A hunter faces criminal charges in Connecticut for allegedly killing and skinning two German shepherds he allegedly mistook for wild coyotes.
According to the arrest warrant application, the suspected dog killer Michael Konschak is said to have hit the two canines with a crossbow last November while hunting. After killing the animals, the 61-year-old is said to have skinned them to keep their skins.
Konschak, of Putnam County, NY, claimed to authorities he mistook the puppies for coyotes when he shot them, the warrant said.
The two dogs, a female named Lieben and a male named Cimo, both 10, went missing for weeks after fleeing their family’s farm in Ridgefield, Connecticut. A bear is suspected of tearing down part of the fence.
The canine family was constantly looking for the pets and putting up flyers with them around the area. Owner Erin Caviola said the dogs’ heads had been removed and are still missing.
In court on Wednesday, Konschak said the killings were a “case of mistaken identity” as he thought the animals were wild, the News-Times reported. His attorney, Brian Romano, argued the incident was “a hunting accident.”
Konschak faces charges including evidence tampering, forgery, interfering with a law enforcement officer and hunting-related violations, and was arrested in February.
“Please note that it was never my intention that morning to harm the victims’ pets,” he said in court before the family of the dogs and animal rights activists who are seeking charges of animal cruelty.
While prosecutors said Konschak, a respiratory therapist and US Air Force veteran, might have initially thought the dogs were coyotes when they were dead, it was clear they were pets because Cimo was neutered and Liebens had a hysterectomy scar, Danbury State Attorney David Applegate said so, according to the newspaper.
A judge rejected a special parole program for Konschak during Wednesday’s hearing that would have dropped the charges.
The two dogs were remembered by Erin Caviola as “members of our family” who “brought us joy.”
“I just can’t believe anyone would do something like that,” Caviola told the News-Times ahead of the hearing. “We can’t get these images out of our heads of how someone could look in their faces and shoot them and kill them and then take them and skin them and decapitate them.”
The investigation is ongoing and more charges could be added.
With mail wires
https://nypost.com/2023/03/01/michael-konschak-accused-of-killing-2-dogs-he-thought-were-coyotes/ Michael Konschak accused of killing two dogs he thought were coyotes