Update on Buddy: “Tall mountain to be climbed”

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Photo Above: Buddy, the dog from North Mississippi that was set on fire this week, is receiving care from veterinarians and trained students, including Tyler McMurray of Brandon, at the Mississippi State College of Veterinary Medicine. (Photo by Tom Thompson)

The following is an update on Buddy’s recovery provided by the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine

Buddy, a dog who was burned in Tate County, pictured before his injuries. (Photo submitted)

Buddy, the Tate County dog who was burned in an alleged act of torture, arrived at the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine on Monday, April 26.

The Labrador retriever mix had been receiving treatment at clinics in the Southaven area, but ultimately the Tunica Humane Society and their attending veterinarian made the decision to transfer him to the MSU CVM for advanced, round-the-clock care.

“Buddy’s vital signs are good but, as with any burn patient, this is very much the bottom of a tall mountain to be climbed,” said MSU CVM Associate Professor and Veterinary Surgeon Dr. Elizabeth Swanson. “We are keeping him comfortable, changing his bandages, and managing any problems as they arise. Burns can take several days to fully manifest, so we are still assessing the full extent of damage.”

According to Buddy’s care team, he is in good spirits—eating, wagging his tail and giving kisses to anyone he can. Buddy is being medicated to control pain, and he has 24-hour care in the intensive care unit. As with many burn patients, infection control is of the utmost importance, and MSU CVM faculty, staff and students are taking every measure possible to ensure that he remains infection-free and continues to improve.

Dr. Elizabeth Swanson (Photo by Tom Thompson)

“We’ve been in the OR twice with him for wound debridement, and we plan to do his first skin graft using North Atlantic Cod fish skin from Iceland, courtesy of KerecisVet®, on Friday with subsequent procedures to follow,” Swanson said. “The main concern will be ensuring that he does not develop infection. Things can change rapidly in this situation, and we are doing everything we can to stay on top of any problems that may arise and to provide him with the very best care.”


Meanwhile, Tate County Sheriff Brad Lance says he has fielded numerous calls, emails, and messages since his post on Facebook Wednesday about the incident.

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“We are just as frustrated as anyone that more cannot be done through the justice system regarding the juvenile in this case,” said Lance. “I have had people railing that I should “do the right thing” and “do your job” – Whether they believe it’s the right thing or not, I am bound to follow the laws of our state. Our investigators worked hard on this case and they also are frustrated. We didn’t write the laws of our state. We have exercised every available option under the law. If this offender had been an adult, they would be sitting in jail facing up to three years in state prison and I would be able to release almost every detail of the case. While I can tell everyone that things are being done regarding this juvenile, I am prohibited from releasing details. We are sworn law enforcement officers, we are not lawmakers.”

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