Prosecutors and the owner of a dog in custody for biting a 4-year-old boy have agreed to halt their case before a hearing officer and instead ask directly for a ruling from a circuit court judge.

On June 4, the dog, Padi, bit the child while he was in the office of its owner, a veterinarian. The child's baby sitter has said the dog was provoked. Owner Dr. Paul Gartenberg has said the sitter didn't supervise the child properly.

The Bradenton Herald (http://bit.ly/1L3MUZn) reports that a movement calling itself "Free Padi" says the Labrador mix shouldn't be euthanized and should be released to Gartenberg while the case proceeds.

Manatee County Attorney Mickey Palmer says a scheduled hearing didn't happen Tuesday, and a judge will decide whether Padi can be released while the case is active. Palmer says a decision could take 60 days.

Attorney Dan Dannheisser, representing the boy's family, says social media commentary about the case is largely uninformed and includes threats against the family.

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Information from: The Bradenton (Fla.) Herald , http://www.bradenton.com