PHOENIX (AP) — A Phoenix judge has spared the life of a pit bull after it mauled a 4-year-old boy last month and touched off a polarizing Internet debate on mercy, blame and animal violence.
Municipal Court Judge Deborah Griffin ruled Tuesday that the dog named Mickey must be neutered, defanged and microchipped. She declared the dog vicious earlier in the day and could have ordered euthanasia.
The Feb. 20 attack left 4-year-old Kevin Vicente with a broken eye socket and jaw.
An adult who was at the scene asked that the dog be euthanized.
Thousands of animal lovers took to social media to support Mickey, placing blame with the dog's owners and child's baby sitter. Supporters wore T-shirts to court that bore a paw print and said "Save Mickey."