AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — Dakota the dog has been spared.
The dangerous dog was originally ordered to be euthanized by the court after attacking and killing another dog last year in Waterville. Gov. Paul LePage then stepped in and attempted to pardon the dog.
The issue of whether or not the governor has the authority to pardon a pet was never decided. An agreement was reached, sparing the dog’s life and making the point moot, at least in this case.
"We’re very pleased we could have an outcome that puts the entire case to rest," said District Attorney Maeghan Maloney.
It’s an agreement that all parties are pleased with. Attorneys withdrew all their motions, including one by Gov. LePage to intervene.
"Thankfully we don’t have to go to that place," Maloney said. "We have an agreement."
Dakota will be taken to an undisclosed vet hospital somewhere in Maine, but outside of Kennebec County. She will be trained there by a canine behavioral expert.
Mathew Perry owned Dakota when it attacked and killed a neighbor's dog and then later escaped and attacked the neighbor's new dog.
"I know she’s gonna be in a better place, being well taken care of," Perry said. "That’s the biggest thing I believe."
Perry said he just could not see Dakota being put down.
"She’s been a family dog for awhile," he said. "That’s where a lot of emotions, feelings come into play. Took a toll on me."
While the case was making its way through the courts, a woman from Winslow adopted the dog. It was Linda Janeski and her attorneys who found the trainer and the hospital where Dakota will be taken.
"Ms. Janeski took Dakota’s best interests to heart, put that in front of her own and came up with a good settlement," said Janeski's attorney, Bonnie Martinolich. "Dakota is going to get some training."
Janeski will be able to visit Dakota and at some point in the future may even be able to adopt the dog again under the right circumstances.