The following press release was sent out by Missoula County Sheriff’s Deputies.

On Tuesday, November 19th, Missoula County Sheriff’s Deputies were able to make contact with the hunter involved in the incident at Lee Creek Campground which resulted in a domestic dog being shot. Dissemination of the subsequent investigation is prohibited by the Montana Criminal Justice Information Act of 1979.

Based on the statements provided by both parties, it was determined that there was no malicious or purposeful intent to cause harm or injury to a domesticated animal on behalf of the hunter. The Missoula County Attorney’s Office concurs with the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office that the facts of the incident do not fit the elements of any criminal statutes contained in Montana law under title 45.

The Sheriff’s Office has conferred with Fish, Wildlife, and Parks and also determined that the circumstances do not constitute any egregious violation of Montana hunting regulations. The incident was not enforceable by their agency because it involved a domesticated animal, rather than a game animal. The FWP has not determined any hunting violations committed on behalf of the hunter at this time. Because the events did not result in criminal charges, the name of the hunting individual is being withheld for his own safety.

The Missoula County Sheriff’s Office as well as Fish, Wildlife and Parks agree that these events are very unfortunate. Both agencies hope that everyone does their best to uphold personal safety and responsibility while hunting and recreating in our local forests.