Dakota the husky granted pardon by Maine governor ordered euthanized by judge

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In Augusta, Maine, a judge ordered an Alaskan husky be put to death that had been granted a pardon by Maine Governor Paul LePage.  After a hearing on Tuesday involving Dakota the husky, a Waterville District Court judge ordered the dog to be killed.

Dakota’s story dates back to the winter of 2016 when she was declared a “dangerous dog” after she got loose and killed a neighbor’s small pug. According to WmtwPortland, the dog’s owner, at the time was told to keep Dakota confined or on a short leash. In January, Dakota got loose again and went to the previous victim’s home and attacked the family’s newest dog – a Pekinese. When the dog again disappeared from her home, she was picked up by the Humane Society in Waterville, who knew nothing about the dog’s death sentence and were very satisfied with the dog’s good behavior while in the custody of the shelter.  In March, Dakota was adopted to another family. The new family did not know their dog had been sentenced to die and asked the court to withdraw their decision. Instead the judge has upheld his decision with the state saying they did not know the dog had a new owner.

 

During the time Dakota had been with the Humane Society in Waterville, the dog had been a “model animal” and showed no signs of being vicious. On March 30, the governor issued a news release stating he had reviewed the facts of the dog’s case “and I believe the dog ought to be provided a full and free pardon.” Kennebec County District Attorney Maeghan Maloney disputed the governor’s authority to determine if he indeed had the authority. 

While at the Humane Society, it was learned how Dakota had been mistreated by her original owner. An estranged partner kept the dog after the couple broke up and would lock Dakota in the basement to kill rats. When the neighbor’s dog would climb under the fence, Dakota had been taught to react aggressively to smaller animals. During the time she was at the shelter however, she passed all temperament testing with flying colors including playing well with a nine-month-old puppy.

On Tuesday, the judge ruled that the new owner has no legal standing, and said the dog will be euthanized in 48 hours – unless attorneys file an appeal. Her new owners have no problem complying with keeping Dakota confined or on a short leash.

(Photo of Dakota the husky via Facebook)

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Check out the video – what do you think?

 

 

 

 

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46 replies
  1. Althea Armstrong says:

    This is crap, dog should not be put to death! She is doing great with her new family, why should they have to suffer the pain of losing her. The governor pardoned her, it should be honored!!!!!!!

    Reply
  2. Debbie Dearmore says:

    Leave that baby alone. The judge need to have his head examined. I thought once pardoned they had to do what tke governor said. Or is that s bunch of bullshit too. Leave Dakota alone.

    Reply
  3. Dianna says:

    The judge is not being fair to this dog, the dog is not at fault, the previous owner is. He has a new home and is doing well, leave him there! This is so sad, the dog is an innocent victim of abuse.

    Reply
  4. Emma Renee Williams says:

    The governor pardon her. She was being abused by her pervious owner. Give the family who adopted her a chance to prove that she will be taken care of and we’ll watched

    Reply
  5. Barkley's Mom says:

    This dog has issues with little animals mostly because of the way the dog was treated by it’s original owner. Dakota was adopted to new people and there hasn’t been any issues thus far with her, Just let Dakota go home, the Maine Governor’s ruling should stand.

    Reply
  6. Melanie says:

    This is horrible, animals do what they are taught..I can’t understand why a judge would have this sweet angle put to death so unfair..

    Reply
  7. Star Shelley (@shelleystar2) says:

    Ok, this is ridiculous!, what is wrong with stupid judge, it is obvious that the previous owners did not treat their dog right. By allowing her to stay in the basement to kills rats. No wonder when she got out she kill that small dog, thru no fault of her own,. This is how she was taught to do. Lord have mercy on this beautiful dog and hope and pray that they will be able to overturn that judge decision.

    Reply
  8. Bunny Peters says:

    This is absolutely awful.

    Please give her new family a chance to work with her. It seems that she HAS overcome the past issues.

    I am praying for this precious furbaby, that she gets her second chance to be a treasured member of a loving family……..

    Reply
  9. Mary says:

    Everyone in the community needs to voice their objections immediately – loud and clearly. Also, notify the governor.

