Ringo was likely taken by someone driving a maroon van with a Florida license plate
A Virginia family is searching for their bear hound after it was stolen during a youth hunting tournament in Rural Retreat.
Rocky Deel told WSLS his dog Ringo was not only one of his best hounds but also like part of his family.
Ringo participated in a local youth hunting tournament with Deel’s son on October 14. During these hunts, the dogs may track game up to 20 miles or so from their humans.
“The dogs are just bred to do it,” Deel said. “They love doing it.”
At the end of the day, no one could locate Ringo. Eventually, a fellow hunter called and told the Deels that they spotted Ringo on the side of the road with two people.
“By the time he got a hold of us and we get off the mountain, it was showing that the dog was still there,” said Deel. “We go there, we can’t find him, and we end up finding the tracking collar thrown in the ditch.”
They family filed a police report and suspect the people who took Ringo were driving a maroon van with a Florida license plate.
In Virginia, stealing a dog is a Class 5 felony. Those convicted of the crime face up to 10 years in prison. In addition, removing a dog’s tracking collar is a misdemeanor in the state.
But the Deels are offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to Ringo’s return and say that they will not press charges if someone brings Ringo back.
In the meantime, the Deels are just missing their stolen hound.
Deel’s daughter, Sierra Whalen, said that Ringo is “not just a hunting dog.”
“A lot of people have this thought that they are not treated well, but they are,” she said. “They are just like family just like any other pet would be.”