DANBURY, Conn. — A hunter who told authorities he killed and skinned what he believed to be two coyotes but later discovered they were German shepherds, pets of a Connecticut family, has been criminally charged.
During a hearing in Danbury Superior Court on Wednesday that drew dozens of people, including dog owners and animal rights advocates, Michael Konschak, 61, of Carmel, New York, said he was embarrassed. of what he did.
«Please know that that morning it was never my intention to harm the victims’ pets,» he said.
Police with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection arrested Konschak in February on charges including evidence tampering, forgery, interference with a law enforcement officer and hunting-related violations.
Animal rights advocates have urged authorities to add animal cruelty charges. Danbury State Attorney David Applegate said the case is still being investigated and more charges may be filed.
Konschak, whose attorney called the dogs’ deaths an accident, requested a special probation program that could have resulted in the charges being dropped, but a judge denied that request Wednesday.
Erin Caviola, of Ridgefield, said she and her family searched for their dogs for weeks and posted fliers after they went missing, and are heartbroken by what happened to them. She said the dogs’ heads were removed and are still missing.
“We live with the emotional pain of thinking about what they felt in their last moments as they lay dying next to each other,” he said.
In an arrest warrant affidavit, police said Konschak killed the dogs with a crossbow Nov. 18 after they escaped from a Ridgefield family’s yard. The family said the dogs, Lieben, a female, and Cimo, a male, both 10 years old, escaped because a fence was damaged, possibly by a bear.
Konschak was hunting deer on nearby property and said he killed what he thought were two coyotes, according to the affidavit. His attorney, Brian Romano, said Konschak skinned the animals for their pelts. He hunting and capturing coyotes It is legal in Connecticut.
But Applegate, the prosecutor, argued that there were inconsistencies in Konschak’s story and questioned how Konschak could not see that the animals were dogs before skinning them.
Konschak is due back in court next month.