[caption id="attachment_81571" align="aligncenter" width="460"] 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/)[/caption]After a vicious attack by a pit bull that left a 4-year-old's face disfigured, thousands of online supporters came forward via social media to plead for the dog's life. The dog, named Mickey, has a Facebook page that has received over 40,000 likes, along with an online petition to spare his life.
The child allegedly picked up a bone that was laying on the ground near the dog, who was on a chain at the time, when the dog attacked. A woman who was at the scene when the attack occurred has filed a vicious animal petition to have the dog euthanized. A municipal court judge will decide the dog's fate on March 25, 2014.
Doctors say that the boy, Kevin Vicente, has a broken eye socket, a broker jaw bone, and a broken cheek bone. He has a breathing tube down his throat, and a feeding tube through his nose since he cannot swallow properly. He will need months and maybe years of reconstructive surgery.
Supporters of the dog, including John Schill, an attorney who is working pro bono to represent the dog, claim that they do not value the dog's life more than the child's, but that having the dog put down will not reverse the child's injuries or suffering.
Psychology professor Harold Herzog at Western Carolina University says it is probably lovers of pit bulls who are driving the support for Mickey. Pit bulls have historically been given a bad reputation, whether justified or not.