Family dog mistaken as a coyote, shot by hunter

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The hunter told police he had mistakened the dog for a coyote. (Elizabeth Middlemark Mongno via Facebook)

A New Jersey family wants answers after their dog was shot with a crossbow after being mistaken for a coyote Wednesday.

Elizabeth Mongno says she was walking her 1-year-old Husky named Tonka when the dog ran off after a deer near their home in Readington.

"One of our neighbors, unbeknownst to us, had given a relative property to deer hunt. A man saw Tonka running. Tonka stopped, probably about to return home, and the man shot and killed Tonka with a cross bow," Mongno wrote in a Facebook post.


Police interviewed the hunter, Romeo Antonuccio of Kenilworth, N.J. He told police that he was trying to shoot deer from a tree stand and thought Tonka was a coyote. Police charged him with careless discharge and damage of property.

Under New Jersey law, hunters are allowed to shoot coyote. Antonuccio had permission to be in one of the neighboring backyards but officials say he did not have permission to be on the tract of the woods where the husky was found.

Tonka's family disputes Antonuccio's claims that he thought Tonka was a coyote.

"It all happened so fast, but I was so loudly calling him home, other neighbors, from further away could hear. Our hearts are completely broken, we (are) devastated," Mongno wrote.

Romeo Antonuccio is expected to appear in court in November to face charges.

Related Topics:
pets-animalsdogpethuntingReadingtonHunterdon County
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