Dog on Death Row for 'Murder' Gets Pardon in US
Lucky dog! A dog on death row in the US for 'murdering' a fellow canine and attacking another has been granted pardon by the Governor of the US state of Maine.
Representative Image. (Image: Getty Images)
Washington: Lucky dog! A dog on death row in the US for 'murdering' a fellow canine and attacking another has been granted pardon by the Governor of the US state of Maine.
Governor Paul LePage wielded his executive authority to show mercy to an unlikely beneficiary -- a dog named Dakota.
Dakota, a husky, had escaped from a previous owner about a year ago and killed a small dog, leading to her designation as a "dangerous dog".
Dakota later broke out of court-ordered confinement to bite a neighbour's dog, which survived.
Another escape led to her capture by an animal control officer, who brought Dakota to the Waterville Humane Society shelter in February as a stray.
A family that knew Dakota as a puppy subsequently adopted her. Unbeknownst to her new owners, the local district attorney brought Dakota's case before a judge on March 21.
The judge ruled Dakota should be euthanised, WGME-TV reported.
LePage was alerted to the case by a board member for the Humane Society in Waterville.
He issued a full pardon for Dakota on Thursday, apparently the first of its kind.
"I have reviewed the facts of this case and I believe the dog ought to be provided a full and free pardon," LePage said in a statement.
"I feel that Dakota is a dog that deserves a second chance, and we're appreciative that she's going to get that, and that the governor is taking an interest in her," Lisa Smith with the Humane Society was quoted as saying.
The Maine Constitution gives chief executives wide latitude to "grant reprieves, commutations and pardons" and species is not specified. Kennebec County District Attorney Maeghan Maloney said her office was "researching" the Republican governor's authority.
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