#DeadDogLulz in Maricopa Co

As we are so often told about people who work in pet killing facilities:  Nobody WANTS to kill animals.  But apparently when they do get to kill them, it’s too fun not to gloat about it on social media.

A Maricopa Co dog called Mickey was reportedly minding his own business in his fenced backyard one day last month when someone let their 4 year old child wander into the yard.  When the child took Mickey’s bone, the dog bit the child in the face causing a severe injury.  Mickey was seized by the Maricopa Co pound and his family is fighting in court to keep him alive.

A Facebook group in support of saving Mickey’s life has more than 32,000 likes.  Vanessa Martinez, a Maricopa Co pound employee, visited the page and taunted those hoping to save Mickey:

“This is stupid… you guys doing all of this won’t help any. He’s going night night.”

Ooh, burn.

The pound’s director has defended Ms. Martinez’s comments as free speech.

A judge is scheduled to make a determination on Mickey’s fate by March 13.

A spokesperson for MCACC says Martinez is still employed. A petition is circulating on the Internet calling for Martinez to be terminated.

That petition and 5 pennies will get you a nickel and someone who likes killing animals.

(Thank you Clarice for the link.)

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27 Comments

  1. mikken

     /  March 10, 2014

    So…there’s absolutely no repercussions for unprofessional behavior? Good to know.

    This poor dog is as much a victim of poor child supervision as the kid who was bitten. Except the kid will live.

    Reply
  2. db

     /  March 10, 2014

    And this poor dog happens to be/look like a pit, so three strikes against him already.

    Reply
  3. Adrianne Mock

     /  March 10, 2014

    maybe they need to sterilize the stupid sperm and egg donors who allowed their 4 YEAR OLD child to wander around UNATTENDED and walk into a neighbor’s yard… the DOG was contained.
    Now the dog will (probably ) die, or the owners will have to make special arrangements for containment and use muzzles when they take him out… and the CHILD will bear the pain forever.

    A huge and sad set of losses all around.

    Reply
  4. Alyce torten

     /  March 10, 2014

    So true. They should charge the parents of the child for trespassing into the dog’s yard. To me it sounds like the dog was protecting his property, he saw an intruder and did what most watch dogs would do. Yes it is sad that this baby was bitten by the dog , but again why weren’t the parents more vigilant about their child. I say charge the parents with trespassing due to their own negligence ……let this dog live Judge, he was only protecting the hime he lives in and this child invaded it…

    Reply
  5. barbmilli

     /  March 10, 2014

    Sad that a person has to have a license to have a dog, but people don’t have to be licensed to have kids, which they do without restraint with many people.
    I’m sorry that the kid was injured, however, where were the parents supervising the child, and what if there had been loose, stray dogs that belonged to no one, or a wild coyote as many rural areas have (and also some suburban neighborhoods as developments go in farther and farther out), that simply killed the child, and carried the body off to eat it?
    Who would be blamed then, and at what point do parents HAVE to take responsibility for the safety and well-being of their own children and not infringe on the rights of other people to have pets?

    Reply
    • I’m not willing to jump to blaming the parents. This very blog speaks over and over again about the cruelty and folly of blaming pet owners for bad outcomes if their pet accidentally escape the house. Maybe this was the first time the child discovered how to work the door latch. Maybe a visitor left the backdoor unlocked. Maybe maybe maybe….one incident, no matter how tragic the outcome, does not equal a pattern of neglect or failure to supervise. You simply can’t watch a child every second of the day, and you shouldn’t be expected to.

      I’m not blaming the dog or the dog’s owner. I’m just also not blaming the child’s parents based on one incident. Sometimes a tragedy is just a tragedy, and we don’t have to decide who bears the blame in every case.

      Reply
      • db

         /  March 10, 2014

        Apparently there was a babysitter “watching” the child. She didn’t have any other job to do but watch that little guy. Sorry, accidents happen and I’m sure no one intended for this dog to bite the child, but the babysitter was negligent and the dog will likely pay with his life. HE was confined in his fenced in yard. Sad all the way around.

