Last month, a Montana woman found herself in a lot of trouble, both on the internet and with the law, after she went on social media and posted a picture of a Siberian husky that she killed and skinned while bear hunting in Montana.
According to TMZ, Amber Barnes of Miller City, Montana, was the culprit who has since admitted to mistaking the dog for a wolf pup. She could be seen holding a rifle and smiling ear to ear for the standard “grip and grin” photo of the poor dog.
She shared her side of the story on Facebook (deleting it shortly after) claiming that she thought she was hunting a wolf.
“So this morning I set out for a solo predator hunt for a fall black bear however I got the opportunity to take another predator wolf pup 2022 was a great feeling to text my man and say I just smoked a wolf pup”
Clearly that’s not a wolf, but rather a Siberian husky, so a number of people immediately contacted the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
Apparently someone abandoned over a dozen dogs deep into the wilderness, and this poor pup was one of them.
However, once the criticism came rushing in, Amber doubled down and said that the dog was being aggressive towards her and said she would’ve shot it anyways:
“I purchased my wolf tag prior to leaving for a bear hunt in the event I ran into a wolf in which I came to encounter with what I thought could be a hybrid during this time my safety was top priority this animal was growling howling and coming at me like it was going to eat me.
Yes, I made a mistake because I did think it was a hybrid wolf pup, but I was not aware of a 19 dogs being dropped 11 miles into the wilderness. Either way, yes I still would’ve shot it because it was aggressive and coming directly for me.”
The Flathead County Sheriff’s Office released a statement regarding the horrible mistake, saying it had been contacted by someone who reported picking up “several husky and shepherd mix dogs” in the Doris Creek area in the Flathead National Forest.
They added that one of the dogs “may have been shot.”
The statement read:
“The parties were able to pick up 11 dogs which were turned over to Animal Control and taken to the animal shelter. During this investigation, we were advised through Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks that one of the dogs may have been shot.”
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks regulations state that a person can take up to 20 wolves, (10 hunting and 10 trapping), however, you’re required to purchase a separate license for each wolf hunted, and must call in each kill within 24 hours.
It’s also been alleged that she got a wolf tag AFTER she shot the dog, but it’s unclear if that’s true or not.
And now, the woman has officially been charged with animal cruelty.
According to Up North Live, police have classified the killing as “animal cruelty,” so Barnes was issued a citation and will have to appear on court.
Police indicated that the woman would’ve been charged with a felony had they been able to prove that it wasn’t an accident. However, since the woman claims she thought it was a wolf, negligence is all they can prove.
Animal cruelty convictions in Montana carry maximum penalties of $1,000 in fines and one year in county jail.