AUGUSTA, Maine — An animal rights group is saluting Maine’s first lady for going fur-free — no matter how harsh the state’s winters may be.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals says it surveyed governors’ wives asking if they wear fur.

PETA says Karen Baldacci, wife of Gov. John Baldacci, was the first to respond with a “no.” Mrs. Baldacci said she hardly even wears the faux fur she owns.

Her answer earned the first lady a box of chocolates from PETA. The group says first ladies in Delaware, Indiana, Maryland, Ohio, Oregon, Utah and Wisconsin also are fur-free.

PETA says it isn’t surprised by Mrs. Baldacci’s stance. The Animal Legal Defense Fund recently ranked Maine as one of the worst states for animal abusers because of its tough anticruelty laws.