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Idaho camper shoots family dog, mistaking it for wolf

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A family dog is recovering after she was shot twice last weekend by a camper in Idaho who mistook the pet for a wolf, a family said. She is actually an Alaskan malamute.

Rob Kolb and his 16-year-old daughter, Piper, started their backpacking trip on Friday in the Boulder Mountains in central Idaho with their 6-year-old dog named Suki, the Idaho Statesman reported. They set up camp that night.

The next morning, Rob Kolb woke up to use the bathroom, leaving Suki outside the tent, where she wandered to a nearby campsite. He told the Idaho Statesman that he woke up again an hour later by a gunshot that was “crazy close” and then heard two more shots.

“By the time I got out of the tent, there were three guys saying ‘I think we shot your dog,’ ” Kolb said.

The Kolbs then saw Suki lying on the ground 5 feet from the tent with a gunshot wound to the left side of her head, panting with blood dripping from her mouth and ear, he said.

The man who shot Suki — whom the Kolbs denied to identify publicly — said he thought the dog was a wolf before he noticed she had a collar on, Kolb said. The man took immediate responsibility and paid for her vet bills, he said.

Veterinarian Dr. Karsten Fostvedt said the bullets missed Suki’s brain and spinal cord, but she lost part of her left ear, suffered a cracked vertebrae and remains paralyzed in the left side of her face from a potential stroke.

Kolb said he filed a report with the Custer County sheriff’s office but had not yet heard back. He said he doesn’t plan to press charges and is unsure what, if any, legal repercussions would be enforced.

The Kolbs are now urging outdoor recreators to brush up on their wildlife identification skills and exercise caution with firearms, referencing how things could have been much worse.

“Not only did our dog get hurt, but Piper and I could’ve been shot,” Rob Kolb said. “We hope people … take a little more time before they decide to shoot.”

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Associated Press



  1. A malamute mistaken for a WOLF???
    Suddenly all those silhouette signs they used to have (for the California and Utah ‘hunters’) up in the local big game areas make a bit more sense. You know: The ‘difference’ between as elk and a moose? The ‘difference’ between an elk and a deer? The ‘difference’ between an elk and a SCHOOL BUS?
    Wonder from how far south of us THIS particular idiot was here from? 🙁

  2. As an owner of two (120+) Malamutes, I hate to say it, Mals are the closest relation to a wolf in the dog world. My male is easily mistaken for a wolf, my female; not so much.

    I am not saying the idiot who shot the dog is forgiven; to be honest if he shot one of my dogs, he might not be making any statements at this time cause I would shoot back in protection of my dogs and in fear the idiot my not have a great aim.

    However, anyone, NEEDS TO KNOW WHAT THEY ARE SHOOTING AT and if they are too dumb to take the time to figure it out; they need to be eliminated from the gun owners’ world.

  3. Forgot to say, that Malamute does not look anymore like a wolf than a beagle. The guy who did the shooting really needs to lose his right to have anything more dangerous than a rubber band.

  4. I guess I’m missing something. Why would anyone want to shoot a wolf? Very few people have the opportunity to see one. Why hurt it or chase it off with a firearm?

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