A Montana man says his beloved malamute was gunned down Sunday by a hunter who mistakenly thought the dog was a wolf, USA Today reported.

Layne Spence, who was out walking a trail near the National Forest's Lee Creek with his three dogs, when he said an unidentified hunter shot a bullet into one of his dog's hind legs, the report. The dog was in bad shape, but he thought there was a chance he could pull through.

He yelled at the hunter to stop shooting, saying it was his dog, Little David, but the hunter, dressed in camouflage, either did not hear Spence or disregarded his pleas and discharged five or six more shots into the dog, killing him, the report said.

The hunter approached Spence, huddled over the dog, and said he thought it was a wolf.  Spence told the man to just leave him alone.  Montana game officials and law enforcement are not providing the name of the hunter in fear for his safety, but they say it appears no law was broken.

"I don't want anything bad to happen to the guy. I just want an apology," Spence told USA Today. "He has to be held accountable. I'm lucky to be alive. He was shooting right at me."

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