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Pitbull sentenced to life in prison after mauling a young boy

Mickey has been sentenced to life for mauling a 4-year-old boy
Mickey has been sentenced to life for mauling a 4-year-old boy
Michael Schennum, AP

An Arizona judge spared the life of a pit bull that mauled a young boy in February. The dog, Mickey, must be neutered, defanged and microchipped. The judge, Deborah Griffith, knows the dog is vicious and could have sentenced Mickey to death. Griffith said no one will be harmed by this dog again and that it must remain in a facility without the possibility of adoption.

The victim, Kevin Vicente has years of reconstructive surgery ahead of him. The attack left him with a broken eye socket and jaw. Support and donations poured in for the Vicente family. Floridalma Vicente, the boy's mother, is grateful for the outpouring of public support. However, the support that poured out wasn't just for Kevin Vicente.

Support began to pour out for Mickey. The question of whether the dog should live or die attracted a lot of attention. Death penalty lawyers were attracted to the case. This led to candlelight vigils and attracted the attention of thousands of animal lovers on social media who blamed the dog's owners and child's babysitter.

Animal rights activists sat in on the hearing wearing t-shirts with paw prints and the words, "Save Mickey."

The Lexus Project, an animal advocate group based in New York, has 30 days to find a rehabilitation center to take Mickey.