Pennsylvania family outraged as hunter who shot dead their dog after mistaking it for coyote not charged

Pennsylvania family outraged as hunter who shot dead their dog after mistaking it for coyote not charged
Hunter was shot dead after being mistaken for a coyote (Jennifer Heller/Facebook)

BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA: A Pennsylvania family's beloved dog was recently shot and died while out in the woods with its owner after a hunter mistook the animal for a coyote. Jennifer Heller, the owner of Hunter, an 8-year-old malamute, reported her dog's death on Facebook. She explained that her husband, Chris, had outfitted the dogs with fluorescent collars and harnesses and had taken them to a "very commonly used walking path by our house" in Berks County, PA.

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She claims Chris released Hunter but kept him around and eventually encountered a group of hunters. After learning that the hunting season had been extended, she claims that Chris tried to leash her dog, but she was shot before he could reach him.

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Hunter died before they could even reach a freeway, according to Jennifer, after her husband called for help and they loaded her into a truck and sped off to take him to the vet. She is now requesting that the shooter's hunting license be revoked. 

According to Northern Berks Regional Police Chief James Keiser, the dog wasn't in the owner's control when it was shot by hunters who mistakenly believed it was a coyote; he also noted that the dog should have been on a leash. According to him, neither charges nor arrests were made. The hunters were fully compliant with PA hunting laws, the Game Commission representative claims, adding that it appears the dog was just accidentally shot, as reported by TMZ.

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Jennifer tells TMZ she spoke with the Game Commissioner and they discussed how to prevent tragedies like this from happening again. The family has set up a GoFundMe page to seek funds to hire an attorney and bring a lawsuit against the persons they believe have pushed the tragedy under the rug.

People were quick to comment on the GoFundMe page, with one saying, "I’m so sorry for your loss. As a mom to 2 huskys this breaks my heart. Not long ago another husky/mal was gunned downed by a hunter (also using the excuse of a wild animal) this makes me so angry. Not sure how far your handsome boy was from the hunter that shot him but you can tell the difference between your boy and a wild animal. Your boy had the most kind eyes I don’t see how they mistook it???? Huskys and Malamutes are one of the sweetest, smartest and well natured breeds I have met. I can’t even imagine your pain. #JusticeforHunter." Another said, "I pray you show that guy who shot him & the awful people with the State of PA they can’t get away with their ignorance, cruelty, & hate. I have a Husky/Malamute mix & I get told all the time she’s a wolf. It’s making me scared to even let her out to run around on my own land. Make an example of them all for Hunter, for those of us with dogs like him & for all animal lovers! I’m praying for your victory!" A third posted, "I have a 4 year old Malamute and this is my worst nightmare come true. She is the BEST dog we have ever had - I'm so sorry for your loss!" Another said, "These killers cannot be tolerated. Killing animals is an outdated practice with no room in a civilized society. My heart breaks for you and your beautiful dog. My first dog was a Malamute mix and he was the best dog ever as I'm sure yours was."

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