A New Jersey family’s young Alaskan Shepherd was killed by a hunter who mistakenly thought it was a coyote, according to People Pets.
Tonka and his owner, Elizabeth Mongno, were out for a walk in their backyard of Readington Township when the dog suddenly saw a group of deer and took off after them.
Mongno told People that she began running behind him and calling his name, but just a short time later she heard a loud bang and then a yelp. After a brief time searching for Tonka, Mongno and her husband found the dog’s body, dead from a crossbow.
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection told People that a 40-year-old licensed hunter had killed Tonka because he thought the dog was coyote chasing after deer. Bow season began Sept. 9 and it is legal for a hunter to take a coyote while hunting other animals, according to People.
Mongno told People she has a difficult time believing Tonka, who was about twice as a big as a coyote, could be mistaken for one.