The case of a pet malamute shot multiple times by a hunter while near the Idaho-Montana border is no longer under investigation by the Missoula County Sheriff's Department or any other agency.

Apparently, the Missoula County Sheriff's Office took the initial report, before the story changed.

"The deputy took the initial report, which was an informational report, and then he advised the U.S. Forest Service and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks of the incident," said Missoula County Sheriff's Department Public Information Officer Paige Pavalone. "That was passed onto them [on Monday, November 18]. Subsequently it was determined that [the incident] didn't encompass anything criminal, as far as statutes they cover."

Pavalone said that the hunter confessed to accidentally shooting the dog while wolf hunting, but that the stories told to the Missoula County Sheriff's Department and to the Missoulian newspaper had important differences.

"The person that shot the dog went up to the owner, admitted he had made a mistake, admitted that he did something wrong," Pavalone said. "Then the owner came down here, reported [that information] to our agency, and then he subsequently reported to another media outlet that, basically, the dog was shot and then the [shooter] just took off."

Pavalone said that although the shooting was tragic, there was not enough evidence of wrongdoing to launch a full scale criminal investigation into the incident.

Paige Pavlaone:

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