Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R), usually no fan of merciful treatment for lawbreakers, pardoned a dog on Thursday.
“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.
He compared it to the presidential tradition of pardoning a turkey for Thanksgiving every November.
LePage, who once speculated about bringing the guillotine back for the sake of “public executions” and suggested gun owners should “load up and get rid of the drug dealers,” became aware of “Dakota the Dog” by way of a letter to District Attorney Maeghan Maloney.
In 2016, the dog “was allowed to run loose and killed a small dog,” per the letter. Its owner was subsequently required to keep Dakota “adequately confined or on a short leash,” but failed to “provide adequate oversight,” resulting in a second incident where the dog “was aggressive toward smaller dogs on the same property where the original incident occurred.”
For that offense, the dog was sentenced to death, though Dakota had new owners at the time of the hearing who were unaware of those proceedings.
LePage obtained his own dog, fittingly named Veto, in May 2016. Fur flew, however, when it came to light that the shelter from which he adopted the dog broke its own rules by letting LePage take Veto home a day before the dog was available to the public.