AUGUSTA — Whatever his faults, Gov. Paul LePage clearly has a soft spot for dogs.

LePage announced a pardon Thursday for a husky named Dakota that had been sentenced to die by an Augusta court for showing aggressive behavior that included killing a smaller dog.

LePage said, though, that Dakota was getting a bum rap.

“I have reviewed the facts of this case and I believe the dog ought to be provided a full and free pardon,” the governor said.

A local Humane Society board member told LePage about the case and the governor investigated it.

According to his office, Dakota’s misbehavior occurred while the dog was in the possession of a previous owner who had since dropped off the dog at the Humane Society as a stray.

Apparently a model resident at the shelter, Dakota got adopted, its new owner unaware of the court proceeding that ultimately ruled the dog should be euthanized.

A hearing on the dog’s case is expected to take place Friday in Augusta District Court.

Karen Vance/Waterville Humane Society via AP

This photo provided by the Waterville Humane Society shows an Alaskan husky named Dakota, Thursday, March 30, 2017, in Waterville, Maine. Gov. Paul LePage said he pardoned the dog from a death sentence levied at a court hearing last week, after it killed a neighbor’s small pug in May 2016 and later broke out of court-ordered confinement to bite the same neighbor’s Pekingnese, which survived.

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