Last week, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves signed the Buddy’s Law initiative, which strengthens protections for dogs and cats in the state. Buddy’s Law was inspired by the abuse of Buddy the dog, who was severely burned by a 12-year-old juvenile in April 2021.
Buddy’s burns were so bad that he had to spend nearly a year in recovery at the Mississippi State University’s School of Veterinary Medicine.
The law mandates that children who abuse animals receive psychiatric evaluation and treatment. On May 19, Senator Michael W. McLendon issued a jubilant Facebook post about Buddy’s Law’s passage:
Rockstar in the Senate! Buddy’s Law was signed by Gov. Reeves today and shortly after, Buddy found the secret stash of treats in my desk. Many thanks goes out to all involved in making this a reality…especially Senator Angela Burks Hill (author of the bill), Tunica HumaneSociety, Dr. Lisa Godfrey & Dr. Elizabeth Swanson and their teams for Buddy’s amazing care and rehabilitation.
Tunica Humane Society, the animal welfare agency that helped Buddy survive, commented on the passage of Buddy’s Law, writing:
What a great honor for Buddy to be the inspiration for change in our state law, concerning under age children that commit acts of cruelty to animals. They will now be required by law, to undergo mental evaluation.
A special thank you to Senator Angela Hill for not giving up on Buddy’s Law when it failed in the House. She fought back and saw it through to the finish line. And I must say thank you to our Army of #BuddyStrong supporters. Your voices were clearly heard in the Capitol.
Victory is ours. Buddy’s Law is now a reality and we could not be more grateful.
Buddy has fully recovered from his burns and now enjoys living the life of a normal dog. The law that he inspired goes into effect on July 1.