4-Year-Old Gets Mauled by Pit Bull; Facebook Rallies to Prevent Dog From Being Put Down

A pit bull mauled a 4-year-old little boy in Arizona, and people are rallying to prevent the dog from being put down. The little boy’s name is Kevin Vicente, and he was being babysat by one of his mom’s friends, whose boyfriend owned a pit bull named Mickey. (Kevin’s mom is a single mom with a full-time job.) Mickey was in the yard chained up. Kevin picked up a bone off the ground not too far from where the dog was chained up, and the pit bull charged him and mauled his face, breaking his right eye socket and causing other damage to his face, requiring reconstructive surgery. Right now, he’s still having to eat and drink through tubes, and the dog attack happened about a month ago.

The babysitter saw it happen and filed a vicious animal petition with the city. The dog’s owner (the babysitter’s boyfriend) gave the dog up to animal control. They were probably both expecting the dog to be put down, and he probably would have been on March 4th, but a group of volunteer lawyers decided to represent the dog to keep him alive. They and about 45,000 Facebook users around the world believe that because the dog was only acting instinctively (the child was “stealing” his bone), he shouldn’t be held responsible; that the babysitter should be held responsible for allowing the 4-year-old to be near the pit bull. Here’s the Daily Mail:

A campaign to save a pit bull that viciously attacked a four-year-old Arizona boy now has almost 45,000 signatures from supporters around the world who don’t want the dog to be put down.

The fate of Mickey, a five-year-old pit bull terrier, was supposed to be decided on March 4, but a restraining order against his euthanasia was extended until a decision can be made about his fate…

AZ Central reports that Kevin Vicente’s injuries were so bad that hospital workers were traumatized after seeing them. He eats and breaths through tubes…

‘Mickey wasn’t just biting to bite, he was shaking his head, trying to hurt,’ Villa told My Fox Phoenix.

Villa said the dog belonged to her boyfriend and that she has known Mickey since he was a puppy. Six months ago, she says, Mickey attacked and killed a puppy that wandered into the yard.

‘Honestly, I just want him to be put down,’ she says.

‘Crazy how [the campaign to save Mickey] elevated in last two weeks.. people around the world are trying to save him. They don’t know the dog.’

Villa filed the vicious dog petition with the city, and her boyfriend surrendered the dog to animal control…

While a Facebook page dedicated to Mickey has in excess of 40,000 likes, a Facebook page for the support of Kevin Vicente has barely 500.

A fundraising website to help Kevin’s mother pay for his medical expenses has so far raised just over $6,000.

Flor Medrano, a family friend, said Kevin’s mother, a single parent, had to quit her job to take care of her son full time. With no other family in the U.S., Medrano said, the mother needs support, but people are more interested in a dog than a little boy.

‘We feel sad because they care more about Mickey,’ Medrano told AZ Central. ‘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.’

A hearing is set for March 25.

So, is the babysitter partially to blame for letting the little boy near the dog? Absolutely. Is the mother partially to blame for entrusting her 4-year-old son to a friend with a violent dog? Absolutely. But just because the dog was “acting instinctively” doesn’t mean that it should be off the hook. The dog needs to be put down, especially since it had acted so violently in the past, and even the owners were ready to do the responsible thing. But they’ve been stonewalled by a bunch of lawyers and PETA-lovers who want to save the “poor” dog. Like Flor Medrano the family friend observed, people are more interested in a dog than they are a little boy.