Buddy, now fully healed, attended the ceremony in Jackson.
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Buddy's Law Mississippi
Credit: Tunica Humane Society

Lawmakers put pen to paper to provide more protection for Mississippi's dogs and cats.  

Yesterday, Governor Tate Reeves signed Senate Bill 2245; a measure inspired by a dog named Buddy that was intentionally set on fire by a 12-year-old boy last April. "Buddy's Law" will require children who abuse animals to undergo a psychiatric evaluation and treatment.

"Children who, for whatever reason, cause harm to animals will be guaranteed that they can be evaluated and cared for in a manner which would be necessary to prevent anything like this from happening in the future," Dr. Lisa Godfrey from Stateline Animal Clinic told WREG.

Buddy attended the ceremony at the State Capitol in Jackson. He was accompanied by a representative from the Tunica Humane Society and Dr. Katherine Swanson, the veterinarian who treated him at the Mississippi State University Veterinary School and later adopted him.

The young yellow lab captured the heart of the nation when he was found in East Tate County on April 22, 2021, with an extension cord twisted around his neck and his face set on fire. After undergoing a 10 months of painful skin grafts at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Mississippi State University, he now has new skin on his snout and a fresh lease on life.

"He's a loving, forgiving dog," Sandy Williams, shelter director of the Tunica Humane Society, told the Clarion Ledger back in May. "I don't know how he's come through this and kept his tender heart, but he has."

"Buddy's Law" will go into effect July 1.