According to TMZ,a family dog was accidentally shot and killed after hunters mistook it as a coyote.
It all happened in Berks County, Pennsylvania, where the owner of the eight-year-old malamute mix named Hunter, Jennifer Heller, said her husband Chris had taken the dog to a “very commonly used walking path by our house,” and added that Chris had even put reflective collars and a harness on Hunter as well.
Heller said that Chris unleashed Hunter when they got to the path, but kept him close.
After realizing that there was an extension on hunting season, Chris went to leash Hunter back up again, but it was too late.
Heller said that her husband yelled for help and they loaded him in a truck and drove straight for the vet, but he died before they could even make it to the highway.
She is now calling for authorities to revoke the shooter’s hunting privileges.
Northern Berks Regional Police Chief James Keiser told the outlet that the dog wasn’t under control of the owner, and was shot by hunters who mistaken the dog as a coyote.
He added that there were no arrests, and no charges were filed.
A representative for the Game Commission also noted that the hunters were in full compliance with Pennsylvania hunting laws, saying it was a mistake.
Heller also mentioned that she met with the Game Commissioner to discuss ways to prevent another situation like this from happening.
The family has started a GoFundMe to raise money to hire an attorney, so they can file a lawsuit against the parties, who they believe got off easy.
Even though it was an accident, I absolutely couldn’t imagine losing your dog and best friend in this way.
Here is the full statement from the owner:
“My husband got ready to take our 2 dogs out for a walk like always. Freya is a German Shepherd and HUNTER is a malamute mix. He put on there bright reflective collars and harnesses on and proceeded to the very commonly used walking path by our house. No cars were at the trail gate. They started out at some point because no one was around he unleashed them but kept them close.
They are trained to respond to his whistle. Lots of times our grandkids are on the walk with the dogs. At some point he came across a group of hunters. My husband stopped and talked to the hunters and said I thought hunting season was over. They stated it was a special extended doe , he told the hunters I will be taking this path ( gesturing) his direction and will be out of your way in 5min.
The hunters then communicated to their group that a man and 2 large dogs were in the area. He walked to the dogs before he could HUNTER was shot while standing on the trail Freya was near him .HUNTER was shot in the gut by a hunter with a scope on his rifle. My husband yelled “Who shot my dog?” He carried HUNTER approximately a 100 yards screaming for help.
Two Hunters rushed to his aide. The one hunter who shot him stood and watched as two men and my husband loaded HUNTER on a cart and raced to get him out. We loaded him in a truck and drove like crazy towards the vet. HUNTER died before we got to 662 highway.
He suffered in pain for around 20 minutes. The hunter who shot him didn’t apologize, hasn’t reached out to us to ask if there is anything we need. Other members of his party called to check on us. The hunter only said I thought it was a coyote. I want this hunter to loose his hunting privileges for a few years and have to take a hunter safety course before he can hunt again.
I want to help educate hunters with actual color photos of the difference between a pet dog and a coyote. Hunter was so loved by so many people and shouldn’t have had his life ended.”