Dog pardoned by LePage gets 11th hour reprieve from kill order

Posted April 12, 2017, at 2:13 p.m.
Last modified April 12, 2017, at 8:03 p.m.

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WATERVILLE, Maine — Dakota, the husky pardoned by Gov. Paul LePage, got an eleventh hour reprieve late Tuesday.

The dog was at an area veterinarian’s office waiting to be euthanized after a judge refused to set aside the kill order during a 1 p.m. hearing at the Waterville District Court when word came that an appeal in the case had been filed, according to WGME. The dog was then taken back to the Humane Society Waterville Area, according to the station.

It’s the latest twist in an unusually high profile euthanization case that became a national story when LePage last month pardoned Dakota after a judge ordered the dog be put down for attacking two dogs in less than a year.

The court clerk’s office confirmed that a notice of appeal had been filed and the case had been sent to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court in Portland.

The notice was filed by former owner Matthew Perry of Waterville, according to Portland attorney Bonnie Martinolich, who represents the current owner, Linda Janeski of Winslow.

Perry’s filing the notice of appeal kept the dog from being euthanized, Martinolich and Kennebec County District Attorney Maeghan Maloney both said Wednesday.

The court’s rules of procedure required that the euthanasia order be stayed while the appeal is pending, Maloney said.

It is unlikely that oral arguments in the case will be heard before fall.

Stanfill found Tuesday that Maine law requires that a dog must be put down after it is declared a dangerous dog and attacks again. The judge also found that Janeski did not have standing to intervene in Perry’s case.

But her lawyer disagreed.

“Ms. Janeski had no idea that when she adopted Dakota in good faith that there was a court proceeding that could, and did, result in an order to euthanize Dakota,” Martinolich said late Tuesday in an email. “This is a taking of Ms. Janeski’s property without affording her due process — notice and opportunity to be heard.”

Last month, Stanfill ordered that Dakota be euthanized after the husky attacked a two small dogs in separate cases in less than a year. The first dog, a 12-pound shih tzu terrier, named Zoe, was attacked and killed in May, according to the Kennebec County district attorney’s office. The second dog — a pug named Bruce Wayne — was bitten on the neck in February, but not harmed.

LePage on March 30 pardoned the dog, calling her a “model resident, extremely friendly, social with other dogs and easy for staff to handle.”

Stanfill said on Tuesday that she did not considering the pardon in her decision on Tuesday.

Janeski is the mother of Perry’s former girlfriend.

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