Missoula police will not be pressing charges against a man that self-reported that he had shot a pit bull on his property in the Lower Miller Creek area on Monday, May 25.

The shooting occurred during a dog fight between the pit bull and the homeowner's pet boxer. During the fight, the pit bull managed to break free of his leash and fought with the boxer on the boxer owner's property.

"We found as much relevant information as we feel was necessary to determine that we are not pursuing any charges in this incident," said Missoula Police Public Information Officer Travis Welsh. "It is unfortunate that a pet was killed, but there were some mitigating factors that led us to come to this conclusion. As far as we are concerned, the investigation is complete."

The mitigating factors highlighted by the police include the location of the shooting and the notoriety of the dog that was shot.

"[The mitigating factors are], essentially, that the gentleman was on his property, also, it seems as though the dog has somewhat of a history of aggression in the neighborhood to the extent that there was some local knowledge there about this particular dog."

Missoula Animal Control will look into the issue to see if any ordinances were broken, Missoula leash laws do not appear to specify leash restrictions for a dog on its own property.

Original Story (May 26):

A 14-year-old boy’s dog is dead after being shot by a homeowner in the Lower Miller Creek area.

Missoula Police Public Information Officer Travis Welsh says the man that shot the dog called Missoula Police himself to report the shooting on Monday afternoon.

"A boy had been walking another dog past his residence and his own dog went out to see the other dog," Welsh explained. [The dogs] started to fight and the boy tried to pull his dog away but then the leash broke, or the collar came off, so that the dog was loose. They continued to fight in the driveway and then the resident came out and actually shot the other dog."

The two dogs involved were a pit bull and a boxer, the pit bull was shot.

Discharging a firearm in city limits is illegal, but Welsh says there could be mitigating circumstances in this case.

"We have investigated it as a shooting incident, fortunately, no persons were injured, the dog is deceased, but there could be mitigation for that," Welsh said. "What we are concerned about is, first of all, that all persons are safe, but also that the person who fired the weapon did so responsibly."

After the police finish their investigation, the animal control board will look into the incident as well. The homeowner’s dog sustained minor injuries, but survived the fight.