Dakota, a husky that a court deemed dangerous and ordered euthanized after it attacked two other dogs, might be spared and sent to a rescue shelter in New Hampshire.

The state prosecutor, the owner of the two dogs that were attacked, and Dakota’s previous owner have reached an agreement aimed to protect public safety and give the 4-year-old female another chance at life, Kennebec District Attorney Maeghan Maloney said late Thursday.

The case attracted attention when Gov. Paul LePage “pardoned” Dakota after a district court judge ordered it euthanized. An appeal was pending before the Maine Supreme Judicial Court when the deal was announced.

Maloney proposes sending Dakota to an animal rescue shelter that trains huskies to become sled dogs. The shelter has asked Maloney to keep its identity private.

“The reason that was seen as a good match is because of Dakota’s high energy,” Maloney said. Dakota would not be allowed to return to Maine and couldn’t be adopted, she said.

“I’m convinced that this is the best outcome, because my concern is always public safety and this is an outcome that protects the public,” she said, adding that Dakota also won’t be near any small pets. “It gives Dakota a safe place to be with lots of exercise.”

But Dakota’s most recent owner, Linda Janeski, said Thursday that she isn’t happy with the idea.


“We haven’t really been able to defend our dog, because she is now our dog,” said Janeski of Winslow. “We really want to bring her home. We adopted her, we paid for her, we brought her home for a week.”

Janeski adopted Dakota from the Humane Society Waterville Area while the courts decided her fate. Janeski appealed the euthanasia order to the Maine supreme court.

Janeski and her attorney, Bonnie Martinolich, are at a “standstill” right now, Janeski said. She said they are still pursuing the appeal.

Dakota was deemed a dangerous dog after killing a neighbor’s dog, Zoe, in Waterville in May 2016. Her owner at the time, Matthew Perry, was ordered to keep her contained, but she got out a year later and attacked the neighbor’s new dog, a pug named Bruce Wayne.

Contacted by phone Thursday night, Perry would not comment.

Maine District Court ordered her euthanized on March 21, but Gov. Paul LePage issued the pardon after hearing about the case from a board member of the Humane Society Waterville Area. Adrienne Bennett, press secretary for Gov. Paul LePage, did not immediately comment Thursday night when informed of the proposed deal.

The controversial pardon made national headlines and raised questions about the extent of the governor’s power – it’s not clear if LePage intended the action to be symbolic or legally binding. The last-minute appeal on April 12 saved the dog.

A number of people from around the country have offered to adopt the dog.

Maloney was also contacted by an out-of-state rescue that told her about the sled dog rescue in New Hampshire.

Maloney filed a motion in court Thursday that would allow her to file a new complaint. While it would still be a dangerous dog complaint, Maloney said, it would cite a “less serious” section that would give the court more options in its decision.

The court can reject the agreement, Maloney said. If it’s accepted, another court hearing will be scheduled.


Madeline St. Amour can be contacted at 861-9239 or at:

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