Report: Lewiston humane society broke rules to give dog to LePage

Gov. Paul LePage with his new dog, Veto. (Greater Androscoggin Humane Society photo via WGME)

A Lewiston humane society violated its own rules to give Gov. Paul LePage his new dog, according to the Sun Journal.

The 2-year-old Jack Russell terrier named Veto was a rescue dog from New Orleans, and the LePage family adopted him on Tuesday after their 12-year-old dog, Baxter, died in March.

That news upset a Mexico woman: After a sexual assault, 22-year-old Heath Arsenault told the Lewiston newspaper that she was looking for a dog and saw Veto — then named Jasper — on the Greater Androscoggin Humane Society’s website.

On Monday, she contacted the shelter, where officials said he’d be up for adoption on Wednesday. Arsenault planned to take work off on Wednesday to be first in line to adopt the dog in the morning.

But LePage’s family also spotted the dog online. The governor went to the shelter on Tuesday and officials let him take the dog home immediately. A LePage spokesman said the governor didn’t ask them to do that, but he was “very pleasantly surprised” that they did.

Donna Kincer, the shelter’s development director, admitted to the Sun Journal that the shelter broke its own rules to give the dog to LePage, justifying it by saying the publicity will lead to more pets getting adopted.

On Tuesday, Arsenault saw a Facebook post announcing the dog’s adoption.

“I just saw him — and then I saw Jasper and I saw him holding Jasper — and I just started to cry,” she told the newspaper. “I felt like they lied to me.”

Michael Shepherd

About Michael Shepherd

Michael Shepherd joined the Bangor Daily News in 2015 after covering state, federal and local issues for the Kennebec Journal for three years. He's a Hallowell native who now lives in Gardiner. He graduated from the University of Maine in 2012 and is a graduate student at the University of Southern Maine's Muskie School of Public Service.