Municipal Court Judge Deborah Griffith, who presided over the case, declared Mickey to be a "vicious" animal, but agreed that the dog was not wholly to blame.
"This is a tragedy. This is just horrible for this child, oh my goodness," she said. "But I think there are a lot of adults responsible."
Assistant County Manager Rodrigo Silva agreed, arguing that the attack was not the dog's fault alone.
"If we, as pet owners, take the time to think about our lifestyle and the type of breed we're attempting to acquire, then euthanasia will not be a problem for (dog with) aggression," he said. "It's simply uneducated or uniformed selections of dogs that cause these animals to find themselves in a situation where they... hurt someone."
Considering the nuances of the case, Griffith spared Mickey from being put down, but ordered that the dog be neutered, defanged, and sent to live at an animal shelter for the rest of his life, without an option for adoption.
Yesterday, Phoenix Sheriff Joe Arpaio offered to take custody of the dog to live in a "no-kill" shelter operated on the grounds of the county jail.