Pooch Pardoned by Maine Governor May Become a Sled Dog
Maine Governor Paul LePage made state history when he ‘pardoned’ a four-year-old Husky named Dakota. While officials hemmed and hawed on the actual legality of the governor’s act, Dakota essentially waited on death row for attacking two dogs and killing one.
A long and sordid history came about in the proceedings over what was to be done with Dakota, shelter workers and current owners coming together saying that Dakota was not a bad dog, but the victim of poor ownership and training when she was with her former owner.
Though there was a case pending for Dakota, due to miscommunication between the Humane Society Waterville Area shelter where Dakota was being held and the Kennebec County District Attorney’s Office, Dakota was adopted out three days before the judge in the case issued the kill order.
Dakota’s new owner Linda Janeski recently filed a motion that the judge’s order to put Dakota down be reversed, and Dakota was thrust into the spotlight in March when Governor LePage issued a pardon. He called her a model resident, and said that the staff of the shelter and her new owners had nothing but great things to say about her and she shouldn’t be put down.
Even the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s animal welfare program sided with the governor, saying that she was not dangerous and should not be killed. Kennebec County District Attorney Meaghan Maloney argued otherwise, however, and said that the governor didn’t even have the authority to ‘pardon’ Dakota in the first place.
Now, it seems that a compromise may have been reached as Maloney now has filed a motion that would let Dakota go to an animal rescue program in New Hampshire. The unnamed rescue trains dogs to be sled dogs, and while Maloney believes this is a great way to keep Dakota alive and putting her energy and drive to good use, Dakota’s new owner is not happy with the compromise.
Janeski wants Dakota with her, saying they chose and paid to adopt her and she is their family pet.
The judge hearing the case can decide he is not going to follow Maloney’s suggestion, and will listen to why Dakota should be allowed to stay with Janeski. He may also agree with Maloney, in which case, a new trial will happen.
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