- Associated Press - Monday, April 10, 2017

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Maine’s conservation department is getting involved in the proposed pardoning of a dog, saying the case could have implications for the state’s animal welfare laws.

Republican Gov. Paul LePage said last week he was pardoning Dakota the Alaskan husky from a death sentence levied at a court hearing. Dakota killed a neighbor’s pug last year.

Dakota’s case is scheduled for a court hearing on Tuesday. The state Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry has offered to assist the court with the case.

A spokesman for the department says it has a “strong interest” in the case and wants to make sure animal owners are afforded due process. The department says the dangerous-dog statute is designed to protect the public and not to punish dogs like Dakota.

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