TORONTO – Dressed in a black jacket on Coach’s Corner, Don Cherry was grieving for a bear recently shot and killed by police in a Toronto neighbourhood.

Saying “it should never happen again,” the well known dog lover has offered a donation to buy a tranquillizer gun so Toronto Police are never in that position again.

“I don’t blame police because they didn’t have the equipment or backup,” said Cherry. “It’s a dark day and we have to learn from this.”

A lover of all animals — who often memorializes fallen troops — Cherry was reacting to an incident in which Toronto Police shot a black bear at Finch Ave. E. and Middlefield Rd. at 2 a.m. on Saturday after officers could not find expert assistance.

“I feel for the poor, innocent bear,” said Cherry, who brought a small Boston Bruin bear on the show. “It’s upsetting. We lost a good bruin there.”

Through the Don Cherry Pet Rescue Foundation, the former Boston Bruin coach is pledging “$1,000 to help get the proper dart gun to make sure a bear or any wild animal is tranquillized and brought back out into the wild.”

It’s obscene that no one who could be found in the province of Ontario to help police save this “It wasn’t until the bear was banging on the door of a house that a decision was made,” said police spokesman Mark Pugash. “It is unfortunate but it was done in the interest of public safety.”

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