“Today my dog, partner and teammate, was tragically killed by a hunter 10 feet away from me.”

On Monday, two colleagues from an animal rehabilitation center were taking a group of dogs on a walk near Lake Lucille in British Columbia, Canada.

As they were finishing up a hunter took a shot at a 4-year-old dog, Kaoru.

Valley Calderoni, the dogs owner, told Canadian Broadcasting Corp. News that, “I see my dog, and she was bleeding. I turned around and said, ‘Markie, oh my God, my dog has been shot.’”

The hunter, Calderoni wrote, stood about 10 feet away from her.

Calderoni, who was hiking half an hour north of Squamish, had spent thousands of hours training Kaoru to be a therapy dog, who worked with children with autism and other emotional challenges, according to Canadian Broadcasting Corp. News.

Message From Valley Calderoni

Today my dog, my partner, was killed at point blank.

To say that we love our dogs is an understatement. Some of us have changed our lifestyles completely to be able to enjoy the tremendous feeling of exploring the woods with a dog. My dog was amazing; she was a Tamaskan, a rare breed. Her name was Kaoru (Kah-oh-roo) she was named after a Japanese hero of mine. When she was a pup, she was mischievous always stealing socks, shoes, tapes, toothbrushes hiding them around the house or tearing them apart. I loved this dog; I laugh so much at her antics. I spent hours working with her and training her to be a service dog, and I loved that she always remind wild. Kaoru’s favourite pastime was garden design, I planted a tree in one of the yards, and next thing I see is Kaoru taking it out with the roots and all, carrying it to the side and burying it, you see the tree did not match her style. Kaoru touched so many lives; she was an unexpected joy, I remember coming home to find princess Kaoru sleeping on top of the fridge, indeed the best view in the house. But the most beautiful thing I ever saw Kaoru do was when she was working with Autistic children. These beautiful kids have episodes and would sometimes be rough with her, but Kaoru was amazing and followed her training perfectly. She would squint her eyes, lay down, and let out a sigh, the kids then would slowly begin to calm down as their hands crunched tightly on Kaoru’s fur. Kaoru has worked with many kids and people, from PSD to regular children, elders and adults. I loved my dog so much and watching her give herself so entirely to anyone that let her has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

Today, like any other day, I took my beautiful girl with a teammate and nine other dogs on a regular hike. The hike was amazing; the dogs were so well behaved, training went beautifully. As we were finishing the hike, we were putting the leashes back on the dogs. We were going up a little bank onto an old forest road. I already had two dogs on the leash when I heard the bang, it was so loud, my instinct made me crouch down, then I looked, and I saw 10 feet in front of me my dog shot. She screamed, and looked at her wound with disbelief and then looked at me with the absolute feeling of betrayal. I ran towards her as she stumbled down the road where she collapsed. I tried to save her, I held her, I just knew it was not good. I did not want her to suffer, and I told her “just go, just let go baby girl”. She died. I never cried so hard in my life. I was faint; I could not breathe. The amount of pain I feel should never be experienced by anyone, ever, for any reason. A hunter, a trophy hunter killed my dog. I told him ” the only thing that can make this better would be if you never, ever take another life again”. What kind of human can look in a scope at such beautiful creature and murder it? This man took my dog’s life because he thought she was a wolf surrounded by seven other dogs and 10 feet away from my teammate and me. We could have died. I hike in that location with kids all the time, could you imagine if a child had to experience that or worse if he had hit a child? I can’t believe that Kaoru is gone, that someone could do that. I am in pain and I want to use this intense pain to help stop this, we can take a stand, we can change things. Please join us on our campaign KAORU’S SPIRIT TRAIL