Dog's fate unknown after biting a boy's ear

There is a familiar face missing at Dr. Paul Gartenberg's pet clinic. His lab mix, Padi, remains at Manatee County Animal Services.

His fate is unknown.

"He is not a dangerous dog. Hundreds of people have been in my clinic and know Padi," Dr. Gartenberg told FOX 13.

Last month, a 4-year-old boy came to visit Dr. Gartenberg and played with Padi in his office.

An Animal Services report said the boy began throwing toys for the dog to chase.

They say when Padi went under the desk, the boy followed and the dog bit off part of his ear.

"He was in doctor’s office and that is his safe area. That is where he goes when he wants to get away from people," said Monica Wilson.

There are conflicting reports from two separate investigations.

While the Animal Services report said the boy lunged at the dog provoking the bite, the

sheriff's office report said it was the dog that lunged at the boy.

Whatever the truth, Manatee County Animal Services said it must follow protocol.

"When an animal bites a human and there is severe injury that the law is pretty clear that the dog must be confiscated," explained Nicholas Azzara, Manatee County Spokesman.

Both sides presented their case to a hearing officer last week.

The officer will now decide Padi's future, which includes euthanasia.

"I am just so sorry for the whole thing," said Dr. Gartenberg.

The 4-year-old's family did not want to comment.

A lawyer for the family said they don't have a position on the dog's future. They are just concerned about their son's well-being.

Dr. Gartenberg just hopes for the best for his pet.

"This dog was purely acting defensively. I can't think of a dog that wouldn't have reacted the way that Padi did," he added.

It will be up to an officer from Animal Services to determine whether that is true.