A Montana hunter who posted about killing a Siberian husky she mistook for a wolf on social media has been cited for animal cruelty. Flathead County Sheriff’s Office told Fox News that 36-year-old Amber Rose Barnes was given a citation for animal cruelty for the unsanctioned death of a 6-month-old husky in September. The citation is considered a misdemeanor. Within two weeks, she will have to appear in Justice Court for the charge.
Outrage swept the nation after Barnes posted a series of photos with the mutilated pup on Facebook. “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 [in] 2022. [It] was a great feeling to text my man and say I just smoked a wolf pup #firstworld #onelesspredatorMT,” she captioned the images. One damning image shows Barnes aboard a flatbed truck. She grins broadly as she rubs the head of a dead husky pup with her right hand. She holds onto her rifle with her left.
Readers were quick to express their outrage online. They dubbed Barnes the “Montana butcher” and pointed out that she had only managed to kill a dog. A state wildlife biologist identified the remains in the photos. They concluded it was a 6-month-old domestic dog, said Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks spokesperson Greg Lemon. Lemon stated that hunters should make a concerted effort to correctly identify their target animal before taking the shot. “The vast majority of hunters are very deliberate about when they pull the trigger that the animal in their sights is the animal they are licensed to hunt,” Lemon said.
The hunter claimed she shot the husky in self-defense
Authorities say the slain husky was one of more than a dozen dogs abandoned in Flathead National Forest. This is near where Barnes hunting, which is approximately 60 miles south of Glacier National Park.
Despite the outrageous blunder, Barnes later insisted she had shot the pooch in self-defense. “This animal was growling howling and coming at me like it was going to eat me,” Barnes wrote. “Yes, I made a mistake because I did think it was a hybrid wolf pup but I was not aware of a [sic] 19 dogs being dropped 11 miles into the wilderness either way yes I would still have shot it because it was aggressive and coming directly for me!”
The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks said that Barnes had purchased a wolf license before the hunt. “We’re not charging for any hunting violation. [This is] because the incident did not involve an animal under Fish, Wildlife and Park jurisdiction,” explained Dillon Tabish, the agency’s regional communication and education program manager.