KALISPELL, Mont. - Flathead investigators are trying to track down whoever apparently poached a deer, and shot and killed a dog found near it.
It happened last Tuesday, November 12, in Columbia Falls on Conn Road, just southwest of the Intersection of Highway 2 and Highway 40.
We're told the dog was a St. Bernard that was kind and would greet children as they got off the bus. Since the dog was microchipped, law enforcement officials were able to find the owner, but the identity of the shooter remains a mystery.
"People need to stop and think. These are people's pets," said Mimi Beadles, the Executive Director of the Flathead Spay and Neuter Task Force.
When she heard about the incident, she wanted to help out. She's posted a $400 reward for information leading to an arrest of the incident.
"The clinic for the Spay and Neuter Task Force is only about a mile away from where the incident took place, and they tell us that they've seen a lot of poaching cases in the area over the past few years.
"My guess is it was probably at night, and whether they let the dog out or the dog lived outside, heard the person and was barking and they were afraid it was going to alert somebody and that's why they shot the dog and killed it," said Beadles.
Because her clinic is so close, Beadles says it's caused her to rethink having her animals outside.
"If you live out in the country and your animals are in your yard, it's very disconcerting to know that less than a mile from our own facility, a dog was shot in the people's own yard. We have our own animals here and I have a lot at my house, so yeah, it's very disconcerting," Beadles said.
If you have any information on this incident, you can contact the Flathead Crime Stoppers at 406-752-8477.