Padi’s law has now unanimously passed the Florida senate and is on the way to Governor Scott’s desk for his signature. The bill met with no opposition through all committees in both the Florida House and Senate during the six months of work on this bill. It was unanimously passed by the House in January with a vote of 118-0 and was passed in the Senate with a unanimous vote on Thursday of this week.
The new language will allow hearing officers in dog bite cases here in Florida to consider defense for severe bites if the dog can be seen as acting in self defense or in defense of its owner. Padi was a winner in his case when a Sarasota judge ruled that Padi had been acting in self defense when he bit a child’s ear, causing an injury. Padi was chased under a desk by a child when the attack came. The Sarasota judge ruled that the death penalty from Florida law in dog bite cases was unconstitutional. The wording in Florida law has stood for 25 years.
Citizens in Manatee County went to commissioners’ meetings, used social media to advocate for Padi, and wrote letters to Rep. Steube during the six months of work on this bill. This is a landmark case from Manatee County and will be a precedence for other states to follow after becoming Florida law.
It has been requested that Governor Scott sign this bill into law before the current legislative session is over.