The Missoula County Sheriff's office has contacted the hunter who accidentally shot a dog in the Lee Creek area near Lolo Pass last Sunday, and have determined there was no crime committed. The hunter has said he thought he was shooting a wolf, but instead killed one of three malamutes owned by Layne Spence, who had taken his dogs along for a cross-country ski outing. Missoula County sheriff's spokeswoman Paige Pavalone says after interviewing the hunter, and the dog's owner, they have determined no violation was committed.
"We've scrambled to see if it lines up with anything criminal, and it just simply does not," Pavalone said.
Pavalone says the sheriff's office has been inundated with calls from around the country from people upset about the incident. That's one reason they are keeping the hunter's identity confidential.
"Because of the backlash that was created on social media, there was people calling for vigilante justice, wanting blood," said Pavalone. "We have an obligation to make sure that safety is upheld for that person and his family."
Pavalone says the hunter is very upset about accidentally killing the dog. She says she hopes people learn from the incident so it doesn't happen again.