The Harrowing story of Huncho the Boerboel
This is the harrowing story of Huncho the Boerboel. Huncho had just turned 2 years old in December 2022 when he found himself in the murky and unregulated world of dog ‘rescuers’.
Huncho’s story does not have a happy ending and you may find some of this article, images and details distressing and disturbing.
On Friday 7th April 2023, I began receiving a stream of images of a Boerboel, which in itself is not unusual. I am often sent images of Boerboel’s for the website or our socials.
As I scrolled through the images I had received, the ones below, I landed on the final images which were very disturbing to view. These images are included in this article but due to the disturbing nature of these images, you will have to confirm that you acknowledge the disturbing nature before they can be viewed.
Boerboel GB is committed to protecting the South African Boerboel so when the images were presented to us, it was immediately apparent that we had to lend whatever resource we had to investigate this case.
The only information that we had to start with was the dogs name “Huncho” and the name of the ‘rescuer’ involved in this poor animals tragic journey.
It would not be appropriate for Boerboel GB to name those involved. This matter is also subject to investigations by the Police and relevant authorities, so some information is retained so as not to jeopardise those investigations.
Boerboel GB are supporting these investigations and will provide all of the evidence that we have gathered to the Police and relevant authorities.
Within a few hours we identified the last known owner of Huncho who obtained the dog from an individual offering ‘Dog Rescue’, ‘Dog Rehoming’ and Boarding. This ‘rescuer’ describes themself as a ‘Dog Behaviour Advisor’ and ‘Dog Trainer’.
It is clear from our investigations that this self proclaimed ‘rescuer’ is very inexperienced with poor provisions to offer these services. Their circumstances do not in any way provide adequate housing or provision to cater for Boerboel’s or any large dog.
Sometime during December, Huncho was removed from his original owner and advertised by the ‘rescuer’ for rehome with a number of advisories suggesting aggression. One of these advisories was that ‘Huncho’s hips may need to be checked’
Our investigations have highlighted that Huncho’s original owner had suspected Hip Dysplasia which was causing aggression due to his pain and the original owner had suggested that the dog needed to be euthanised.
The ‘rescuer’ ignored the suggestions from the original owner and instead decided to rehome Huncho.
During the investigation by Boerboel GB, we have spoken with the would be ‘rescuer’ who states that they rehomed the dog after ‘1-2 weeks’ without seeking veterinary advice or treatment for the suspected Hip Dysplasia. The would be ‘rescuer’ states that ‘they made the new owner aware of the possibility of Hip problems’!
As Boerboel GB investigated this case and spoke to the would be ‘rescuer’, it became very clear that the ‘rescuer’ was very vague on detail and events frequently changed when we posed questions.
Boerboel GB have established from the rescuer and other sources that between December 2022 when the would be rescuer rehomed the dog, Huncho was then further rehomed by the last known owner a further 4 or 5 times with the dog being returned to the last known owner.
All of these rehome attempts failed and Boerboel GB have evidence that suggests that aggression was the cause of these failed rehome attempts and that several of the failed rehome attempts may have resulted in Huncho biting a person. Boerboel GB have seen evidence that at least one of these bites caused serious injury.
The would be ‘rescuer’
The ‘rescuer’ describes themself as a ‘Dog Behaviour Advisor’ and ‘Dog Trainer’. The social media pages of this would be ‘rescuer’ portray very mixed messages making claims that they provide and conduct protection training with examples of this using their own dogs.
The examples of the protection training do not instil confidence and do not demonstrate the levels of skill or experience required for this type of training.
It is abundantly clear from the investigation carried out by Boerboel GB, that this would be ‘rescuer’ does not posses the skill or experience required to rehome dogs let alone problem dogs.
We have evidence that these ‘rescue’, ‘rehoming’ and boarding services are all conducted from a 2nd floor flat with minimal outdoor space. The flat already being occupied by the ‘rescuers’ own 3 dogs.
When Boerboel GB have spoken with this would be ‘rescuer’, they demonstrated no understanding of the Boerboel breed in general let alone a potentially aggressive Boerboel.
