Padi the dog won't face euthanization.
The Bradenton, Florida pet, owned by a veterinarian, could have been put down after biting a boy on the ear in his owner’s office June 4. An online campaign to save the 4-year-old lab mix went viral.
In a ruling issued Thursday, Judge Andrew Owens called part of the state’s “Damage By Dogs” statute, which allows for a dog to be put down following an attack that causes severe injury, unconstitutional.
Padi was confiscated by Manatee County Animal Services Division after the attack. State law would have require Padi to be put down “upon mere proof that the bite caused by the dog in question resulted in severe injury,” the order states.
“It has been suggested to the Court that Padi’s bite may have been provoked by the actions of the child, but such facts – even if true – would have no bearing on the outcome of the hearing…,” the order states.
The judge called the portion of the statute that would have allowed Padi to be put down “arbitrary and unduly oppressive” and says it allows animal control workers to destroy a dog without allowing them to decide the severity of the consequences for the dog's actions.
Correction: The original version of this story stated Padi was going home today. The dog was actually released to its owner earlier this year as the case continued.