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Fight over dog's future: Should a pit bull who mauled a child be saved?

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"Mickey" "Mickey"
Kevin Vincente Kevin Vincente

A fight is brewing over whether to save a dog that viciously attacked a little boy.

"Mickey," a 5-year-old Pit Bull, remains in the custody of Maricopa County Animal Care and Control.

The debate now is whether the dog should be put down or adopted out to another family.

Mickey's fate was supposed to be decided on Monday, but those plans were put on hold. 

Now we're getting a clearer picture of what happened the day the boy was attacked.  We're hearing from a woman who was there the day of the attack.

Mickey has generated a lot of sympathy from people who say the dog was behaving instinctively when he attacked 4-year-old Kevin Vincente as the child reached for a bone laying nearby.

"Mickey wasn't just biting to bite, he was shaking his head, trying to hurt," said "Lupe," who witnessed the attack.  "Honestly, I just want him to be put down."

Lupe says she was standing with her 5-year-old son and Kevin in a Phoenix yard where her boyfriend lives.  The boys were in the vicinity of the dog who was chained.  She says Mickey growled, lunged at Kevin, grabbed his face and wouldn't let go.

The damage was severe -- Kevin will need multiple surgeries.

Lupe says she is also frustrated at the many people who have adopted the dog's cause and are holding demonstrations to save Mickey.

"Crazy how it's elevated in last two weeks.. people around the world are trying to save him.. they don't know the dog."

Six months ago, she says Mickey attacked and killed a puppy as it wandered in the yard.

Lupe has filed a vicious dog petition with the city against Mickey.  On Monday, two attorneys that volunteered their time to represent Mickey appeared in a superior court hearing.

"The dog has no voice at this time.  The owner didn't want to be the voice of the dog.  They surrendered it to animal control, so we're stepping in to defend Mickey," said John Schill of the Schill Law Group.

We don't know will happen until the 13th when the vicious dog petition is filed.  Then a judge will decide the dog should be euthanized or not.

A hearing Tuesday will determine whether the Lexus Group can take ownership and represent the dog.

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