Dog Pardoned By Gov. LePage Again Ordered Euthanized
A dog Gov. Paul LePage issued a pardon for was again ordered by a judge to be euthanized.
Judge Valerie Stanfill in Waterville District Court on Tuesday refused to stop the euthanization order for Dakota, a 4-year-old Husky.
Dakota was declared a dangerous dog in February 2016, when she got loose in Winslow and killed a neighbor's dog. Matthew Perry, Dakota's owner at the time, was ordered to keep the animal confined or on a short leash. But in January, Dakota got loose again and attacked another dog belonging to the same neighbor.
She was taken to the Humane Society Waterville Area, where behavioral tests were conducted. Lisa Smith, the animal shelter's director, described Dakota as a “model resident” of the shelter. Due to a miscommunication between the Kennebec County District Attorney’s Office and the animal shelter, Dakota was adopted on March 18 by Linda Janeski of Winslow, the mother of Perry’s ex-girlfriend, according to the Bangor Daily News.
Janeski’s attorneys filed a motion to stop the euthanization, which Perry agreed to after the attacks. That order was stayed by Judge Stanfill. The attorneys argued that the animal shelter found that Dakota was not dangerous, and Janeski had agreed to abide by the order requiring the dog to be confined behind a fence and be on a leash and wear a muzzle while going for walks.
Stanfill said Maine law requires dogs to be euthanized if they attack again after being declared dangerous, and she didn't think she had the discretion to impose a penalty other than euthanization and a fine.
Janeski was told she had 48 hours to have Dakota put down. Bonnie Martinolich of Portland, an attorney representing Janeski, said Tuesday she planned to file a motion for a stay of execution while an appeal to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court is pending.
Dakota was thrust into the national spotlight after Gov. LePage, who received a letter from a member of the Humane Society’s board, issued a pardon on March 30. When asked about the pardon, Kennebec County District Attorney Maeghan Maloney said LePage did not have the power to issue a pardon in the case.