More than fourteen thousand people and counting from across the globe have liked the Free Padi Facebook Page set up to save the Labrador mix from euthanasia!
Padi is a veterinarian’s pet Labrador mix who is scheduled to be euthanized for biting a 4-year-old boy last month in Manatee County.
The owner, renowned veterinarian Dr. Paul Gartenberg, claims the child cornered and provoked the dog, and the Labrador should therefore be set free.
Padi is being held by the Manatee County while waiting an official decision on her fate – a decision people around the world are also waiting on.
If you ask anyone at Pet Clinic in Bradenton, they are quick to tell you about Padi.
“Padi is just the most gentle, loving animal I think I’ve ever met,” says Janet Lawson. “He greets us, he greets Riley, he greets the children.”
But for the last two months, all people have been greeted with is a photo of Padi.
“I just cannot imagine not saving Padi,” Janet adds.
Dr. Gartenberg says on June 4, a four-year-old was playing with Padi in his office.
“The toys were here, the child was throwing toys, and the babysitter was standing behind him,” Dr. Gartenberg recalls pointing to the confined area under his desk.
That’s when the dog bit the child’s ear. Gartenberg claims the child provoked her.
“There is no place for him to go,” the veterinarian said.
County officials say the child’s injuries are severe. According to state law, because the injuries are classified as severe, the dog has to be quarantined and then destroyed. The only legal exception is if the dog is being abused when it bites.
The law does not say anything about provocation or accidental injury.
Right now, the decision rests in the hands of the Manatee County Attorney’s Office.
The parents of the child have not commented, nor asked for the dog’s euthanasia.
While awaiting Padi’s fate, Gartenberg he has been visiting her every day and taking videos.
He says his dog has been shackled before. The Labrador mix was once a stray, when Gartenberg rescued Padi she had a heavy chain on.
“He’s a survivor though. He had to live in that, and there must be heaven for him,” he said.
Just like in the past, the community can help free Padi once again, says the vet.
“First thing I’m going to do is I’m gonna tub and bathe him, and then we’re going to have a party,” Dr. Gartenberg said hoping for Padi’s freedom.
The release of the decision was originally set for July 31. But according to the Free Padi Facebook page, the hearing officer, Mr. Peebles, is delaying his decision until August 5, 2015.
A GoFundMe campaign has been created to help Padi’s family with the legal fees he will need.