In Bradenton, Florida the future remains questionable for a five-year-old black rescued Labrador retriever, Padi after a hearing officer agreed to reopen the file as to whether the dog should be euthanized, reports StAugustine.com.
The decision came after a request for “the purpose of entertaining testimony of provocation in the nature of ‘tormenting, abusing or assaulting the dog,”‘ meaning Padi had only reacted in his own defense after having been provoked and taunted. Last Tuesday, more than 100 people showed up at the Manatee County Commission meeting pleading for the dog’s freedom. The commissioners approved adding a request to its legislative platform for state lawmakers to revise the Florida dangerous dog law.
In early June, the dog bit a four-year-old child in the ear after the little boy cornered the dog, while the dog had been trying to hide under a desk. The dog, named Padi, owned by the Pet Clinic veterinarian, Dr. Paul Gartenberg, had been in the office when the four-year-old had been teasing the dog after taking away the dog’s toys. The child had been in the office accompanied by his 19-year-old babysitter. The youngster followed the dog to its hiding place; lunged at the dog, and in self defense Padi bit the child in the ear.
That same day, Manatee County Animal Services took Padi into custody as being a dangerous dog. Under Florida law, Madi was scheduled to be euthanized. Manatee County spokesman Nicholas Azzara states the law is clear, and the statute defines the county’s responsibility. The office of state Rep. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, has received hundreds of calls and emails about Padi, and supports each case be reviewed individually; in Padi’s case the dog is claimed to have been reacting defensively as most dogs would in similar circumstances.
People who spoke at the meeting contend the law doesn’t have to be changed. For instance, if a dog bites a person and the person needs one stitch, does that therefore mean the dog must be euthanized as a dangerous dog? Bradenton attorney Charlie Britt has defended cases like Padi’s before, and the county commissioner is in charge of the law’s interpretation. Whether the Hearing Officer will change his position after the addition of the information about the dog being provoked is unknown, however it’s time to free Padi.
A Facebook page with additional information can be found here. Advocates are invited to write respectful emails to the following asking for Padi’s life to be spared. Email addresses for County officials:
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