberts says she tried to call Benson Thursday morning, unsure what happened Wednesday night, happy to get their program back up and running with local inmates.

“It was about an hour later, my teammate called me and she gave me the news,” Roberts said.

WHAS11 News covered Benson in 2019 to talk about this same program called Camp K-9 that allowed people incarcerated at the Kentucky State Reformatory to train dogs.

“My mission in life is to transform lives with the power of the dog. That’s why I get up absolutely every day,” Benson said.

Humane Society of Oldham County president Michelle Culp said it was a huge loss for her team.

“It’s very upsetting, because he’s a friend. He’s not just someone who does things for us. He was a friend to us,” Culp said.

Benson told WHAS11 in 2019 that his role with the team was exactly where it was meant to be.

“The Humane Society of County Oldham has given me the opportunity over the past nine years to change thirty lives and it’s just an absolute blessing,” he said.

Board members and others who work at the Humane Society of Oldham County say Benson was more than a dog trainer. He was a friend but also a mentor to many.

“To say David was a dog trainer didn’t even start on what he was, to say he was just a dog trainer is to say the Humane Society loves animals. I mean, he there were so many layers to this guy,” Roberts said.

Culp says they plan to build a memorial for Benson on the property.

“The thought that you’re not going to see him anymore. It’s heartbreaking,” Culp said.

Roberts says there is a bigger message here for pilots in the future.

“He would say, what do you take away from today, Becky? And so what I take away is, just be more aware,” Roberts said.

Roberts and Culp say they will work to continue his legacy.

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