Padi’s owner, Dr. Paul Gartenberg, has been sued for dog-bite damages.
The family of the little boy who Padi bit on the ear have filed a civil suit against the Dr. Gartenberg.
The family’s attorney, Dan Dannheisser, said they tried to resolve the dispute without filing the lawsuit, but their requests for the veterinarian’s insurance carrier were left unanswered.
The attorney adds that the child can’t have the first reconstructive surgery until a year after the injury so the total cost is still not known.
There are different accounts on what happened in Gartenberg’s office, whether the young boy lunged at Padi to get him out from under the desk, or if the dog lunged at the child when he bent over to pick up a toy by the desk, is in dispute.
“This is not a question about what happened,” Dannheisser notes. “At one point, when he bent over to pick up another toy, the dog bit him. That doesn’t mean the dog needs to be euthanized.”
A court hearing for Padi’s questioning the constitutionality of the Florida dangerous dog statute was held on Wednesday. Both the Manatee county and Padi’s attorney questioned the constitutionality of the Florida dangerous dog statute.
“If he was really trying to injure this child, he would have gone for his face or neck,” Gartenberg said. “He didn’t do that. He just nipped him in the ear and little kids’ ears are soft. It’s unfortunate that he needed a couple of stitches.”
Gartenberg said that he tried to reach out to the child’s family, but his attorney and the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office told him not to until later.
“Initially at least, the child’s father was very angry and the sheriff’s office and Animal Services said do not approach this gentleman because we can’t be responsible for your safety,” the veterinarian said.
Gartenberg said that they visited the hospital to check on the child. He added that he has not spoken with the child’s father since.