The Flathead County Sheriff’s office is investigating two separate incidents revolving around an apparent abandonment of 19 huskies and shepherd mixes that were found in the Doris Creek region near Hungry Horse, where officials say one of the dogs was shot by a hunter who thought it was a wolf.
Deputies have conducted interviews and were in the process of submitting information to the Flathead County Attorney’s Office for review on Tuesday.
Officials with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) are also investigating the shooting to determine if any hunting violations occurred. However, no information has been released yet.
“It does not involve a wildlife crime and our jurisdiction is game, wildlife and fish species, and this involves a dog,” said Dillon Tabish, the FWP regional communication and education program manager for Region 1.
According to Flathead County Sheriff Brian Heino, his office received a report on Sept. 23 that there were 11 dogs in the Doris Creek area that appeared to have been abandoned. The animals, which were huskies and shepherd mixed dogs, were picked up by Animal Control and taken to the animal shelter. Law enforcement later learned that there were up to 19 dogs total, several of which tested positive for parvovirus after being taken to the animal shelter, and some were as young as 4 months.
“I don’t think they were up there for very long, but they were in the middle of nowhere,” Heino said.
Heino said the hunter posted images of herself and the field-dressed dog on social media. He said the sheriff’s office has received a flood of emails and calls from concerned citizens, most of which were from out-of-state.
“It’s been crazy,” Heino said.
If members of the public have information about the investigations, email [email protected].