Arizona

Apr 29, 2014 6:02 PM

Judge pardons Mickey the pitbull

PHOENIX - A judge who spared the life of a pitbull who mauled a 4-year-old decided where the dog will spend the rest of its life.

Mickey the dog will be housed in a shelter operated by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arapio.

Arpaio appeared at the hearing Tuesday to formally extend the offer for Mickey to stay under the care of inmates in the sheriff's "no-kill" animal shelter operated out of a Maricopa County jail.

"I did this when they were killing cats in Ahwatukee and I went down there and decided to start an animal cruelty unit, for all the dogs and cats so they can have a great place to live," he said.

The judge deemed Mickey vicious a month ago but decided against sentencing him to death after animal rights activists spoke out against the move.

Instead she ordered him to be neutered and de-fanged.

The 4-year-old was under the care of his babysitter, the mother of Mickey's owner, on Feb. 20. The boy walked near the dog and was attacked from behind. The dog wouldn't let go, even when an adult tried to pry his jaws open.

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