What is clear from the evidence that we have is that this would be ‘rescuer’ has been on the perimeter of the Boerboel community for about two years. Much of this time appears to have been spent actively trying to obtain a Boerboel by way of offering to ‘rescue’ a Boerboel that was seeking a rehome.
Previous Failed rescue’s
Boerboel GB has seen evidence and the would be ‘rescuer’ has confirmed that they did indeed ‘rescue’ a Boerboel that was offered for rehome by another UK Boerboel Club sometime between December 2022 and January 2023.
We will refer to this dog as ‘Dog A’.
The would be ‘rescuer’ confirmed to Boerboel GB that they allegedly obtained this Boerboel, ‘Dog A’, from another UK Boerboel Club. Sadly Boerboel GB are aware that ‘Dog A’ too was rehomed multiple times by this would be ‘rescuer’ which again resulted in ‘Dog A’ also biting several people during its unsuccessful rehome attempts.
Boerboel GB are saddened and shocked that another UK Boerboel club would view this would be ‘rescuer’ as a suitable rehome for any Boerboel let alone another allegedly aggressive Boerboel.
Boerboel GB have not found any indication that would make this would be ‘rescuer’ suitable for any Boerboel and certainly not a problematic Boerboel that is being rehomed due to alleged aggression.
During our investigations, Boerboel GB has seen evidence that demonstrates that the Breeder of ‘Dog A’ was prevented from accessing the dog on multiple occasions prior to and during the failed rehome’s. The breeder of ‘Dog A’ was very willing to take the dog back and was prevented from doing so multiple times.
Following the failed rehome attempts of ‘Dog A’, the breeder was eventually allowed access to the dog and did gain possession of the dog. Unfortunately this was after several alleged bites during the failed rehome’s.
When the breeder did eventually take possession of ‘Dog A’, the very experienced breeder assessed the dog to be too aggressive and dangerous to rehome and sadly the only option was to euthanise ‘Dog A’.
What Happened to Huncho
As we have already eluded to, it is not a happy ending for Huncho.
It is as we have described a very harrowing, distressing and disturbing end.
The investigation carried out by Boerboel GB has discovered that on the 6th of April 2023, reports were made of a large animal, possibly a dog being seen in a stream with a large embankment possibly preventing its escape.
Following these reports, a local volunteer attended the location expecting to find an animal stuck in the stream.
Again, we would stress that these details are distressing and disturbing and we advise caution before continuing due to the details contained.
The volunteers that attended the location quickly identified that the reports were infact of a large dog dead in the stream. The dog in the stream was identified as Huncho by his distinctive collar.
The following images are of the scene found by the local volunteers and whilst theses images are difficult to view, we extend our thoughts and sympathies to the local volunteers that actually witnessed this scene.
We have chosen to include these images, distressing and disturbing as they are, to highlight this situation and seek any information that lead to this horrendous situation.
To view the images, you must tick the box. If you do not wish to view the images, you can continue to read the article without viewing these images.
!!! WARNING !!!
These images are distressing and disturbing.
Tick the box to show the images or continue without ticking the box to keep the images hidden.
The volunteers that attended the location and other supporting volunteers identified that the condition of Huncho suggested that his body had been in the stream for a number of days.
At this stage the cause of death has not been determined but indications are that Huncho was already dead before he was put in the stream.
It is Boerboels GB’s understanding that Huncho has been handed to the relevant authorities and that a post mortem is to be carried out to try and establish the cause of death along with a likely criminal investigation.
During the investigation carried out by Boerboel GB, we are aware that the breeder was made aware of this incident and that the breeder denied knowledge of this dog and stated that they weren’t the breeder.
Boerboel GB have confirmed the full identity of Huncho through our investigation, including his breeder. This information has been made available to the relevant authorities.
We do not know why the breeder has publicly denied breeding Huncho but unlike the breeder of ‘Dog A’, Huncho’s breeder is clearly not willing or able to provide backup and support to their dogs and owners.
Our investigation into this tragic situation is still ongoing and we will support and provide information and evidence to the authorities that are involved.
Boerboel GB would like to thank all those that have helped with our investigation and if anyone has any further information, you can contact us in confidence by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
After dealing with this for the last two days, our sympathies go out to everyone else that has been involved in this investigation as this has been truly draining.
31/12/2020 – 06/04/2023