Dog Bites

In a vote of 118-0, the Florida House of Representatives on Wednesday, January 27 unanimously passed a bill introduced by Sarasota Republican Rep. W. Gregory “Greg” Steube that seeks to allow dog owners whose pets have been involved in severe bite cases to make objections to euthanasia decisions carried out by judges.

The proposed piece of legislation was the offshoot of the case of a Manatee County dog named Padi, who allegedly bit off a four-year-old’s ear. The dog’s owner, Paul Gartenberg, a veterinarian, said the animal was provoked into biting the child, a claim that the boy’s babysitter negated.

In December 2015, a circuit judge ruled that the state law regarding dog bites – which is implemented in the Sarasota, DeSoto, and Manatee counties – is unconstitutional.

Over 27,000 advocates of Padi’s freedom have expressed their sentiments on the “Free Padi” page on Facebook as the dog’s life hangs on a thin line, with people protesting at a Manatee County Commission meeting to stop Padi’s euthanasia from happening, and supporters from as far as South Africa, England, and China clamoring for Padi’s freedom.

According to the website of the Abel Law Firm, this piece of news is good for the animals that are our best friends in the world. However, it is still true that some dogs do become feral and bite people for no reason at all. While there are more instances of strays or strange dogs biting people, dogs that one may know or is familiar with can still bite that person, for a whole host of reasons.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, one out of every five dog bites that happen to around 4.5 million Americans each year (with half of them happening to children between the ages of five and nine) likely leads to injury that requires medical attention.

To prevent getting attacked by a dog, experts recommend choosing a breed of dog that is characterized by their good-naturedness or sweet temperament. It is also important to remember that to go near a dog that is eating or feeding her puppies, for the animal may misconstrue someone’s nearness as a sign that their food might be taken away from them, or that their young ones might be harmed. Running away or screaming will also not help someone within the vicinity of a dog about to become hostile. The dog will be emboldened to attack with that kind of reaction. Instead, one should just remain calm so as to make it clear to the dog that there is nothing to be agitated about.