TIME Animal Rights

Mickey The Pit Bull Gets His Day In Court

pni pit bull
Mickey, a pit bull, at West Valley Animal Care Center in Phoenix, Ariz, on March 11, 2014. Mickey attacked four-year-old Kevin Vicente. Michael Schennum—AP

Judge will decide whether dog that severely mauled a four-year-old boy should be euthanized, after supporters of the pit bull launched a social media campaign to keep it alive

A court will decide this week whether or not Mickey, a pit bull who attacked and severely injured a 4-year-old boy, should be put down.

Kevin Vincente was mauled by the dog after straying into the pit bull’s yard in February. The attack left Vicente with a broken eye socket and jaw and he needs multiple reconstructive surgeries. One of the adults who witnessed the attack filed a vicious-dog court petition that kicked off the case, which will be presented in front of judge in Phoenix on Tuesday.

Animal rights activists are supporting Mickey, and have started a social media campaign to save the dog from being euthanized. The Facebook page, “Save Mickey,” has over 61,000 likes and supporters have made a YouTube video. Supporters argue that the babysitter who was watching Vincente wasn’t doing a proper job, and that both the dog and the boy are victims. “This is not Kevin versus Mickey,” attorney John Schill, one of three attorneys representing Mickey said in the court petition, the Associated Press reports. “Having Mickey killed is not going to take away Kevin’s pain or injuries. The only thing this is going to do is kill a poor, innocent dog.”

But the injured child is also receiving support, with people sending him donations and gifts. Flor Medrano, a friend of the Vincente family told the Arizona Republic the family doesn’t understand the support for Mickey. “We feel sad because they care more about Mickey. They’re saying that it was Kevin’s fault because he was spoiled, and they don’t even know Kevin. And they don’t even know the dog, either,” Medrano told the Republic.

The Maricopa County Animal Control and Care Center is currently holding Mickey, and workers at the center told the Associated Press that they are getting several calls and visitors to see the dog. Mickey is being kept separate from all the other dogs at the center and away from the public.

[AP]

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