    Reply
  10. Debbie hawley says:

    The dog should not be killed cause of the old owner who was stupid now the judge doesn’t care about animals or he would let the dog live kill the old owner and judge

    Reply
  11. pennysdachshund says:

    YET JUDGES let ASSHOLE PSYCHOTIC KILLER”S out for BEATING their 9 MONTH od PUP ( NO LESS) with no bond, to walk the streets, to KILL AND MAIM at will if HE so Choses::: I used to have respect for the JUDICAL SYSTEM … Actually that deteriorated When in my own town a couple district Judges, and a couple municipal Judges, WHO WERE outright DRUNKS and USED ” other numerous substances) kept getting elected by the city and county… Why because this is one of those good Ole States!!! This Judge is extremely ” tight assed” and (pun intended) JUDGEMENTAL!!!

    Reply
  12. Becky Harris says:

    Dakota should not be put down. As long as the new owner is compliant with confinement and lease issues there shouldn’t be any danger. I suggest a consultation with a very good dog trainer to help Dakota. It is not Dakota’s fault that she was abused and trained wrong.
    Give Dakota a chance!!

    Reply
  13. Bob says:

    It is stated via the judge that the new owners have no legal standing. Well, how about the JUDGE using a legal standing by using the evidence immediately at hand – no heresay – but what the shelter is stating with temperament testing. Additionally. What possible reason does the DA have to dispute the Governor’s order?

    Reply
  14. Daniel Clarkson says:

    If this order is carried out, the dog is the victim, and the real villain is the former owner who trained the dog to be aggressive towards small animals. The execution order isn’t fair on Dakota’s new owners either, who had no way of knowing what happened in the past. The judge has failed to take more immediate events into consideration, and should be ashamed.

    Reply
  15. Adoptdontshop says:

    My believe isn’t it that a judge doesn’t overrule a governor and especially a pardon just because he has a new family doesn’t mean that this judge has the right to overrule or try to overrule a Governor’s pardon from the looks of this video that is not one mean bone in his dog’s body only reason why he attacked was because he was trained to attack who is trained to attack little animals like rats down in the cellar where you was kept he’s not a cat he’s a dog maybe the judge out of think about that good luck Dakota I hope everything works out for you you are very loved last time I checked the score was 103 disagree with the judge five agree with the judge so looks who’s looking who’s wrong 😘😇✌❤💓💔💕💜💙💝❣💫🐕🐺🐾🐾🐾🐾🌹💮🌎🏡🌜🌟🌠✨✝✝❇🆓🆓🆓🆓🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

    Reply
    • resqdogz says:

      The sentences of jurists are routinely pardoned by state governors.. but I’ve yet to learn of a governor’s pardon that was overturned by a judge: guess the prosecutor believed/assumed/asserted that the governor lacked jurisdiction – a challenge similar to that of the current white house occupant, bound and determined to undermine our democracy.

      Under Maine state law pertaining to dangerous dog designation and seizure:

      4-B. Modify order. An order may be modified by the court.

      A. Upon 2 days’ notice or a shorter period the court may prescribe, the owner whose animal has been possessed pursuant to an ex parte order may appear in the District Court or Superior Court and move the dissolution or modification of the ex parte order.

      B. The court shall hear and determine the motion as expeditiously as possible.

      C. The owner shall submit an affidavit setting forth specific facts to substantiate the modification or dissolution of the order. The applicant has the burden of presenting evidence to substantiate the original findings.

      Clearly, this companion merits reconsideration and the striking of her dangerous designation, based upon CURRENT temperament assessments and observations!

      In addition, Maine has a state Animal Welfare Advisory Council, whose responsibilities include:

      1. Membership. The council consists of 14 members appointed by the Governor

      7. Duties. The council shall perform the following duties:
      B. Assist the commissioner in the continuing implementation and evaluation of the animal welfare laws and rules;

      It appears to be clearly self-evident that jurisdiction over dangerous dog manner IS within the purview of the legislature AND the Governor – who SHOULD have the final say in such determinations… and NOT be subject to an over-rule by a jurist!