      • sarahjaneb

         /  March 10, 2014

        I agree with db. This babysitter was being paid to care for this child. Not only that, as far as I can tell, this was the babysitter’s own chained dog. One of the articles says it happened “outside the babysitter’s house” and the video shows a yard with a doghouse and a chain.

      • And if the babysitter had to use the bathroom? Again, I just hate the habit of jumping in to blame people without hard evidence. Maybe the sitter was negligent, but I’d like more evidence of that than the tragedy itself. I have a family member who lost a child to drowning. The exact same as here happened to her…people blamed her immediately, without knowing the full story or even caring that they didn’t know it.

  6. Michelle

     /  March 10, 2014

    What if it wasn’t the neighbors dog but a swimming pool the child wandered into. If it is on someone’s property the blame should be on the parents not the dog owners. They should be glad it was a dig and not a pool.

    Reply
  7. Clarice

     /  March 10, 2014

    Update from the Save Mickey fb page:

    Please be advised that the Phoenix City Court ruled today that The Schill Law Group on behalf of their client The Lexus Project will be allowed to intervene on behalf of a dog named Mickey! This means Mickey will have an attorney fighting for him in Court!

    The Vicious Dog Hearing that had been scheduled for March 13, has now been continued until March 25 at 8:30am

    Reply
  8. The article says that the boy “crossed the fence” into the yard. I am wondering just how that happened–how a 4 year old got over, under, or through a fence sufficient to contain the dog. Did he unlatch a gate and let himself in? Did someone let him in? It seems very odd to me.

    Reply
  9. Dianne

     /  March 10, 2014

    Why are the parents of the 4 year old not being investigated for neglect???

    The animal control worker should be fired. Her words can be taken to be those of animal control in the community. If her attitude is AC’s attitude, God help the animals.

    Reply
  10. seabrooksr

     /  March 11, 2014

    I don’t know if this dog should die. I don’t have enough information to make that determination; the history of the dog in question, etc.
    Many people are blaming the parents. They should be glad it was a dog and not a swimming pool?
    As my family owns a swimming pool in a neighborhood overrun with children, I can tell you that it is first our responsibility to safeguard others. We have insurance. We only allow swimming in our pool when there is an adult present, one who is willing to assume responsibility for watching the pool and one who has the ability to call 911 AND is able to swim well enough to retrieve someone who is unconscious or panicking. We are required by law to have extra tall fences; 8 feet tall, and padlock our gate so that no one can wander into our pool. We also took the precaution of having no-climb metal plating installed on our fences so that random passerby do not even realize that we have a pool. We were very thankful we had done so after the city decided to put in a recreational pathway behind our house.
    That said, there have been incidents. Why? Because swimming, like life, is an inherently dangerous activity and accidents happen. We understand this, recognize that a life full of bubble wrap is no life at all, and are confident that a court of law would recognize that we have taken every reasonable step to prevent tragedy.
    I do think that this dog’s life is best left to the court, that is why we have them after all.
    None of this, of course, has anything to do with the fact that this shelter employee has behaved extremely inappropriately, regardless of “freedom of speech”.

    Reply
  11. Kittypurr

     /  March 17, 2014

    Not enough facts. However I agree with Seabrooksr post.
    Did the dog belong to the babysitters family? Does the dog always stay in the backyard with no human interaction? Was the dog in the yard because the babysitter was letting him out of the house for awhile. Was there a locked gate?
    Not enough facts- but we have a severely injured child and a dog who is now on death row. Tragic accident. No winners. And MAYBE there should be no blame all the way around.

    Reply
    • sarahjaneb

       /  March 17, 2014

      There’s not enough information to determine why the dog had a disproportionate reaction to the child or whether or not the dog should live, or if so what kind of household would be best for the dog. There is, however, enough information to determine who was supposed to be responsible for the child – the babysitter. That’s the babysitter’s job. I think everyone needs to keep in mind that when something like this happens, somebody IS responsible. If you are charged with taking care of a child, you take care of the child. Even if you have to go to the bathroom, which is BTW a normal thing that happens to everyone every day and should be planned for. When someone who’s supposed to be taking care of a child has to use the bathroom, the child doesn’t magically go into a state of suspended animation or some no-person’s land where nobody is responsible for them.

