Judge Overrules Maine Gov.'s Pardon of Dog on Death Row | NBC Bay Area
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Judge Overrules Maine Gov.'s Pardon of Dog on Death Row

Maine Gov. Paul LePage had pardoned Dakota the Alaskan husky from a death sentence

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    A Maine judge reversed Gov. Paul LePage's pardon saving a dog's life during a hearing Tuesday afternoon.

    (Published Tuesday, April 11, 2017)

    A pardon from Maine Gov. Paul LePage was not enough to save the life of an Alaskan husky, ordered to be euthanized by a judge in Waterville Tuesday.

    LePage had submitted a letter to the court asking for a second chance for Dakota, who is accused of killing a neighbor’s pug, then attacking that same neighbor’s second dog.

    "For a brand new dog, to be attacked in the same way, with that bite to the neck… it was extremely traumatic," District Attorney Maeghan Maloney said.

    A judge determined Dakota fit the criteria of a "dangerous dog" and should be put down, as a matter of public safety.

    Sanjeev Verma/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

    In a press release, the governor argued that the Humane Society Waterville Area determined Dakota was a "model resident, extremely friendly…and could be placed up for adoption."

    His staff also pointed out that presidents pardon turkeys before Thanksgiving every year.

    But Maloney said LePage's attempted intervention carried no weight with the court.

    "The governor doesn't have the power to issue a pardon in this case," Maloney said.

    A spokesperson for the Department of Agriculture, which oversees the state’s Animal Welfare Program, said this is believed to be the first time a Maine governor has issued a "pardon" for a pet.

    In a hearing at Waterville District Court, a woman who wanted to adopt Dakota attempted to have the euthanasia order vacated. The judge ruled that she had no legal standing, and said the dog will be euthanized in 48 hours – unless attorneys can quickly file an appeal.

    "I really want her to stay alive, obviously," said Matt Perry, Dakota's former owner. He choked back tears outside the courthouse.

    The owners of the dog Dakota allegedly killed declined to be interviewed, but said they felt justice was served.