      Further, §3909. Enforcement clearly states the impetus for the legal authorities to act MUST originate with the commissioner (who is responsible to the civil government, not the criminal courts):

      “Whenever a person has engaged in or is about to engage in an act or practice that constitutes a violation of this Part, a rule adopted pursuant to this Part or a condition of an order, license or permit approved or decision issued by the commissioner pursuant to this Part, or that constitutes a violation of Title 17, chapter 42,1 the Attorney General or a District Attorney, AT THE REQUEST OF THE COMMISSIONER , may institute proceedings before the District Court or Superior Court for an order enjoining those acts or practices, an order directing compliance or imposing a civil or criminal penalty, or any combination of these actions, as provided by law. UPON A SHOWING BY THE COMMISSIONER that the person has engaged or is about to engage in such an act or practice, the court may grant a permanent or temporary injunction, restraining order or other order as appropriate.”

      (emphasis above is mine)

      ALSO – with respect to seizure and euthanization:

      6. Euthanasia for severely sick, severely injured OR EXTREMELY VICIOUS DOG. A humane agent, an animal control officer or an animal shelter within the State may authorize in writing immediate euthanasia of a severely sick, severely injured or extremely vicious dog upon determining that the following conditions are met:

      C. A VETERINARIAN STATES IN WRITING that the dog’s recovery from its injury or illness, given reasonable time and reasonable care, is doubtful or THAT THE DOG PRESENTS A DANGER TO THE PUBLIC.

      (again, emphasis mine)

      Although I cannot find reference to them, I have to believe there are provisions that allow for re-evaluation following a period of time, training, and rehabilitation to afford those labeled as “dangerous dogs” to be relieved of that designation?!

      Reply
  16. maxiemom. says:

    The fact that Dakota is a victim of ABUSE makes this even more egregious! When are judges and others in authority going to figure out that abused animals DESERVE a chance to live happy lives and should not be summarily executed?

    Reply
  17. SHERRIEZIMMERMAN says:

    a
    nyone that agree with this judge should be ashamed of there self why kill a dog taht ws kept in a bASEMENT AND WAS ABUCSUED YOU ALL THAT ARE AGREE WITH THIS ARE CRAZY HUSKY ARE NOT BAD DOGS IT IS THE PEOPLE THAT OWN THEM AND TREAT THEM BAD THEY ARE VERY GOOD WELL MATTER DOGS THEY ARE NOT MEAN SO I SAY NO DO NOT BUT THIS DOG DOWN CAUSE SHE DID NOTHING WRONG IT WAS THE PERSON THAT HAD HER DID THE DAMGE WHY BLAME THE DOG IT IS WRONG ANYONE THAT LOVES DOGS SAY NO TO THIS AND HELP SAVE THE DOG SHE IS WITH NEW OWNER AND SHE IS DOING GOOD LET IT BE AND LET HR BE HAPPY IN HER NEW HOME EVERYONE PLEASE PRAY FOR THIS DOGS IF YOU ARE A DOG LOVER THEN SPEAK FOR THIS DOG AND DONT LET THIS JUDGE BUT HER DOWN AGAIN SHE DID NOTHING WRONG IF ANY THIS ASSHOLE SHOULD BE BUT IN JIAL FOR ABRUCSE ING THIS DOG TY AND GOD BLESS

    Reply
  18. MamaCeleste says:

    I’ve had huskies for 29 yrs.They require frequent assessments of their behavior.My husky is 13.I have a pug/beagle mix,same age.Sacha.my husky, is alpha & constantly looks after my puggle. Sacha is loving,intelligent & full of life but will get into trouble if not trained well.She is always by our side & if we need help she will be there. I have been following Dakota since his videos have begun.What a diservice to blame this dog for the abuse he endured! Give him a chance to be rehabilitated if he needs it.My guess is he would do very well given his extraordinary intelligence.

    Reply
  19. Pamela D'Angio says:

    THE JUDGE IS A FUCKING NUT. THERE IS NO AGGRESSION IN THIS DOG. HOW MUCH DID THE JUDGE CONSIDER HOW THE SCUMBAG ORIGINAL OWNER WAS TOWARDS THE ANIMAL. ANIMALS ALWAYS HAVE TO SUFFER BECAUSE OF POS OWNERS. GIVE THE DOG TO NEW OWNERS AND WORRY ABOUT THE REAL BULLSHIT. MAYBE NEW OWNERS WILL GIVE THIS DOG A GOOD LIFE BETTER THAN WHAT SHE HAD BEFORE. NOT ALL JUDGES ARE INTELLIGENT AND KIND.

