(SARASOTA HERALD-TRIBUNE) — MANATEE COUNTY - Attorneys for Manatee County and the owner of Padi, a dog in custody of the county for biting a 4-year-old boy, have agreed to halt the case before a county-appointed hearing officer and instead directly ask for a ruling from a Circuit Court judge about Padi's fate.
A growing grass-roots movement calling itself “Free Padi” contends that the dog was provoked and should not be euthanized. It wants the dog released to its owner, veterinarian Paul Gartenberg, while the court case proceeds.
“This hearing is not going to happen tomorrow,” County Attorney Mickey Palmer told county commissioners Tuesday, adding that a decision could take 60 days.
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Palmer said a judge will decide whether Padi can be released in Gartenberg's custody while the case is still active.