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Bear Attack Leads Florida Woman to Stolen Champion Hound

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February 10, 2012

Bear Attack Leads Florida Woman to Stolen Champion Hound

By Chad Love

A Florida woman whose champion Plott hound was stolen and sold to an unwitting bear hunter now has her dog back, thanks to that hunter's honesty and a bad encounter with an angry bear.

From this story on jacksonville.com:

The frightening picture gave Joi Hosker both hope and despair. Hope because it meant her champion show dog had been found. Despair because it showed him hooked up to IVs and near death after being attacked by a bear. For eight fruitless months, she had searched for George, her Plott hunting dog whose registered name is “Hosker’s Georgie Boy.” It’s a lost-and-found story with a tall “tail” of an ending.

"...In late 2009, Hosker boarded George with a hunter/trainer in Columbia County while she traveled to Lake Charles, La., to visit her seriously ill mother and her husband was out of town on a job. When she returned home after her mother’s death, Gary Hosker broke the news that he feared George might be dead. The kennel owner had told him George had escaped.

“I looked at Gary and said that’s not true,” said Hosker, adding that she sensed the kennel owner was lying. “I think he sold my dog.” She filed a report with the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office saying she suspected George might have been stolen from the man’s property. When police questioned him about it, the man (Hosker does not want to name him) called her, got angry and hung up, she said.

Thus began Hosker's eight-month quest to find her beloved George. She posted ads in magazines, newsletters, online boards, wherever she thought hound hunters might see.

"That July, Jeremy Rhodes of Four Oaks, N.C., called to say he’d bought a dog in November from a Columbia County man who had placed an Internet ad advertising him as a bear hunting hound. He thought the dog might be hers, but there was just one problem. He was in a veterinarian’s care and might not make it. “My heart went numb,” Hosker said. In a telephone interview, Rhodes said he only saw her ad when he went on the same Internet site to research a replacement in case the dog died. Rhodes sent her photos from the vet’s office. Despite the IVs, Hosker was able to identify George from the white markings on his chest. The irony: Had George not been injured, Rhodes probably would not have returned to the website and seen Hosker’s ad. Rhodes said he had been hunting bear with George over the July 4 weekend. George, a “bay” dog who surrounds the game and barks to send the bear up a tree, was charged by the animal instead. He suffered internal injuries, but George, a muscular 70 pounds, did pull through.

The Hoskers and Rhodes have since become friends, and the Hoskers even gave Rhodes another dog in appreciation of his honest act. Meanwhile, George has gone on to become the number three Plott hound in the nation. As for the unscrupulous fiend who stole George, the day before he was to be arrested Joi settled with him out of court.

Wow, what a story. Conventional wisdom holds that there are show dogs, and there are field dogs, and never the two shall meet. And as with most conventional wisdom, it's not completely true. Many sporting and working dog breeds either have or have had some dual champions, those dogs who earn titles in both the field trial and show ring.

But it's not often you find a dog who who can mix it up with a bear one day, and then go all "Best In Show" the next. In fact, George will be competing next week at the Super Bowl of dog shows, the Westminster Kennel Club show in New York. How cool is that? I'd bet dollars to donuts that George is the only competitor who can say he's survived a bear attack. That's reason to watch right there...

Comments (11)

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from larson014 wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

interesting story, although the thief should have been arrested, not settled out of court,that wont teach him anything

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from iron giant wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

Yeah, that scumbag should have had to spend some time in jail and have had a heck of a time in the courts. Although, I guess that would have been alot bigger pain for the owner too.

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from Mibasshunter wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

I just feel bad for the lady. That would suck having my dog stolen.

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from 1uglymutha wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

if the s.o.b. would have stolen my dog, we would "settle out of court" all right, but i don't think he would like the "settlement" at all.

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from Charlie Nichols wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

Like 1 ugly we would have settled this out in the wild? I hope she took his dead arse to the cleaner for a bunch of money. You steal a man's dog here on the mountain and you are the same as a horse thief.

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from jamesti wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

great ending, other than justice not being served. court would have been the least of his worries! i never board my dog for any reason!

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from Jacob Svetz wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

Beautiful Dog

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

Sorry, but I really don't have much respect for that gal! Instead of pressing charges so that this crap doesn't happen to some other client down the road, she takes the fast buck. It's the American way. Disgusting. If that SOB had tried to bribe me with a check for a million bucks, I'd have torn it up and shoved it down his throat. That gal showed no consideration for anyone else but herself. Tells me that the dog meant nothing to her but $$$ for breeding, shows, etc. At least the bear hunter guy was letting the dog do what it loves.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from LRPfonner wrote 2 years 8 weeks ago

And Georgie Boy won the Award of Merit at Westminster: in a show where all entries are champions, the AOM is 3rd place. Not bad for a dog mauled by a bear...

..and to Ontario Howler: the man suffered more by having to write that huge check. I'm more disturbed that his name is still secret. I'd like everyone to know that, as a trainer, he needs to not be trusted.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 2 years 8 weeks ago

If that kennel operator had been charged and convicted we WOULD know who he was and that would have been the end of his dog business. That is the punishment we needed to have dished out. Instead she just helped the guy out (and herself) by just taking the fast buck. Pretty damned shallow if you ask me.

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from lindas90 wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

I hope the settlement made it so he is not able to board pets any longer.

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from 1uglymutha wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

if the s.o.b. would have stolen my dog, we would "settle out of court" all right, but i don't think he would like the "settlement" at all.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from iron giant wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

Yeah, that scumbag should have had to spend some time in jail and have had a heck of a time in the courts. Although, I guess that would have been alot bigger pain for the owner too.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Charlie Nichols wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

Like 1 ugly we would have settled this out in the wild? I hope she took his dead arse to the cleaner for a bunch of money. You steal a man's dog here on the mountain and you are the same as a horse thief.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from larson014 wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

interesting story, although the thief should have been arrested, not settled out of court,that wont teach him anything

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mibasshunter wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

I just feel bad for the lady. That would suck having my dog stolen.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

great ending, other than justice not being served. court would have been the least of his worries! i never board my dog for any reason!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jacob Svetz wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

Beautiful Dog

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from LRPfonner wrote 2 years 8 weeks ago

And Georgie Boy won the Award of Merit at Westminster: in a show where all entries are champions, the AOM is 3rd place. Not bad for a dog mauled by a bear...

..and to Ontario Howler: the man suffered more by having to write that huge check. I'm more disturbed that his name is still secret. I'd like everyone to know that, as a trainer, he needs to not be trusted.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from lindas90 wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

I hope the settlement made it so he is not able to board pets any longer.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

Sorry, but I really don't have much respect for that gal! Instead of pressing charges so that this crap doesn't happen to some other client down the road, she takes the fast buck. It's the American way. Disgusting. If that SOB had tried to bribe me with a check for a million bucks, I'd have torn it up and shoved it down his throat. That gal showed no consideration for anyone else but herself. Tells me that the dog meant nothing to her but $$$ for breeding, shows, etc. At least the bear hunter guy was letting the dog do what it loves.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 2 years 8 weeks ago

If that kennel operator had been charged and convicted we WOULD know who he was and that would have been the end of his dog business. That is the punishment we needed to have dished out. Instead she just helped the guy out (and herself) by just taking the fast buck. Pretty damned shallow if you ask me.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

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