      It’s dangerous to pretend that nobody is responsible and nobody is to blame. When a young child is bitten by a dog, the person or people who were supposed to be supervising the child are to blame, and depending on the exact situation, the owner of the dog may carry some blame as well. These incidents CAN be prevented, and if we pretend that nobody is to blame and oh gosh these things just happen, then who’s going to try to prevent them?

      Reply
      • So nothing is ever an accident? ALL circumstances can be prevented and foreseen? Someone is always at fault? I don’t believe any of those things, and indeed, I think such beliefs are why modern childhood is so controlled. The belief that we not only CAN control everything, but MUST, and that if the something tragic happens, someone screwed up and must be punished. It’s why parents are terrified to let their children outside.

        99.9% of the time, if you leave a four year old alone to use the bathroom, that 4 year old would be just fine when you returned. Telling parents that they have to plan every second away from their child creates madness.

      • sarahjaneb

         /  March 17, 2014

        Of course there are accidents – I don’t believe this was intentional. Do I think ALL circumstances can be forseen and that everything can be controlled? No, of course not, but it’s hardly madness to keep a constant eye on a 4-year-old, especially when you know there’s a dog on or near the premises. I’m certainly not saying nobody should ever let a child outside, and I agree that many of today’s parents are overprotective in ways that are detrimental to their children, but this is a very young child and a large dog. Part of being a responsible but not overbearing caretaker is knowing when you absolutely need to keep an eye on the child. Small child + large dog is most certainly one of those situations.

        There’s still some information missing, but several things probably went wrong here. Caretaker not paying attention? Unlocked doors? Unlocked gates? There were mostly likely several failures, and this probably could have been prevented by fixing any one of those things if not all.

        Furthermore, I’m not necessarily saying that the babysitter should be “punished,” but she should accept responsibility for it, and either stop babysitting or get some proper childcare training. As I believe I implied in my previous comment, the main point of assigning blame and figuring out where things went wrong is to prevent further incidents. In fact I don’t believe I mentioned punishing the babysitter at all.

      • Believe, it is a punishment to be told you are responsible for the death of a child…a much greater punishment than anything our law can dish out. Especially to be told this again and again by strangers who have no idea of the circumstances and what precautions were taken.

        It IS madness to expect anyone to keep a ‘constant eye’ on a 4 year old, because that’s simply not physically possible to accomplish. You walk into another room to prep snacks. To the bathroom. You dash upstairs to get a board game. All completely natural and allowable things. To tell anyone they have to eagle eye the child every.single.second is part of what leads to a society that can’t let children breath without supervision. When I was five, I left the house in the morning and came home for lunch and at dusk. I walked to school by myself. Today, it’s a huge scary deal when high school sophomores have to walk one mile back to the school after a field trip. Seriously…that actually happened this week and people considered it newsworthy and just awful.

        As you say, there is information missing. Maybe what went wrong was that the babysitter was on drugs and left all of the doors wide open.

        Or maybe a lock was broken and they didn’t catch it.

        Or maybe at the same moment they went to lock the door, the child fell and started crying, and in their rush to comfort the child, they just plain forgot about the lock.

        I could go on, and on, and on. The scenarios are endless, and all I’m saying is not to judge without facts. And to realize that sometimes really terrible shit happens despite a person’s best efforts. Locking doors and gates is a reasonable, common sense precaution to take with a small child and a large dog. NEVER looking away from the child is not reasonable and not possible. Since we have no idea how long the child was unsupervised, why are so many talking as if they DO know, and assuming it was far longer than a moment or two?

      • sarahjaneb

         /  March 17, 2014

        I’m not assuming it was far longer than a moment or two – this kind of thing can happen just that quickly, which is why you need to pay attention. That was her JOB.