    Reply
  20. Olga Djurdjevic says:

    Dakota definitely deserves a second chance she is a good girl bad owners. Her new owners are responsible and willing to keep her . Thou shall not kill!!!

    Reply
  21. Roselyne CORNETTE says:

    Que la justice les laisse tranquille. Ce chien ne mérite pas de mourir, il l’a prouvé, alors laissez le en paix avec sa nouvelle famille.

    Reply
  22. Debra Picard says:

    Please, Please DO NOT KILL DAKOTA!!! I also had a dog that would have killed any small Animals! I had my sweet girl, Peggy Sue for 14 years NEVER did she get the chance to hurt or kill another animal! I had a trainer come to work with her, BUT MOSTLY MY TRAINER TRAINED…ME!!!! We who adopt animals are the ones responsible, SUPPOSEDLY we have the brain to realize consequences..Dogs do not understand these things! Why is the state of MAIN, GOING TO KILL A DOG FOR BEING A DOG??!!! I’m extremely sorry for the little dog that died…My heart broke for that little one RIP SWEETHEART..But OWNERS ARE RESPONSIBLE NOT THE ANIMALS! I read that Dakota was left in a basement for some time, also those that had him first did not do THEIR JOB…By treating this animal humanly! Now we’re going to kill him!!!! His cousin happens to be wolves! Does anybody even care how ABSOLUTELY rediculous killing a dog for killing another animal even is???!!! We TRAIN DOGS TO FIGHT, HUNT ETC NOW THEY ARE DOOMED??? Dakota is a friendly, playful dog. That’s the personality he’s showed the people who interact with him at the SPCA…All Dakota needs is a responsible person that loves him and get the right training for hi! And themselves! DO NOT KILL AN ANIMAL FOR GOING BY HIS INSTINCT! Charge the owner who did nothing to train this poor animal. I’m not saying training would stop a dog off leash from hurting another animal..But the human needs the training as I did when my Peggy Sue was nine months old…DONT BLAME THE ANIMAL…I believe the owners that had Dakota at the time had no idea of his past, they should have the chance to help Dakota and themselves learning dogs body language etc…I’m SURE THEY’D NEVER WANT THIS TO HAPPEN AGAIN.💜💓💜I LOVE YOU SWEET BOY…I DO UNDERSTAND SWEETHEART….I WISH YOU HAD BEEN MY DOG….TO YHE PEOPLE THAT LOST THEIR BABY…I COULDN’T BE MORE SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS! AND IM NOT IN ANY WAY IGNORING THE FACT YOUR HEART HAS BEEN BROKEN😟MINE ALSO WOULD BE BROKEN…BUT BLAME THOSE WHO PAID NO ATTENTION TO DAKOTA WHILE HE WAS A YOUNG BOY…NOT THE DOG PLEASE

    Reply
  23. Angela Corso says:

    With all the evidence taken into consideration, I am adamantly against euthanizing this dog. Dog’s can become aggressive when environments promote aggression. This dog has been removed from a terrible environment and has reverted back to the breed’s loving temperament. I DISAGREE WITH THIS JUDGE. Amazing, humans horribly abuse dogs and get a slap on the wrist; a dog commits a crime because of its environment and gets ordered to be put down. You are wrong Judge!!!!

    Reply
  24. Aggie Doyle says:

    This dog should not be killed. When Dakota killed the neighbor’s dog, she was following instinct and doing what she had been used for. Dakota is not vicious and the temperament the shelter saw was Dakota. She has a preying instinct because of a previous owner.

    Reply
  25. Nancy Raymond says:

    The ones who SHOULD be euthanized are the piss poor previous owners who mistreated Dakota – she is a product of her environment and is NOT responsible for her actions. This judge has no right to over rule a governor’s decision. Dakota deserves a chance at a safe loving home.

