PAWS Responds to Camden Herald Reporting and Editorial

Fri, 05/19/2023 - 9:30am

The Camden Herald is taking sides in a pending litigation between a person claiming to be the owner of a dog and the local animal shelter, PAWS. Reporter, Dan Dunkle, wrote an article about the litigation with information essentially provided by the attorney for the purported owner. The Camden Herald in its May 12, 2023 edition published an editorial cartoon suggesting it was irresponsible for PAWS to determine the owner of the stray dog brought to the shelter by a third party. Both the initial article and the editorial cartoon makes clear what side the Herald is on in the pending litigation.

The article by the reporter and the editorial cartoon fail to acknowledge the reason behind PAWS needing to determine the dog’s ownership. Two Maine Statutes, 17 Maine Revised Statutes 1038, and 7 Maine Revised Statutes 3913, place upon an animal shelter the responsibility of determining who is the owner of a stray dog brought to the shelter. Both these statutes were referenced to the Herald by PAWS through its reporter before it published its first story, and then its editorial cartoon. Neither were reported by the Herald in either publication.

PAWS is defending the lawsuit and has denied the allegations filed by the plaintiff. Instead of taking sides in a contested lawsuit, the Herald should wait for the Superior Court to determine the facts of this matter. The Herald is simply reporting what the plaintiff alleged in her lawsuit without any independent investigation. All plaintiff’s statements in her suit are unsworn allegations that need to be proved.

PAWS has been a trusted and responsible not-for-profit animal shelter that has served this community for many decades. This is a responsibility they take seriously as they care for hundreds of local animals in our communities. Waiting for the court to determine what the facts are should be the appropriate position of the Herald.


Robert J. Rubin, Attorney for PAWS (not of record in the litigation) and proud former member of the Board of Directors of PAWS