      • And I’m saying that looking away for a moment or two from a four year old (or even an infant!) does not mean a babysitter or parent is not doing their job, because their job is not to watch the child every single second (which is again, not even POSSIBLE to accomplish.) The idea that it IS a parent or sitter’s job to be on top of a child every single moment of the day results in an unbelievable amount of pressure. By this standard, every sitter I ever had failed. My own parents failed. I failed when I babysat kids as a teen. It’s basically saying that if a four year old takes a nap, your ‘job’ is to sit there and stare at them while they sleep. You can’t say on one hand that today’s parents are overprotective, and on the other advocate that a person can’t, however briefly, walk into a different room from a four year old.

        I would agree that keeping the child safe was the sitter’s job. So if the doors were unlocked, the sitter most certainly failed at that. But I do not believe that failing to pay attention to a child FOR A MOMENT is a failure in and of itself.

      • sarahjaneb

         /  March 18, 2014

        Right, we’ve already been over this – that’s why you have some kind of plan for how to keep the child safe when you can’t watch every moment, like locked doors or gates of some kind. That’s why I said umpteen comments ago that there were most likely multiple failure points.

        Not quite the same, but I have a small dog and a big dog, and although they get along fine, sometimes the big dog wants to play rough in a way that’s too much for the little one. Therefore if I can’t be there to watch, even just for a minute to go to the bathroom or take out the garbage or whatever, I make sure they’re separated. The little one either goes in her crate or one of the dogs gets gated in the kitchen. If I don’t notice that the latch doesn’t fully engage, and something happens as a result, I’m going to feel responsible, because I AM responsible. I’m responsible for the health and safety of these animals, and I’m responsible for making a plan to keep them safe and following it through, which means actually paying attention. Someone responsible for a child is responsible in more or less the same way, and something like “not noticing” that a lock is broken is not excused, particularly when the lock is in her own home. You’re also responsible for maintaining your home so that it’s safe – if you notice a problem in your own home, you fix it; if it’s a rental, you notify the landlord (or fix it yourself if you have a slumlord like I did). Try claiming in court that you “didn’t notice” that your front steps were rotting after somebody breaks their neck on them.

      • sarahjaneb

         /  March 18, 2014

        Oh, about this “overprotective” bit – do you really think a 4-year-old should be permitted to wander unsupervised around a yard with a dog in it? If you think the answer is yes, then I sure hope you’re not responsible for any children or any dogs. If the answer is no, then doing everything possible to keep that from happening is not overprotective.

        Avoiding being overprotective without being neglectful means you allow specific freedoms at specific times when you think the child is ready for them. If you *know* the child should not be permitted to do a particular thing at a particular time, then just not paying attention and letting the chips fall where they may is neglect.

  12. Kittypurr

     /  March 17, 2014

    Oh and by the way- Maricopa County AC was a shining example a few years ago of the No-Kill movement when Ed Boks ran it. It has completly imploded and the killers have found a safe haven.

    Reply
  13. Anne Thomas

     /  March 17, 2014

    But ultimately, isn’t this the fault of the child? Taking the bone away from the dog was a dumb thing to do, and he should have known better. Maybe this is an especially devious child who waited until the babysitter was out of the room to sneak outside and annoy the dog.

    Reply
  14. Allison Kintner

     /  March 25, 2014

    Not a surprise. Comments like this are not an anomaly. This is the culture of America’s animal shelter system. Many, if not most, shelter workers not only don’t care about animals, but they don’t like them. In order to be hired, you have to kill, not euthanize, but kill healthy and adoptable animals every single day or be okay with it and this includes puppies, kittens, pets who were neglected or abused, pets with very minor health problems and senior pets who were dumped. These animals want to live and have to be dragged into the kill rooms or gas chambers while they struggle to get away. Most shelters in this country are literally hell on earth for these animals. This is America’s dirty little secret and simply nobody cares enough to do anything about it. Just volunteer at any shelter in this country and you will learn the truth. Save Mickey from the only evil on this earth, HUMAN EVIL!

    Reply

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