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Woman sentenced in dog shooting case

Hagadone News Network | March 15, 2023 2:00 AM

The Flathead Valley woman who became the target of international outrage last year after allegedly shooting a dog she mistook for a wolf and then boasting about it on social media received a six month deferred sentence recently.

Amber Rose Barnes initially pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor count of cruelty to animals, but struck a deal with prosecutors in time for a Feb. 28 hearing in Flathead County Justice Court.

Along with the deferred sentence, Judge Eric Hummel ordered Barnes to complete an online hunter safety course within 60 days and surrender the rifle she used to kill the dog for six months. A $585 fine associated with the charge was suspended.

Barnes garnered international attention about the same time the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office issued a press release seeking information about 11 husky and shepherd mix dogs abandoned near Doris Creek up the west side of the Hungry Horse Reservoir. The release, sent out Sept. 26, indicated that one dog had been shot, and the potential shooter identified and under investigation.

That same day, online celebrity and entertainment news outlet TMZ shared images of Barnes allegedly posing with a dead and skinned husky she described as a wolf. From there the story went national and then international, appearing in outlets as far away as the U.K.

The remaining dogs, some found suffering from parvovirus, located by authorities were turned over to the county animal shelter. All have since been adopted.

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