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Padi is saved: Judge says Florida law ordering dog to be euthanized is unconstitutional

A dog that bit a child this past summer will not be euthanized now that a judge has declared unconstitutional a Florida law that mandates dogs that cause severe injury to people be put down.

The Bradenton Herald reports that Judge Andrew Owens made his ruling in the case of Padi, a 4-year-old male Labrador mix, that bit a child's ear in June.

The child and his baby sitter were at the Pet Clinic in Bradenton, which is owned by Padi's owner Paul Gartenberg. Padi tried to get away from the child, but it followed the dog into a corner and was bitten.

Under Florida law, because the injury was considered severe and required stitches and reconstructive surgery, Padi was supposed to euthanized without regard for the circumstances of the event. According to the Herald, Owens declared the law unconstitutional Monday because it does not fulfill the intent of the statute and it is "arbitrary and unduly oppressive."

"(The statute) results in an unconstitutional delegation of discretion in animal control authorities insofar as the statute provides animal control authorities no guided authority to select the severity of consequences for a dog's actions."

Robert Eschenfelder, chief assistant county attorney, directed Manatee County's animal services to close the Padi case.