Florida dog that bit off part of boy’s ear to get ‘Stand Your Ground’ defence

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Florida’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” law may play a factor in the fate of Padi a black Labrador-mix who bit off part of a 4-year-old boy’s ear at a veterinarian’s office in June.

Charles Britt, the attorney representing Padi and his owner, veterinarian Paul Gartenberg, will argue Florida’s dog bite statute is inconsistent with Stand Your Ground and dog bite tort law. Padi faces euthanasia by Manatee County Animal Services if his case is lost in the Circuit Court. At issue is the constitutionality of Florida’s dog bite statute.

A final decision on Padi went to Circuit Court after a public outcry on Facebookprompted county commissioners to hear her case. Under the current law, Britt said, Padi’s owner is not entitled to “due process” and the dog would be euthanised without a hearing. Britt argues Padi was provoked to bite the child when the child was not properly supervised.


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The attorney said that Padi has the right to defend himself in that situation when he was cornered under the veterinarian’s desk. This would be in line with Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ law enacted in 2005. Attorneys representing the victim’s family are arguing that Padi was unprovoked in the attack that severed the earlobe of the child.

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