Hunter ‘shot and skinned family’s German shepherds and sent posed pics to owner’

A woman says her two German Shepherds were shot and skinned by a hunter who "mistook" them to be wolves.

Erin Caviola in Ridgefield, from Connecticut, US, spoke of her and her family's devastation after the dogs were shot on November 18 on her neighbour's property.

Erin received a call on December 12 telling her that a hunter had shared images of the dogs after they had been shot and mutilated.

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The dogs, Cimo and Lieben, were both 10 years old.

“This is horrific. It has been absolutely devastating. We don’t know how this can happen, to look at these two beautiful animals and do that,” Erin said.

“In the middle of the night, we had a bear break down part of our fence because we have beehives on our property, and the dogs must’ve run out."

The family had spent spent weeks searching for their beloved dogs.

After almost a month, an individual reached out to Ms Caviola, sharing an image of what appeared to be the remains of the dogs.

“The pictures that we got was them posed on the ground, laying there, and you could clearly see that they both had been shot in the chest,” she said.

The Department of Energy & Environmental Protection was handed the case by the police and a man, Mike Konschak, has been arrested.

Erin has since set up a petition arguing Mr Konschak should have his hunting licence revoked and be charged with animal cruelty, which has been signed by over 60,000 people.

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Konschak is due to appear in court on Wednesday (March 8) charged with forgery and violating hunting rights.

The arrest warrant states the man "thought the dogs were wolves" and he claimed they were acting aggressively towards him.

Parts of the remains have been buried in the family’s backyard by Erin and her family, who are devastated by the crime.

“We were hoping to have many more memories from them,” Erin said.

According to the anonymous source who contacted Erin, the individual visited a taxidermist to have the canines hides tanned, but the owner refused and contacted police.

Lawyer Brian Romano, representing Konschak, said: “There is a sealing order on this file. Due to that, I’m unable to comment at this time.”

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