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Man sentenced for shooting dog he mistook for wolf

Kenai, right, was shot and killed in May 2015 on a Forest Service road by a man who mistook the dog for a wolf. The bullet also struck Osar, left, who survived. (Courtesy photo)
Kenai, right, was shot and killed in May 2015 on a Forest Service road by a man who mistook the dog for a wolf. The bullet also struck Osar, left, who survived. (Courtesy photo)

A Bonners Ferry man who shot two dogs on a Forest Service road last year after his father allegedly told him to “shoot the wolf” was sentenced to two years probation and ordered to pay $1,275 in fines and restitution.

Collin Cossairt was sentenced Thursday in Idaho’s District Court for the May 2015 shooting, which occurred after the state’s hunting season for wolves had closed. One of the dogs, a husky-Malamute mix, died. The same bullet struck a second dog, a Lab mix, which survived, according to the dogs’ owners.

Cossairt was found guilty of three misdemeanor hunting violations, including shooting from a vehicle, shooting across a road and hunting without a tag. He was fined $830 and ordered to pay $445 in restitution to the dogs’ owners.

Attempts to reach Cossairt, a University of Idaho student, were unsuccessful Friday.

His father, Kevin Cossairt, was found guilty of aiding in a misdemeanor and has served four days in jail, according to court documents.

The dogs’ owners, Jim and Lisa Rosauer, also filed a civil lawsuit against Collin and Kevin Cossairt. The couple said they were hiking with their dogs on a snow-covered Forest Service road to Spruce Lake, which is near the Idaho-Montana border. The dogs were a short distance ahead of them when the shooting occurred, Jim Rosauer said.

The Cossairts stopped to apologize and help them load the injured dogs into their vehicle, Rosauer said. The husky-Malamute mix died at a Sandpoint veterinarian’s office.

“She was our pet, our friend and a family member,” Rosauer said. “It was tragic.”

The other dog survived a leg wound but has bullet fragments in its bone that can’t be removed, he said.

As part of his probation, Collin Cossairt will tell his story to students in hunter safety classes, emphasizing the importance of identifying targets before shooting, Rosauer said.

Both he and his wife appreciate “the educational piece coming out of this,” Rosauer said.

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