    Reply
  26. Sherrie says:

    I have more to say than this but will make this brief comment now: people who kill people get better sentences than this poor dog!! Hopefully the judge will consider how well Dakota is doing with what I hope is a better family and reverse his ruling. Shame on him if he doesn’t.

    Reply
  27. Dawn Boipaws says:

    i thought the Governor’s pardon supersedes the judge and the dog should be allowed to live! The poor dog was abused and neglected by it’s former owner. The new owners have had no issues. Let the dog live!! Free Dakota!!

    Reply
  28. Cynthia Como says:

    This judge sounds like he works in a kill shelter! He has an obvious dislike for dogs! Now,as usual the dog is being forced to pay the price because of an abusive owner! I %100 disagree with this judge!

    Reply
  29. Anthony Madura says:

    The “dangerous dog” determination requires the owner to confine the dog; otherwise, face criminal charges (and other consequences). The dog owner is civilly “charged” with the “dangerous dog” determination and the “dangerous dog” determination is entered against THE OWNER OF THE DOG (since the courts cannot convict or civilly charge a dog). Therefore, if there is a new owner, the “dangerous dog” determination is not entered against the new owner and does not apply to the new owner but the new owner still needs to comply with the requirement to confine the dog (since a change in ownership should not completely erase the dog’s prior actions). When Dakota got loose a second time, it was the owner of the dog at that time who was civilly and criminally chargeable; not the dog. Since the prior owner was not able or willing to confine the dog, a new owner that commits to confinement and has the means and facility to confine the dog should be required to comply with the requirement to confine Dakota while the first owner is civilly and criminally charged for her failure to confine the dog after being required by court order to confine the dog. It is not the dog, it is the owner of the dog that is charged and it is the owner of the dog who is responsible for the dog. If there is a new owner, the new owner has no prior “dangerous dog” charge against him and the penalty entered against the first owner does not legally apply to the second owner since the law does not charge the dog but charges the owner of the dog.

    Reply
  30. Melody Scamman says:

    First, justice was not served. Secondly, we citizens must implore upon those in office in Maine, regardless of their position on the Governor, to change the laws in Maine and maybe call it Dakota’s Law?.
    I am elderly and once was a highly skilled small breeder of top quality show dogs. I can tell you for fact Dakota is part Alaskan Malamute by the shape of her nostrils. All northern Breeds will dig under a fence, if they are feeling bored or stressed. Alphas with a pretty instinct do it for the ancient need to survive. None of you kind folks has wondered if Dakota was hungry and feels like she needs to own the dog food dish. The poor dog was abused, maybe she can out of date to eat at her first owner’s basement? In any case, Dakota was trained to be a predator by her owner’s abuse and neglect. Now the state of Maine legal system does understand what severe neglect and isolation does to a human. They studied their prison inmates and determined to stop putting troubled humans in the hole (isolation). They learned it made them worse, even suicidal, and they don’t do it anymore. Prisoners get put in groups and see the shrink regularly. Most of these humans were found to have been severely abused children. Dogs are no different. I am pretty sure that Gov. LePage sees and understands this, having been abused as a child. Good for him for taking a righteous stand to save Dakota. I believe the judge overstepped on this case and should have honored the Governor and the Animal Welfare Program’s requests. But lest we forget this is a dog and human laws and animal laws are not the same. Justice for dogs now is like trying to bring charges against a man who beat his wife in the 1600’s. Clearly, a mighty task ahead for our fur babies to be treated like humans. There is a case in Wells, Maine where a dog was granted the right to walk a pathway that was previously for only humans because the dog was a citizen of the town. I don’t know if that will help? Everybody dig for these kinds of legal cases and show up in Superior Court if you can. Bring the Governor. 😉 Also, there is a third alternative fate. There are facilities in Maine that take in wolves and wolf dogs. If someone volunteers to home Dakota with wolf dogs and has a state licenced facility, and training then Dakota can be safe and have friends and be in a normal environment for a Northern Breeds animal.

    Reply
    • Melody Scamman says:

      Sorry for the typo. Post should have said maybe Dakota ran out of rats and needed some dog food

      Reply

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