Amber Barnes, a hunter from Montana, received a weak sentence after she shot, killed, and skinned a husky and posted photos praising the kill on social media.
Barnes, who allegedly believed the dog was a “wolf pup,” pleaded no-contest to animal cruelty, meaning that she accepts her conviction but does not admit guilt, according to news reports.
A judge from Flathead County District Court then gave Barnes a 6-month deferred sentence, which means she is not required to go to jail. The sentence only requires her to not hunt for a 6-month period and, during that time period, complete a hunting safety class.
The class will be conducted online and, as long as she completes these simple orders, her record will be wiped clean, according to news reports.
The husky’s life is worth more than a measly hunting class. While Barnes takes the class from the comfort of her home, the young dog is gone forever.
To add insult to injury, Barnes received her sentencing in February, but Montana’s hunting season starts in September. Her 6-month hunting ban is useless considering she likely wouldn’t have hunted during this time period regardless of her sentencing.
The outrage of the more than 42,000 people who signed our petition urging prosecutors to treat this case seriously demonstrates the public’s desire for animal laws to change. To those who signed our petition, we wholeheartedly thank you. We at Lady Freethinker will continue to urge law enforcement, prosecutors, and judges to hold animal abusers fully accountable.
A 6-month deferred sentence for the glorified killing of a dog is not nearly a strong enough sentence. We urge the judge to take future cases of animal cruelty more seriously.