Arpaio takes custody of dog that mauled Phoenix child - Tucson News Now

UPDATE

Arpaio takes custody of dog that mauled Phoenix child

Mickey's fate will be decided by a judge Tuesday. (Source: CBS 5 News) Mickey's fate will be decided by a judge Tuesday. (Source: CBS 5 News)
Sheriff Joe Arpaio took custody of Mickey Thursday afternoon. (Source: CBS 5 News) Sheriff Joe Arpaio took custody of Mickey Thursday afternoon. (Source: CBS 5 News)
Mickey was sentenced to life behind bars in Arpaio's no-kill shelter. (Source: CBS 5 News) Mickey was sentenced to life behind bars in Arpaio's no-kill shelter. (Source: CBS 5 News)
Mickey mauled Kevin Vicente while at his babysitter's home in February when the boy tried to take away the dog's bone. (Source: Vicente family photo) Mickey mauled Kevin Vicente while at his babysitter's home in February when the boy tried to take away the dog's bone. (Source: Vicente family photo)
Kevin has gone through extensive surgeries, had a broken jaw and lost an eye. (Source: Vicente family photo) Kevin has gone through extensive surgeries, had a broken jaw and lost an eye. (Source: Vicente family photo)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

The extradition process has been completed, and Mickey the pit bull is now in the full custody of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Mickey, a dog that mauled a 4-year-old Phoenix boy, arrived Thursday afternoon at his new permanent home in a portion of the First Avenue Jail that was converted to an animal shelter in 1998.

Mickey was sentenced to life behind bars in Arpaio's no-kill shelter on Tuesday.

Judge Deborah Griffith also ordered that the pit bull be defanged and microchipped and that he will not be adopted or fostered out. Mickey has already been neutered since mauling Kevin Vicente in February as the boy tried to take the dog's bone.

Griffith rejected a request from attorneys representing the dog to donate the $2,500 it will cost to defang the dog to Kevin and his family to help with medical expenses.

Arpaio agreed to keep Mickey for the rest of the dog's life and to appear annually for a status conference on Mickey. Arpaio said he will be taking full custody of Mickey starting at 1:30 p.m. Thursday. Mickey will be kept behind bars and isolated from the general public and other animals in the MASH shelter.

He also agreed that no taxpayer money would be used to train inmates on how to handle the dog. Arpaio said many of the inmates are trained in how to handle "vicious" dogs and that there is about $200,000 in donations to help maintain the MASH shelter.

Arpaio formed the MASH shelter in 2000 after an animal cruelty case in which he termed the animals the "true victims." He renovated a section of the First Avenue Jail that is now air conditioned and can comfortably house the animals.

The case got international attention after a heated debate on social media about the cause for the attack and the fate of the pit bull.

A judge said the dog was vicious, but ruled against euthanization.

Mickey had been staying at the Maricopa County Animal Care and Control Shelter. Griffith said the MCACC will not be held for any future incidents.

"That dog is going to do a life sentence in the jail, but a nice life sentence with good food, air conditioning, his own room," Arpaio said. "I mean what else, but being loved by the inmates and detention officers?"

Mickey mauled Kevin while at his babysitter's home in February when the boy tried to take away the dog's bone. Kevin has gone through extensive surgeries, had a broken jaw and lost an eye.

Griffith made the decision in late March that while Mickey would not be euthanized, he must be neutered, defanged, microchipped and never adopted out.

Arpaio then announced via his Twitter, "My jail for animals may get a new lifetime resident, Mickey the pit bull. Inmates will care for him and not a taxpayer cent will be used."

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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