Controversial Maine Gov. Paul LePage broke the heart of one of his constituents by using his power to take away the one thing she wanted most.
LePage recently adopted a Jack Russell terrier mix which he named “Veto,” in honor of his affinity for rejecting legislation.
LePage welcomed the pup to his family and posted photos of his adoption on Facebook.
What LePage’s post doesn’t mention, however, is that the Greater Androscoggin Humane Society went against their policy and allowed him to come in and adopt the dog a day before he was officially supposed to be available.
Sexual assault survivor Heath Arsenault was directly affected by the special treatment LePage received because she had intended to adopt the dog herself for emotional support.
Arsenault had seen a photo of the dog on the shelter’s website and knew right away he was a match for her.
She had it all planned out that she would take off work on the first day the pup became available to make sure she was first in line to get him but to her disappointment, LePage was already flaunting him around as his own new companion.
“I just saw the picture and I broke down," Arsenault said. “He was just the right size for my apartment and he's just really sweet.”
LePage didn’t know about Arsenault when he went in to see the dog, but the shelter should have abided by their own rules instead of trying to appease the governor.
"It wasn't about, 'Oh, I wanted that dog and somebody else adopted it," Arsenault, said. "It just felt like my happiness was taken away from me. Bettering my relationships—that was taken away from me."
According to the Boston Globe, Donna Kincer — development director of the Greater Androscoggin Humane Society — admitted that the shelter was hoping for good publicity from the governor’s adoption of the adorable rescue dog.
The shelter's plan has backfired because now the public is focused on the fact that they broke their own rules for someone in a position of power.
LePage's spokesman Peter Steele insisted that the governor wasn’t even expecting to take home a dog when he visited the shelter.
“He just stopped in to see the dog,” Steele said. “He was very pleasantly surprised when (the shelter) allowed him to take the dog home.”
While LePage may not have been aware of Arsenault’s plans, it’s very hard to believe he innocently paid the dog a visit without intention to adopt on the spot.
The conservative governor doesn’t have the best reputation. He is the same deplorable man who said refugees are to blame for the “Ziki [sic] fly” epidemic in reference to the Zika virus.
He’s also the man who said Indians are the “worst” to understand while giving an overtly racist speech about foreign workers.
LePage has been under fire for several acts of insensitivity and racism. Furthermore, considering how much he likes to flex his power by vetoing things, it’s not difficult to believe that he used such an entitled strategy to adopt this new dog.
It’s very likely that LePage had a hunch that others had their eye on the same dog as he did so he wanted to make sure he got “first dibs”, so to speak.
"No one should be given special privileges, even if they are the governor," a heartbroken Arsenault reportedly told the Portland Press Herald.
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