Pit bull that mauled young boy finds home in shelter run by 'Sheriff Joe'

Mike Krumboltz
Yahoo News

A pit bull that attacked a 4-year-old Arizona boy earlier this year will live out the rest of his days at a jail-turned-animal shelter run by controversial Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and staffed by sheriff's deputies and inmates with special privileges.

In February, Kevin Vicente wandered into a backyard where Mickey the dog was chained. The dog reportedly attacked the boy, biting into his face. Kevin required multiple surgeries following the attack.

A month later the dog was sentenced to be defanged, neutered and sent to live in a no-kill shelter. Following that ruling, attorneys representing the dog's interests were tasked with finding a shelter that would take in Mickey.

Yahoo News spoke with John Schill, who served as attorney for Mickey. "Back in February, I was contacted by a group called the Lexus Project that establishes trusts for the defense of dogs," he explained.

A Facebook page titled "Save Mickey" has more than 70,000 likes. Schill pointed out that no donations went to him or his firm. "We did everything for free," he said.

The legal battle began when a petitioner asked the judge to have Mickey put to sleep. Schill said he asked for Mickey's life to be spared and "that's what we were able to do."

The judge agreed that Mickey wouldn't be euthanized and would spend the rest of his life in a shelter. The costs associated with the housing of Mickey will be taken care of by donations made to a trust, Schill said.

How did Sheriff Joe get involved? "During the court case, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio called the courtroom and asked to speak to me," Schill said. "He offered his facility at that time."  After touring a few shelters, Schill said he determined Arpaio's was the best place for Mickey. 

Meanwhile, Kevin is making a slow recovery, according to AZCentral.com, and has received thousands of dollars in donations. Quoted in March, Kevin's mother Floridalma Vicente said she lost her home after having to quit her job to care for Kevin. Still, she thanked those who donated to her son's cause.

Via AZCentral.com:

To everyone who also cares for Kevin, Flor said: "Thank you so much for all the support ... without knowing me, and for sending good wishes for Kevin's recovery. Thanks to everybody for taking the time to give what they have given. Thank you so much. God bless you."

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