Warning: Graphic image of burned dog below
TUNICA, Miss. — A dog intentionally set on fire by a child in April still has his head wrapped in bandages, but this week, the group that rescued him got a look at how his face is healing.
“Dr. Swanson intentionally made wait until Buddy’s face was 75% healed,” said Sandy Williams, the director of the Tunica Humane Society. “Even now, with more of his burns on the med, seeing him still so wounded took my breath away. I wasn’t prepared for it. It broke my heart all over again.”
Buddy was found in Tate County with an electrical cord wrapped around his neck and his face completely burned.
A boy confessed to purposely hurting the 3-year-old yellow Lab, but because he was under the age of 12, he couldn’t be charged with a crime in Mississippi.
“With burns wounds, it just takes a long time to heal,” said Williams. “They heal from the outer edge to center, which I found was interesting.”
Buddy is being treated at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Mississippi State. He has undergone several skin grafts on his face and had several procedures to correct severe damage to his eyelids.
“His eyes have to be covered right now,” Williams said. “They were burned, and those have to operate just right,” Williams said. “He is going to have vision. He can see light.”
The Tunica Humane Society sold “Buddy Strong” t-shirts and sweatshirts, raised more than $40,000 for his medical care and received donations from all over the country.
Williams said they hope to keep Buddy at Mississippi State as long as they can afford it and said he still has a long way to go before he is ready to face the world again. However, she said his life is slowly returning to that of a normal dog.
“He is just as friendly and happy and sweet as he was before this ever happened,” Williams said.
The Humane Society has received countless requests from families wanting to provide a forever home for Buddy, but Williams said he has special needs that will require just the right owner.
“Buddy’s face will be fragile for a very long time. He is a dog that won’t be able to spend a great deal of time outdoors. His new skin will be very sensitive to the sun,” said Williams.
Williams said whoever ends up with Buddy will be getting a great companion.
If you would like to help with Buddy’s care click here.