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Where Is Dog The Bounty Hunter Now?

With a signature look — long hair, shades, general Mad Maxian demeanor — and compelling personality, Duane Lee Chapman became a reality TV superstar in the 2000s with the show that bore his nickname and job description, Dog the Bounty Hunter. After being featured on A&E's Take This Job, Chapman got his own series, which depicted him and his wife/apple of his eye, Beth, bringing countless hardened criminals to justice while urging them to change their wicked ways. From their Hawaiian home base, the Chapmans nabbed bad guys and scored major ratings for over a decade — and then, just as mysteriously as he tapped into the pop culture zeitgeist, Dog suddenly seemed to suddenly disappear from the airwaves. 

Though he's been inexplicably absent from basic cable in recent years, don't go thinking Dog has been doing nothing but resting on his laurels. Far from it, in fact: this legend of liberty has actually remained fully active all across the American frontier — that is, when he hasn't been at Beth's side, supporting her throughout her battle with cancer, which sadly ended with her passing in June of 2019. Where Is Dog the Bounty Hunter now? Much like the man himself, we've searched far and wide to hunt down all the answers for you, and we've got them all right here.

Dog let his bird fly

After eight seasons of blond hair and bringing back bail-jumpers, A&E canceled the once hugely popular Dog the Bounty Hunter in May 2012. Undaunted, and as if possessing the skills of focus and persistence of a veteran bounty hunter, Chapman simply jumped networks and started another TV series. Chapman took his human-hunting talents to CMT in April 2013 for Dog and Beth: On the Hunt. Over the course of three seasons, the Dog and his bounty-hunting crew traveled from their base in Hawaii to various parts of the U.S. in order to catch criminals — meaning it didn't differ greatly from his first show, except that its title had a colon in it and it was on CMT instead of A&E. One other big difference was that Leland Chapman was the only second-generation Chapman featured on the show. Duane Lee Chapman Jr. and Lyssa Chapman declined to participate. "You know, people grow," Beth Chapman told Channel Guide. "At some point, you feel like there's got to be changes made. And we as parents have to be OK with letting our bird fly."

He was the one in court for a change

In July 2015, TMZ reported that fellow bounty hunter Charles Fisher had filed a lawsuit against Duane and Beth Chapman, alleging that they made him look like a thief and called him "a corrupt bondsman" during his appearance on Dog and Beth: On the Hunt. Fisher claimed that the series doctored up a phone conversation to imply that he'd unfairly pocketed $20,000 in collateral and cheated his insurance company. Fisher said the defamation he endured was so severe that it ruined his business, and he wanted $30 million for his troubles. There's no word on whether the case was ever settled, but we'd probably hear about it if Dog was suddenly $30 million poorer.

That's not the only lawsuit Dog faced regarding a guy who appeared on his show. According to Radar Online, a Colorado man named Justin Bihag sued Chapman and Dog the Bounty Hunter producers because he'd been underpaid for his 14 appearances on the show — he'd only pocketed $28,000 in fees. A judge sided with Dog and threw out the case in 2015, finding that Bihag signed some releases that rendered his claims invalid.

He bailed out Nicolas Cage

In one of the more bizarre celebrity news stories in recent memory, the Dog once stepped in to help out actor Nicolas Cage. According to ABC News, New Orleans police arrested Cage in 2011, after a domestic dispute with his wife Alice Kim got a little out of hand. Once he got tired of arguing with his wife, Cage reportedly started hitting cars, and when the police arrived, he was said to ask, "Why don't you just arrest me?" Dog, a fan of Cage's, later bailed him out of jail. Charges against Cage were dropped later that year, but we're still waiting for someone to make a TV series about this burgeoning friendship.

He opened up about his criminal past

Before he became the second most famous bounty hunter ever (after beloved Star Wars character Boba Fett, of course), Chapman learned firsthand about seedy, criminal behavior ... by being involved with a grisly crime and getting locked behind bars for it. In 1976, 23-year-old Chapman waited in the car outside a house in Pampa, Texas, while his friend ran in real quick to buy some marijuana. Instead, the friend and the drug dealer got into fight, and Dog's buddy shot the drug dealer dead. "In Texas in the '70s, if you were present, you were just as guilty," Chapman told the Associated Press in 2012. Although he wasn't physically present in the room when the killing occurred, Chapman received a five-year prison sentence, ultimately serving 18 months. This tidbit first came to light when Chapman was denied entry into the U.K. to appear on Celebrity Big Brother because of his technically criminal past.

He spoke out about his troubled stepdaughter

While Dog the Bounty Hunter brought fortune and fame to some members of the Chapman family, it didn't touch everyone. Dog has been married a few times, and one of those unions links him to a stepdaughter named Nicole Gillespie. In September 2015, she was arrested for allegedly robbing the Territorial Savings Bank in Honolulu, Hawaii. Charged with second-degree robbery, Gillespie was 35 and living in a park at the time. "It's always difficult and disheartening when someone you knew as a child grows up and chooses a life of crime," Duane and Beth Chapman said in a statement, adding that they hadn't seen "Nickie" in a decade but were nevertheless "shocked and heart broken."

Gillespie pleaded no contest and a judge put off sentencing, instead granting supervised release so she could enter a drug rehabilitation facility. When she skipped out of the treatment center, she was arrested again and cops hit her with another charge, for drug possession.

The bounty hunt had to end to save bounty hunting

Ever the public crusader, Chapman ended Dog and Beth: On the Hunt on his own accord after three seasons in 2015. The reason: He wanted to use his status as the world's most famous and popular bounty hunter to combat bounty hunter law reform efforts taking place across the U.S. (A lot of that talk and legislative action began after some sad, ugly, and unfortunate incidents involving bounty hunters made the news, such as a man being shot to death by bounty hunters in Idaho).

