Recently, I wrote a post about a law that is being challenged in my hometown of Sarasota, Florida. The law I spoke about has been a source of controversy since it was enacted and says that any dog who bites a person hard enough to require stitches or reconstructive surgery, regardless of the reason behind the bite, has to be euthanized due to it being a danger to people. As you can expect, there are a number of reasons that this law has faced the amount of criticism that it has — the law is very cut and dry and unless there are concerted efforts at appeals, the law ignores any context behind the dog bite (even if the dog was biting an intruder during a home invasion).
The law was finally brought under legal review when a dog named Padi bit a child’s ear after allegedly being instigated. What is agreed is that the dog moved to a corner to escape the child only to have the child follow it, leading to the eventual bite. Padi’s owner, Dr. Paul Gartenberg, brought the case to court where a judge ended up reviewing the law as a whole. Judge Andrew Owens ended up throwing both the case against Padi out of court, as well as declaring the law “arbitrary and unduly oppressive.”
This overturning of the law and it being struck down is with no doubt a huge weight off of the shoulders of all dog owners in the state of Florida. Dogs are animals and even the best trained dog will lash out either in fear or panic when it is backed into a corner with no chance of escape. Just like you wouldn’t punish a human as fully for hurting someone in self-defence, the same should goes for dogs because they’re just animals. Hopefully this law will lead to less needless deaths for pets that are honestly more than just pets, they’re family members.
If you’d like to read more, the link is here.