Therapy dog shot dead

A therapy dog that worked with people with autism and PTSD was shot dead Monday after a hunter thought the animal was a wolf.

Kaoru, a large-breed Tamaskan, was shot at point-blank range when out with her trainer and nine other dogs on their regular Monday morning hike, north of Squamish.

Valeria Calderoni, of Canine Valley rehabilitation centre, said Kaoru was shot just 10 feet away from her.

Calderoni said she was putting leashes back on her dogs when she heard the shot.

"There was a huge amount of blood. I just told her to 'let go' and she died," Calderoni told CTV. "This man took my dog's life because he thought she was a wolf. We could have died.”

Kaoru was an emotional therapy dog, and her biggest talent was calming children with autism.

According to a YouTube video, she helped thousands of people.

The BC Conservation Service is investigating.

Sgt. Simon Gravel said the shooter misidentified the species while hunting for deer on Crown land.

Deer hunting is allowed in the area, but wolf hunting is not.

– with files from CTV Vancouver

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