HUDSON, Fla. - When James Bryan's wife gave him a little blue pitbull puppy as a gift, she asked him what he was going to call his new pet. Bryan simply responded, "Hand him over!"
The name stuck. Handover was Bryan's best friend for the next five years, even after he lost his farm, his car, and most of his personal belongings. Homeless and living along U.S. 19 in Hudson, Handover was always by Bryan's side.
That is, until the morning of May 8 when he woke up and Handover was gone.
"Handover is my best friend. He's my heart and soul," Bryan said sadly. "If anybody sees him, please bring him home."
Carolyn Texter is friends with Bryan's loss, meeting him through her work with animal rescues. She's helping to distribute flyers and is promoting a Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/HelpFindHandover, with the hope that somebody sees the pitbull and returns him to his proper owner.
"That's the hardest thing I'm having right now. To even explain to my kids how someone could possibly steal someone's family member," Texter said.
Bryan said his dog was healthy and not neutered, desirable traits for dog fighting rings.
"I'm praying to God nobody's putting him into an arena and fighting him," Bryan said. "He is a force of nature."
Texter said her friends have raised a modest $200 as a reward, but she expects more donations to come in.
If you have information about Handover's whereabouts, contact HelpFindHandover@gmail.com or call (727) 378-9755.
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