A hunter kills and skins two German shepherds in CT, thinking they were coyotes

A gentleman out hunting for deer in Connecticut killed two German shepherds with a crossbow instead, mistaking the dogs for coyotes. (As if killing coyotes is okay.)

The inept hunter – 61-year-old Michael Konschak – then texted photos of the dead dogs to a taxidermist in hopes of tanning their hides, according to the Miami Herald. To get a head start, he skinned the dogs at his home in New York before realizing he did a crappy job and tossing the pelts in the trash.

Meanwhile, the taxidermist was skeptical as to whether these canines were really coyotes or actually a couple of dogs, and shared the texted photos with others who might be able to better identify the animals. Someone then forwarded the images to the German shepherds' family, who recognized the corpses as their beloved pets, Cimo and Lieben.

"All that time our family, friends, neighbors and strangers had spent searching for them, and they had been dead the whole time," the dogs' family member, Erin Caviola, said in a statement, according to Miami Herald. "All the while Mike Konschak, the person responsible, kept it a secret."

From Miami Herald:

The hunter said he thought the dogs were eastern coyotes and wanted to have their pelts tanned, an arrest warrant obtained by McClatchy News states. …

Cimo and Lieben's owners, David and Erin Caviola, desperately searched for their pets after they escaped their Ridgefield backyard fence in November, according to police with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. The fence was damaged by a black bear, police said.

They learned their dogs were dead after their son-in-law received a text message from a witness saying he had information about Cimo and Lieben and sent two photos of their bodies Dec. 12, the arrest warrant says. …

He's facing charges, including second-degree tampering with physical evidence, second-degree forgery, interfering with an officer and two hunting-related charges.

Konschak appeared in Danbury Superior Court on March 1 for a hearing where he said he was ashamed, and his lawyer described his actions as an accident, the Associated Press reported.