Buddy, the Tate County dog who was burned in an alleged act of torture in April, is recovering well in the skilled and caring hands of Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine.
Buddy’s leg has healed completely and no longer has to be bandaged. His face, which was the most badly burned, is still healing and doctors say that while he is beginning to re-grow some whiskers on his snout, there will likely be areas too damaged for hair to grow back. Buddy’s left eye and eyelid are mending well, but doctors had to ‘do some work’ on his right eyelid to improve its function Friday, according to the Tunica Humane Society.
Overall, Buddy is expected to remain hospitalized for another month as he continues his long road to recovery. The Labrador retriever mix has exceeded his doctor’s expectations, though, and he has received cutting-edge treatments, surgeries, and skin grafts from the team at Mississippi State. His carers say that he is a kind and surprisingly happy dog in spite of his extensive injuries.
Buddy was found on April 22 with an extension cord wrapped around his neck and severe burns covering his face. The Tate County Sheriff’s Office said that a juvenile under the age of 12 did confess to purposefully setting the dog on fire, but that state laws prevent them from filing criminal charges.
“While this terrible act is a felony crime punishable by up to 3 years in prison, under Mississippi law no person under the age of 12 can be charged with a crime,” Tate County Sheriff Brad Lance told WAPT.
News of Buddy’s case went viral on social media, causing an outcry for justice and also generating donations that made Buddy’s care possible. Everyone is grateful for the generosity of strangers that likely saved Buddy’s life, but there are still many concerned by the laws that prevented authorities from being able to charge the perpetrator that inflicted this gruesome injury.
“Our investigators worked hard on this case and they also are frustrated. We didn’t write the laws of our state. We have exercised every available option under the law,” Sheriff Lance wrote on Facebook. “If this offender had been an adult, they would be sitting in jail facing up to three years in state prison and I would be able to release almost every detail of the case. While I can tell everyone that things are being done regarding this juvenile, I am prohibited from releasing details.”