Therapy dog shot 'point blank' by hunter right in front of owner
A Canadian woman’s therapy dog was “killed at point blank” while she was wrangling the rest of her canines after a hike.
“All I can see is my dog getting shot — her face, her eyes looking at me with absolute disbelief,” owner Valley Calderoni told CBC. “I held her and I told her to go, just go, and she died.”
Calderoni, the founder of Canine Valley, mourned the loss of her “partner and teammate,” a 4-year-old Tamaskan dog named Kaoru, in a Facebook post Tuesday. She recalled how she and a colleague had just finished their hike with 10 dogs under their care from a Squamish rehabilitation center when she heard the tell-all bang.
“I already had two dogs on the leash when I heard the bang, so loud my instinct made me crouch down, then I looked and saw 10 feet in front of me my dog shot,” Calderoni wrote. “She screamed and looked at her wound with disbelief and then looked at me with the absolute feeling of betrayal.
“I ran towards her as she stumbled down the road where she collapsed. I tried to save her, I held her, I just knew it was not good.”
She said Kaoru was shot by a trophy hunter, who later told Conservation officials during an interview that it was an error in judgement, according to the news station.
Authorities said he was about 10 feet away from the dog.
Officer Kent Popjes said the man had been cooperative with the investigation and noted that it’s legal hunting season for deer and black bears.
Wolves are in season in other areas, but not where the shooting unfolded, according to officials.
“We do not know why the hunter shot Kaoru, an assumption that he thought it was wolf, even though wolf hunting is not permitted where she was killed, this brought to our attention the plight of the wolf and we will stand by them,” Calderoni wrote in a GoFundMe campaign aimed at turning the area where her pet was shot into a no-hunting zone.
She added that she hopes to raise funds to protect wolves and to train more service dogs.
Calderoni adopted Kaoru when she was just a puppy after her original owner turned her over to the rehab facility.
The canine later trained as an emotional therapy dog and has since worked with autistic children and others with emotional challenges.