Padi sparks more controversy after biting service dog

The dog made headlines last summer after biting a young boy.

padi
Photo: Facebook/Free PADI

WARNING: The photos of the service dog at the end of this story may be disturbing to some viewers.


BRADENTON, Fla. (WFLA) – Padi the dog made global headlines after an incident inside the veterinary office of Dr. Paul Gartenberg. Even though the attack was provoked, the dog was set to be euthanized until a large swell of supporters raised awareness, sparing the dog’s life and leading to a change in Florida law.

Padi with his owner, veterinarian Paul Gartenberg, file photo
Padi with his owner, veterinarian Paul Gartenberg, file photo

READ MORE: Sheriff investigating claim that ‘Padi’ bit service dog at vet’s office

Earlier this week, Padi bit a service dog in that very same vet clinic. The service dog, Obi-Wan, is still in training with New Horizons Service dogs.

Obi-Wan’s caretaker, Tammy Kritz, brought the dog into Gartenberg’s office on Monday for a routine appointment. While in the lobby, Kritz said Padi approached Obi-Wan and bit him in the nose, leaving puncture wounds.

Kritz later took Obi-Wan to another vet clinic for treatment.

The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office investigated and deemed this to be an accident so no charges will be filed. The Manatee County State Attorney’s Office is now handling the case.

READ MORE: ‘Padi’ the Dog inspires change in Florida law

Kritz is angry about deputies’ findings. “For me, it’s not anything with Padi or the law that I’m concerned with,” she said. “It’s Dr. Gartenberg. I think he needs to be held responsible for what he did. The fact that he knew the aggressive history, it’s a violent history, and continues to let the dog run, and its causing damage like this. For me, I’d like to see some sort of consequences for him.”

In the report, witnesses reported Obi-Wan was seen growling at dogs in the clinic. But, Kritz insists that Padi’s attack was unprovoked.

Gartenberg is regretful about the incident but happy no charges have been filed. He believes it was an accident.

“It wasn’t a serious injury, Gartenberg said. “We’ve had to keep a closer eye on him because he is in a bit of a spotlight. He’s under closer scrutiny, anything that happens to Padi it gets nationwide attention now.”

READ MORE: No charges in new biting incident involving ‘Padi’ the dog

“The sheriff’s department looked into it and said this is just an accident, and animal services looked into it and said there’s no investigation needed in this, so its pretty much the end of that,” he added.

The veterinarian is now keeping Padi inside his office. He has installed a security gate in the doorway to prevent Padi from roaming through the clinic.

New Horizons Service Dogs is watching Obi-Wan. There is concern this event might have spooked him, leading to his being an inefficient service dog.

For now, his nose is healing nicely, and the organization is continuing with his training. Kritz is hopeful Obi-Wan will make a full recovery without fear of other animals.

Service dog Service dog IMG_1660

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