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“Emotional and just disbelief,” Friend, Dog Trainer Mourned in Dushore

DUSHORE -- A woman from Dushore died in a crash and we are now learning the impact she had on so many people from our area, and beyond.

Renee Whitby of Dushore was a dog trainer and her sudden death leaves her family, friends, and clients devastated. Whitby was a dog lover, a dog trainer, and some friends even considered her a dog whisperer.

"Giving and kind and sweet and funny," Colleen Brenington recalled.

But on Tuesday, the 49-year-old died in a wreck on Route 220 in Sonestown. State police say she lost control of her pickup and crashed down an embankment.

According to investigators, Whitby was thrown partly out of the pickup truck and pronounced dead at the scene.

"It is really a devastating blow for her to be taken so abruptly, especially two weeks before her 50th birthday which she was really looking forward to," Brenington said.

Colleen Brenington's sister and Whitby co-own "Sit Happens," a dog training facility in Dushore. The place has been around since the early 1990s and trains dogs all over the country.

Whitby was known as the go-to dog trainer for some celebrities, including Angelina Jolie.

In fact, Catherine Scorsese, who worked on The Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire, told Newswatch 16, "Renee changed my relationship with my dogs which changed me as a person."

But Whitby did not help just celebrities. James Bubb of Williamsport took his goldendoodle Marley to her for two years.

"Emotional and just disbelief," Bubb said.

Bubb had a snowboard made with Whitby's picture on it. He plans to give it to the staff at Sit Happens.

"She's like an angel to me because she's always there when I needed her and she would give her shirt off her back just to help someone else in need," Bubb said.

Whitby had 20 pet dogs on her farm, where Sit Happens is located. There is a GoFundMe account set up so her dogs continue to get the care they need.

"She loved those dogs. We love Renee and we love the dogs too and we will do whatever we have to do to make sure they can stay comfortably for the rest of their lives," Brenington said.

Newswatch 16 spoke with the co-owner of Sit Happens in Dushore and she said the facility will stay open and carry on as normal. She said Renee Whitby wouldn't have wanted it any other way.