Group rallies behind dog that bit boy's face

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- A dog bit a 4-year-old boy in the face and now the debate is growing about whether the pit bull should live. So far, there has been an outpouring of support for the dog.

"Micky" now sits in a kennel at Maricopa County Animal Care and Control. On Thursday, Animal Control said Micky bit the young boy in the face. His mom said it happened outside his baby sitter's house near Central Avenue and Broadway Road.

"You look at him, and he sits in his kennel and he doesn't look angry or aggressive at all,” said Melissa Gable with Maricopa County Animal Care and Control. “He seems really, really mellow. It was just the circumstances of what happened."

Animal Control said Micky was chewing on a bone when the boy tried to take it away.

"The baby sitter who was caring for the child then picked the child up and brought him to an urgent care center," said Dr. Jeffrey Salomone, the Maricopa County Medical Center’s trauma medical director.

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From there, he was rushed to the Maricopa Medical Center by ambulance.

"When he arrived he was in shock, had severe injuries to his face; a lot of skin and fat underneath the skin pulled back on half of his face," Salomone said.

He had an open fracture in his jaw bone and fracture in his cheek bone and Salomone said the child lost a lot of blood.

"Bleeding was stopped and then the plastic surgeon spent the next couple of hours putting his face back together," Salomone said.

Micky’s in quarantine for 10 days while his fate is decided and that's prompted thousands of people to weigh in on that decision. A Facebook site called "Save Micky" has generated more than 15,000 likes. They want to keep Micky from being put down. The Lexus Project, based out of New York, is behind the effort.

In the meantime, Animal Control is facing a very tough decision.

"We have to decide what's going to happen with Micky," Gable said.

"In my 20 or so year career, this ranks up there as one of the most savage dog attacks I've ever seen,”  Salomone said.

Gable said Micky will not be available for general adoption or New Hope Rescue program, which is causing outrage in the group trying to save Micky. They said that could only mean one other thing: that Micky will be put down. But Animal Control still hasn't made that decision.

"It's a really tough decision and it's not something we want to make overnight, so we're taking time to figure it out,” Gable said.

Attorneys with The Lexus Project said they're already preparing the paperwork to file in court.

"We're hoping the court will rule that he shouldn't be euthanized, and from that point arranging for the dog to go to a group," said Richard Rosenthal with The Lexus Project.

Animal Control said one option they are looking into is to handpick a group or family to adopt Micky, but they would have sign a liability form saying that they understand what Micky did.