PHOENIX -- The fate of Micky the pit bull is in the hands of a judge. Tuesday, the judge will decide the future of the dog that bit a young boy in the face.
This happened Feb. 20 in a yard near Central Avenue and Broadway Road. Micky was chewing on a bone when 4-year-old Kevin Vicente tried to take it away.
The pit bull attacked, crushing Kevin's eye socket, cheek bone, and jaw. The little boy has undergone hours of surgery, and will need even more in the coming years.
Maricopa County Animal Care and Control tells 3TV that the judge may rule that the dog can live as long as it wears a muzzle or is restrained in some way. He could also be sent to a "rescue group" in another state.
The ruling is being watched around the country. A Facebook page called "Save Mickey" has more than 60,000 likes. And a petition to spare his life has 50,000 signatures.
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.
Meantime, thousands have also rallied around the 4-year-old victim. A Facebook page has been set up for Kevin Vicente. And a fund-raising page has been set up where people can donate to help out with his medical bills.
Editor's note: Some documents spell the dog's name Mickey.
Judge taking case under advisement until 2 pm @azfamily— Erika Flores (@ErikaFloresTV) March 25, 2014
Judge: there's no guarantee that this dog won't do this again. (Attorney Schill):you're right there is no guarantee @azfamily— Erika Flores (@ErikaFloresTV) March 25, 2014
Judge: I have to have concern for the public @azfamily— Erika Flores (@ErikaFloresTV) March 25, 2014