Family Offers $1,000 Reward After Hunting Dog Stolen By 3 Mystery Women

In Rural Retreat, Virginia, a close-knit family, the Deels, is dealing with the heart-wrenching disappearance of their beloved bear hound, Ringo. Three women, driving a maroon minivan with Florida plates, are at the center of this tale.

For the Deel family, hunting is more than just a pastime; it’s a way of life. As Outdoor Life reports, Rocky Deel and his 11-year-old son Charlie share a deep bond with their dogs, which are essential for bear hunting. The Deels’ dogs are specially bred for the task, and they’ve never had any conflicts with others in their tight-knit hunting community.

Ringo, a
Photo: Facebook / Sierra Whalen
Ringo, a “blue English” coonhound, went missing after a day of bear hunting.

During a local youth hunting tournament in October, the Deels faced an unexpected twist. After a day of bear hunting, the family discovered that Ringo, a “blue English” coonhound, had gone missing.

It was a shock to the family because these dogs are typically capable of tracking animals from 10 to 20 miles away.

The women who allegedly took Ringo are driving a maroon minivan with Florida plates.
Photo: Facebook / Sierra Whalen
The women who allegedly took Ringo are driving a maroon minivan with Florida plates.

A Puzzling Phone Call

The Deels’ initial hope turned into worry when they received a call from another hunter. This individual reported seeing Ringo with two people on the side of a highway. Despite the hunt’s high stakes and the family’s deep connection to their hunting dogs, Ringo’s well-being was suddenly uncertain.

The women with Ringo claimed they were “saving” him from what they perceived as a neglectful hunting environment.

Surveillance video caught a glimpse of the alleged dognappers.
Photo: Facebook / Sierra Whalen
Surveillance video caught a glimpse of the alleged dognappers.

Bear hunting has faced opposition from anti-hunting activists in the past. However, the Deels emphasize that their dogs are bred for hunting, and they don’t force them into it. They believe that these women misunderstood their relationship with Ringo.

“We just miss him, he was one of my best hounds,” Deel told WSLS. “We raised him from a puppy. You miss him, he’s like part of the family.”

One individual reported seeing Ringo with two people on the side of a highway.
Photo: Facebook / Sierra Whalen
One individual reported seeing Ringo with two people on the side of a highway.

Legal Consequences for Stealing Ringo

The three women may not have considered the legal implications of their actions. Stealing a dog in Virginia is a Class 5 felony, carrying a penalty of up to 10 years in prison. Additionally, removing a GPS collar from a dog is a Class 1 misdemeanor, which could lead to another year in jail or a $2,500 fine. Further, interference with lawful hunting is a Class 3 misdemeanor, which may result in a $500 fine.

The Deel family is offering a reward for anyone who can help them find their dog.
Photo: Facebook / Sierra Whalen
The Deel family is offering a reward for anyone who can help them find their dog.

Relentless Search and a Reward

In response to Ringo’s disappearance, the Deels have taken extensive measures to find their beloved hound. They’ve created a Facebook page to gather information and have filed police reports. They’ve reached out to dog rescue organizations and shelters in the area, leaving no stone unturned in their search for Ringo.

Rules regarding animal welfare may differ from state to state, but there are always legal consequences for pet theft. As the Deels continue their relentless search, their story resonates with pet lovers, hunters, and anyone who understands the depth of the bond between humans and their furry companions.

Help Rescue Animals

Provide food and vital supplies to shelter pets at The Animal Rescue Site for free!

Whizzco