Dog ‘Buddy’ intentionally set on fire by child steps out of the darkness into the light of eyesight

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A Labrador retriever, who had been discovered in shock on Peavine Road in Tate County on April 22, had been set on fire, and his face was a blackened mess. Just days later, the Tate County’s Sheriff’s Office released a statement that a child under the age of 12 had purposely set Buddy on fire, but no criminal charges could be pursued because of his age.

The Tunica Humane Society has been caring for Buddy, and although they were just as frustrated that no charges could be filed against the child, the volunteers and staff choose to concentrate more on Buddy’s recovery and rehabilitation. And that they did.

Buddy remained a happy dog; can you believe it? His tail wagged constantly, and he lapped up the affection given to him by staff and volunteers at Mississippi State Veterinary College where his care and progress continued.

“Close your eyes and imagine today thru the eyes of this sweet yellow lab. Buddy’s last real memory of vision was in the final horrific moments just before his face was set on fire by a child. In the blink of an eye, his whole life changed. Because of the severity of his injuries, Buddy has spent the last 3 and a half months in total darkness due to the bandages to protect his wounds,” the Tunica Humane Society posted on Saturday.

Buddy’s bandages were removed, and his eyes were open; he was aware. And yes, Buddy can see!

“As Dr. Swanson described to me the moment Buddy gazed into her eyes for the first time, the moment he immediately jumped up on his caregivers to thank them for saving him… I was completely overcome with emotion and gratitude for all that was done to save him from the horrible abuse he endured.”

Buddy still needs work on his eyelids, so that they blink properly and will better protect his eyes. He will continue to stay at Mississippi State under Dr. Swanson’s care until Buddy is well enough to return to the Tunica Humane Society

“But today was a huge turning point for this precious yellow Lab. He can see again and his heart is happy… And our hearts are Rejoicing for him.”

Everyone is proud of you Buddy! You are a hero.

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Read previous coverage here.

8 replies
  1. Bunny Peters says:

    I fully understand that the monster who burnt Buddy can’t be charged for this horrible action against a harmless victim.

    However, the parents could be charged as legally they ARE responsible for the wrongful actions of their minor children…….

    I still think that the monster who set Buddy alight should be locked up forever and lose the keys!) because he is a serial killer in the making.

  2. Claire Vinet says:

    If he’s this criminally vicious under the age of 12, he’ll always be a danger to everyone. He’s seriously twisted!

  3. Karen Lyons kalmenson says:

    The child who did this is devoid of empathy and lacks a moral compass. Extensive therapy is necessary. He will only get worse without intervention

  4. Gwen says:

    It’s funny that if a dog or cat were involved in a bite accident (even the minor ones) they would be immediately culled/euthanized yet humans can literally kill, maim, and torture an animal but get away with it scot-free.

  5. Deena Stowers says:

    You might not be able to charge the child under 12 who intentionally set the dog on fire but his parents should be held accountable for all the medical bills that the dog needs to take care of his injuries. It really ruffles me that people aren’t held accountable for what happens to animals. Shame on the legal system.

  6. tamara beinlich says:

    Sorry I missed this post I’ve following Buddy’s progress for months. So happy he can see. Smart dog must have kept his eyes closed while the fire burned his face. Any 12 year old who sets a dog on fire will become a adult monster. I didn’t know a 12 year old can’t be prosecuted, his parents must be some big wigs around town.


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