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Campaign to save dog in Arizona mauling

Posted by on Mar. 17, 2014 at 6:30 AM
  • 127 Replies

 

Campaign to save dog in Arizona mauling

 

 
This Feb. 2014 photo provided by Flor Medrano shows Kevin Vicente in Phoenix, Ariz. Four-year-old Kevin Vicente's road to recovery after a dog mauling on Feb. 20, 2014, has ignited thousands of impassioned pleas, not just not for him. The animal behind the attack is now the object of a Facebook page that has garnered more than 39,000 likes on Facebook. The fate of Mickey the pit bull will ultimately be decided in a court hearing March 25 in Phoenix. Guadalupe Villa, who was at the scene of the attack, has filed a vicious-animal petition to have the dog put down. Doctors say the attack has left the boy unable to swallow properly or open one eye. They say Kevin faces months, if not years, of reconstructive surgery.(AP Photo/)
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PHOENIX (AP) - A dog that mauled a 4-year-old Phoenix boy has received thousands of pleas for mercy through a Facebook campaign ahead of a court hearing to decide his fate.

A municipal court judge could rule at a March 25 hearing on whether Mickey, a pit bull that bit Kevin Vicente in the face, should be euthanized. Kevin received injuries that will require, according to doctors, months and possibly years of reconstructive surgeries.

Since the Feb. 20 attack, Mickey has become the object of a Facebook page that has gotten more than 40,000 likes and an online petition to spare his life.

Supporters say the campaign doesn't mean they value the dog's life above the child's.

"This is not Kevin versus Mickey," said attorney John Schill, who is representing the dog in the court petition. "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."

Pit bulls are viewed by some as a dangerous breed, a reputation their fans dispute.

Guadalupe Villa, who was at the scene of the attack, filed the vicious-animal petition to have the dog put down.

"I just looked at all this as this could have been my son, and I don't want it to be someone else," Villa said.

Schill said he is working pro bono at the request of The Lexus Project, a nonprofit that collects money to legally defend canines in danger of being euthanized. The organization has set up a trust for Mickey that has received more than $5,600, he said.

Schill said the person watching Kevin while his mother was at work should be held responsible.

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This March 11, 2014 photo shows Mickey, a pit bull, …
This March 11, 2014 photo shows Mickey, a pit bull, at West Valley Animal Care Center in Phoenix, Ar ...

"But for adults involved, this never would have happened," Schill said. "They're trying to put all the blame on Mickey."

Villa, whose boyfriend's mother was baby-sitting Kevin the day of the attack, said her friend is not to blame.

"She took amazing care of that little boy," said Villa, who claims in the petition that Mickey killed her dog last year.

According to Villa, Kevin picked up a bone lying on the ground near the dog, which was kept on a chain. That's when Mickey suddenly attacked Kevin, Villa said.

Villa said she can't understand the Facebook attention and doesn't see Mickey as a victim.

Kevin was hospitalized at Maricopa Medical Center with a broken eye socket, cheek bone and lower jaw bone, according to doctors.

Dr. Salvatore Lettieri, a Mayo Clinic physician and chief of cosmetic surgery at Maricopa Medical Center, said he was able to fix the broken bones and reattach the muscles that allow Kevin to open and close his eye.

"He still can't open his eye. We'll need to fix the tear duct drainage system - that is if he makes tears," Lettieri said.

Flor Medrano, a family friend, said Kevin continues to recover at a pediatric hospital in Phoenix but will return to Maricopa Medical Center later this week for more surgery on his eye.

Medrano also said a fundraising website has received about $6,000 in donations for the boy. The Maricopa Health Foundation also established a website that has received 50 donations.

The social media support for Mickey doesn't indicate that people care more about a dog than a child, Harold Herzog, a psychology professor at Western Carolina University who studies animal interaction.

He said it's likely that lovers of pit bulls, specifically, are driving Mickey's Facebook following. Pit bulls have been saddled with a bad rap - fair or not - of being one of the most dangerous dogs. A lot of that reputation is thanks to other mauling cases, Herzog said.

"I don't think this reflects that people like dogs more than they like kids. It's a reflection that ... this is yet another instance of their breed getting blame for something it didn't do," Herzog said. "'Blame the deed, not the breed.'"

Support for Mickey intensified after an employee at the Maricopa County Animal Control and Care Center, which has custody of the dog, wrote on Facebook that Mickey was "going night night."

Melissa Gable, a center spokeswoman, said the employee will face administrative action but declined to elaborate.

by on Mar. 17, 2014 at 6:30 AM
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Replies (1-10):
-Celestial-
by Pepperlynn on Mar. 17, 2014 at 6:54 AM
Omg. Smh. Nope.
sweet-a-kins
by Emerald Member on Mar. 17, 2014 at 6:57 AM
9 moms liked this

I don't think the dog is poor or innocent. Once a dog attacks ..the odds of a future attack seriously increase.

PaganKitty67
by Member on Mar. 17, 2014 at 7:25 AM
8 moms liked this

I am not a Pit Bull hater, I have a Pit Bull and I do think too many people automatically blame them for everything. BUT sometimes they,  just like any other dog, aren't good. I will always choose a child over any animal as long as that child is not abusing the animal. In this story it looks like the child did absolutely nothing wrong. This dog has an aggression problem, protecting its food. A well balanced dog would NOT do this. It is an owner and a dog problem. I don't know this history of this dog, some dogs are just aggressive due to bad breeding or due to owner error. This dog did attack a child, it wasn't just a warning nip and he should be put down because he is a danger.

SlingsAndThings
by Bronze Member on Mar. 17, 2014 at 7:29 AM
1 mom liked this
I can't imagine if a dog mauled my child I would want it still alive to potentially do it again.
preacherskid
by Member on Mar. 17, 2014 at 7:35 AM
3 moms liked this

We have lab mixes and if either of them did that much damage to a child I would be the one putting them down.  Should an adult have kept the child away from a dog with aggressive tendencies?  Yes, but that is past-this dog IS vicious, and a danger to itself and others.  

mikiemom
by Ruby Member on Mar. 17, 2014 at 7:44 AM
2 moms liked this

I am an animal lover but once an animal does this it must be put to rest.

stormcris
by Christy on Mar. 17, 2014 at 8:20 AM
1 mom liked this

I would have to know more about if the dog was being starved and saw the child as competition for food. If you were being starved you would see anyone touching any food near you as a threat to your food. Humans would act the same to protect ones food supply no matter how little it was. If the dog was not being starved he needs to be put down. Dogs with a lot of muscle mass like a pit or even a bird dog need to be fed well and too often they are not. 

finnbar
by Silver Member on Mar. 17, 2014 at 8:29 AM
3 moms liked this
I agree.
The dog abusers who kept him on a chain should be held accountable for basically training the poor animal to be defensive.

But yes, the damage is done and the potential for more, fatal, attacks is too great.

Quoting sweet-a-kins:

I don't think the dog is poor or innocent. Once a dog attacks ..the odds of a future attack seriously increase.

VooDooB
by weird cheese on Mar. 17, 2014 at 8:32 AM
1 mom liked this

Kill it dead.

Woodbabe
by Woodie on Mar. 17, 2014 at 8:36 AM
7 moms liked this

I was all mushy until I saw they kept him on a chain..that was no beloved family pet and that child should not have been allowed within range of a chained dog. 


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