TUNICA, Miss. — A dog set on fire by a child in north Mississippi continues to improve but is still weeks away from being released from an animal hospital.
The Tunica Humane Society has released new pictures of Buddy, who is being treated for second and third-degree burns to his head at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Mississippi State.
“He’s doing extremely well. So much better than we thought going into this,” said shelter director Sandy Williams.
The 3-year-old yellow Labrador Retriever still has his head and part of his face covered with bandages and had surgery on one of his eyelids Friday.
“His eyeballs are ok. It’s the eyelids that were burned, and as they began to heal, the skin tightened up, and they are loosing it up. The eyelids are crucial, kind of like a windshield wiper, you know,” Williams said.
Buddy was found in Tate County with an electrical cord wrapped around his neck and his face completely burned back in April. Veterinarians later discovered one of his front legs had also been burned.
“He had to have his leg wrapped, and he had a boot there for a couple of weeks, but the leg is all healed now if you look at those new pictures, you can see,” said Williams.
A child confessed to purposely hurting Buddy, but because the boy was under the age of 12, he couldn’t be charged with a crime in Mississippi.
Buddy’s story got national attention, and Williams said people from all over the country had come forward to help pay for his medical expenses.
“He’s been at Mississippi State for five weeks now that’s not cheap, and he’s had a couple of procedures done, but the donations steadily come in,” said Miller.
Along with the donations, the Tunica Humane Society has sold more than 3,000 ‘Buddy Strong’ t-shirts and sweatshirts. The sale, wrapping up Friday, has raised more than $40,000 for the dog’s care.
“We’ve been able to do everything they suggested we do with his care,” Williams said. “Honestly, you can’t always do that with these dogs.”
Williams said it’s likely Buddy will be at Mississippi State for another month but said applications have already been pouring in from folks wanting to adopt the dog.
“We have people from all over the country, and I want to kind of hold off until I see what his future needs are going to be,” Williams said.
The Tunica Humane Society also rescued a stray, 1-year-old Australian Cattle Dog from the same neighborhood where they found Buddy. Williams said Buddy and Snoop are attached, and they are hoping to get them adopted together, but their main goal is getting Buddy better.
“He’s beginning to get his little whiskers, and he’s beginning to grow his little whiskers back right on the end of this month. That’s a good thing,” said Williams.
Williams said as long donations continue to come in, she will leave Buddy at the veterinarian school to make sure he comes back to them in the best shape possible.
If you would like to buy a shirt to help Buddy, click here.