Dog felt that the energy he spent actively bounty hunting would be better spent working behind the scenes on behalf of other bounty hunters of the present and future, such as trying to stop proposed laws that included minimum-age limits for bounty hunters and preventing people who are themselves fugitives from becoming bounty hunters. Unfortunately, an Idaho bounty hunting reform bill died in the state house in 2016.

It's a Dog-meet-dog world

As Dog and Beth: On the Hunt wound down its third and final season, Chapman once again ran into yet another weird and unpredictable situation befitting the life of a professional bounty hunter. In March 2015, Chapman and his team arrested Texas man James Hawkins for failing to pay a bond. But then as Chapman cuffed his absconded criminal, Chapman caught sight of his target's Great Dane, a 200-pound, very good boy named Duke. It was reportedly love at first sight: According to Hawkins (via TMZ), upon seeing the dog, Chapman simply had to have him and offered $1,000 — in cash — for the pooch. Chapman and his lawyer deny all this, of course, but either way, it seems as though Hawkins' family wasn't terribly troubled by whatever actually went down. During the arrest, they actually smiled for pictures with Beth Chapman while Dog arrested and hauled off their dad.

He's with Hillary (or at least he was)

Dog the Bounty Hunter may seem like a blue-collar guy. And he's also developed a nasty distaste for criminals, having dealt with the dregs of society for most of his professional life. Both of those traits often indicate that an individual falls on the conservative side of the political spectrum ... but not necessarily. Yes, as strange as it may seem, Dog the Bounty Hunter publicly identified himself as a Hillary Clinton supporter in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election.

During a 2015 appearance on the Fox News show Outnumbered, a panelist asked Chapman, a Republican, to share his thoughts on then-Republican nomination frontrunner, Florida Senator Marco Rubio. "I don't think he could beat the dynamic duo," Chapman said. "Who's the dynamic duo?" queried co-host Andrea Tantaros. "The Clintons," Chapman said, cracking a smile. His reasons: "I want someone in there with experience." As of this writing, Dog has yet to be invited back to Fox News to discuss the presidency (which notably wasn't won by Rubio or a Clinton).

Beth's battle with cancer

In the fall of 2017, Beth Chapman was diagnosed with Stage II throat cancer. Just a few weeks later, she endured a 12-hour surgery to remove a tumor that a family friend told The Blast was the size of a plum. Two months after that, Dog reported that Beth was free of cancer.

Sadly, the surgical tumor removal didn't leave Chapman cancer-free forever — a little over a year later, the cancer returned. Once more, Chapman had an emergency operation on her throat to remove a large blockage doctors detected. 

Around that time, photographers spotted Dog and his daughter, Lyssa Chapman, exiting a Los Angles restaurant, and they asked how Beth was doing. "I appreciate the question and say a prayer," Chapman said. "She's not doing good." Lyssa added, "We appreciate the support of our fans. We're all so devastated."

Unfortunately, Beth's condition would soon take a turn for the worse.

Back on the hunt

You may not be able to teach an old dog new tricks, but you can give him a new television show. After years away from the airwaves, Dog the Bounty Hunter and his wife Beth announced their return in early 2019, revealing the impending arrival of their next reality series. Titled Dog's Most Wanted and set to premiere on WGN America, the show promises to deliver more of the good old-fashioned bounty huntin' action that Dog's fans have come to expect — with an added layer of personal drama.

Referencing Beth's ongoing cancer battle, Dog used the series trailer to vow he'd keep bringing perps to justice even though he'd rather be focused on her health — in fact, he would use her struggle as added motivation. "My wife, the love of my life, is fighting for her life," said Dog. "Instead of being at home helping her, I'm out here looking for you. I'm warning you in advance. May God have mercy on you when I get you." Of course, Beth is now gone from this world, so that will likely be addressed in the series as well.

Dog's Most Wanted might be delayed

After Dog and Beth's long break from TV, fans understandably had a lot of pent-up demand for a new Dog the Bounty Hunter reality series — but judging by remarks made by Beth after Dog's Most Wanted was announced, there might still be a frustrating wait ahead.

Although WGN America had a trailer ready to drop alongside the series announcement, it looks like they might not have room in their schedule just yet. Responding to a fan's question about a premiere date, Beth caused a social media stir when she responded "Apparently not this year" — and stoked a budding protest campaign when she suggested that her health issues might prevent her from ever seeing the show at all if the network didn't hurry up and give it a spot in the lineup. "I was hoping," she lamented, "to at least see it air." Unfortunately, that didn't happen.

Beth's final days

When Beth Chapman warned that her battle with cancer could keep her from seeing the debut of Dog's Most Wanted, she wasn't making an idle threat — as fans were reminded in June 2019, when it was reported that she'd been placed in a medically induced coma.

As ever, the family kept a brave face for the public — Dog shared a photo of Beth's freshly done nails with his Twitter followers, quipping that fans "know how she is" about her manicure — but her condition was clearly serious, something reinforced by Dog's separate call for prayers on Beth's behalf. It's a terrifying ordeal for any family to face, let alone in the public eye, but in comments she made not long before being hospitalized, Beth indicated she was prepared for whatever came next. Revealing that she'd declined chemotherapy treatment because it wasn't her "bag," she insisted that her faith would carry her through, no matter what.

"For me, this is the ultimate test of faith," said Beth. "This is my ultimate lesson. And it will either be taught to me or to you. And I am fine with taking the hit for everyone else. Because I think I know another guy who did the same thing."

Shortly after being placed in a coma, Beth Chapman passed away. "It's 5:32 in Hawaii, this is the time she would wake up to go hike Koko Head mountain," Duane tweeted early in the morning of June 26. "Only today, she hiked the stairway to heaven. We all love you, Beth. See you on the other side."