Montana woman facing animal cruelty charges after mistakenly shooting, skinning husky pup

Woman claims she thought it was a wolf.

Updated: November 1, 2022 - 3:25pm

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A Montana woman has pleaded not guilty to animal cruelty charges after what she said was a case of mistaken identity when she shot and killed a husky pup thinking it was a wild wolf. 

Amber Barnes generated headlines and backlash on social media in September when she posted photos to social media of what she claimed was a "predator wolf pup" that she shot and killed while on hunt. 

Commenters were quick to point out that the animal in question was not a wolf but a domestic Siberian husky pup, though by that point Barnes had already skinned the animal for its pelt. 

Now the Flathead County Sheriff's Office has charged her with misdemeanor animal cruelty, the sheriff's department told Fox News this week.

Barnes has reportedly pled not guilty. Amid the backlash in September, she defended her decision to shoot the dog as an act of self-defense. 

"This animal was growling howling and coming at me like it was going to eat me," she wrote online at the time, adding that had she known it was a husky she "would still have shot it because it was aggressive and coming directly for me!"