Judge Oks deal to spare life of dog that got disputed pardon

Judge Oks deal to spare life of dog that got disputed pardon

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AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A judge on Monday signed off on a deal to spare the life of a dog that got a disputed pardon from Maine's governor.

Under the deal, the Alaskan husky named Dakota will be sent to a veterinary hospital for training, the Kennebec Journal reported (http://bit.ly/2utrByx ).

A judge had ordered that Dakota be put down after it attacked two other dogs, killing one. Republican Gov. Paul LePage attempted to pardon Dakota in March, elevating the dog to celebrity status.

The newspaper reported that nine lawyers went into court chambers on Monday to discuss the case with the judge prior to the hearing. Those lawyers included two representing LePage.

Under the settlement, a separate dog behavioral expert will evaluate Dakota prior to any adoption.

It's debatable whether the governor has the authority to pardon the dog. But Monday's hearing and the deal that included input from the owner of the dogs that were attacked made the issue moot.

A previous effort to save Dakota by moving her to a New Hampshire shelter failed after a woman who wanted to adopt the dog objected.

Dakota has been spending her days eating and playing at the Humane Society kennel serving the Waterville area.

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