Pet Malamute Killed After Being Mistaken for Wolf

A Missoula man is heartbroken and angry after a day of cross-country skiing with his malamute dogs near Lolo Pass turned into his worst nightmare Sunday afternoon.

Layne Spence was skiing with his three dogs on a quiet logging road in Lee Creek when, according to Spence, a rifle shot echoed through the air. Alaskan malamute

Then, Spence saw his 2-year-old brown and white dog, “Little Dave,” fall down with a shot to a leg.

About 15 yards away from him and his dogs, Spence saw a man in camouflage holding an assault weapon.

“I started screaming ‘Stop, stop,’ and the man kept shooting,” said Spence, 48, and who is often seen walking his dogs around Missoula’s river front. “And he kept shooting.”

“My dog is lying there, dead and I shouted ‘What are you doing?’ and the guy said, ‘I thought it was a wolf.’ ”

After the man allegedly shot Spence’s dog six times, he took off without another word, leaving Spence to deal with the tragedy of his dead dog.

Spence abandoned his skiing gear to carry Little Dave out, and to get his other two malamutes, Frank and Rex, to the safety of his truck.

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Source: Missoulian


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  1. LeeAnn

    This guy was NOT a hunter! Hunters do not go around shooting at animals without knowing what they really are! I hope Layne Spence was able to give a good description to the police. And I hope they check out the places where the Wolf pelts are turned in for a possible identification of the man.

  2. Robert Gillock - Web News Editor

    LeeAnn,this version of the story fails to mention that the hunter who shot Little Dave ran to Spence and offered hope. Local law enforcement was called and an investigation conducted, determining that no law had been broken. Many people keep malamutes because of their beautiful resemblance to wolves. This hunter simply made a mistake.