Maine Governor Paul LePage Saves Dog from Death with Full Pardon

The court ordered for the dog to be euthanized after she violated a confinement order

Paul LePage
Photo: Robert F. Bukaty/AP

Maine Governor Paul LePage has saved a dog’s life with the flick of a pen.

LePage, who is a pet parent himself to pup Veto, granted a pardon on Thursday to Dakota the Siberian husky, reports Bangor Daily News.

On March 21, the Augusta District Court ordered that the 4-year-old dog be euthanized because she broke her previous confinement order, which was put in place after she fatally attacked another dog.

Staff at Waterville Area Humane Society, who are currently caring for Dakota, wrote in a letter to the governor that these aggressive incidents are not in line with the dog’s normal behavior, claiming that Dakota has been a “model animal” while under their watch.

“I have reviewed the facts of this case and I believe the dog ought to be provided a full and free pardon,” Governor LePage said in the statement.

In May of 2016, Dakota escaped from her home and fatally attacked a neighbor’s small dog. As a result, the husky was ordered to be confined to her home, unless she was leashed and muzzled. This February, Dakota broke confinement, returning to the same neighbor’s house, where she attacked the neighbor’s new dog. Dakota bit the dog’s neck, but did not harm the animal.

In response to this incident, Dakota was removed from her home and placed at the Humane Society Waterville Area to awaiting sentencing. District Court Judge Valerie Stanfill decided on March 21 that the dog should be euthanized. Dakota’s owner accepted this ruling and agreed to pay for the procedure. The euthanization never occurred. Due to a mix up between Kennebec County District Attorney’s Office and the Humane Society Waterville Area, Dakota was adopted out before the ruling on March 18.

In an effort to save the dog’s life, the shelter argued the new owner had not been given due process, since they were unaware of the March 21 ruling and asked for a stay on the euthanization. The request was denied, leading the shelter to contact LePage about the predicament and claim that Dakota was an unaggressive dog that deserves a second chance.

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