top story

Manatee County judge orders Padi freed

  • 0

MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. -- An order by a Manatee County judge will lead to the release of Padi, a 2-year-old lab mix that had been seized by authorities after he bit a 4-year-old child.

Judge Gilbert Smith ordered Padi released to Dr. Paul Gartenberg, the vet who has been fighting for the dog's release. There are restrictions, with Padi only allowed to go to Gartenberg's residence or his clinic. The dog is also not permitted to have contact with children unless "at least one or more adult member of the Gartenberg family are directly supervising and monitoring the dog."

This isn't the end of Padi's story, however. A motion is being filed by the Gartenberg's attorney that will challenge the constitutionality of the statute under which Padi was confiscated. If that fails, the hearing process will continue.

CORRECTION: Though the order was issued this afternoon, Padi has not yet been turned over to Dr. Gartenberg. We're hearing that will happen Saturday morning, though it could be sooner. ABC 7's Bobeth Yates is working on this story and will have a full update coming up on Your Suncoast News at 6 p.m.