Sun. Jun 20th, 2021

TATE CO., Miss. — “Buddy”, the Tate County dog badly burned last week, is said be doing well and was scheduled for surgery Friday at Mississippi State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. But public outrage continues after reports that a juvenile responsible for the crime will not be charged.

Sandy Williams, director of the Tunica Humane Society, says she was unaware that under Mississippi state law, the juvenile who admitted to burning Buddy will not be prosecuted.

“I never knew that, until buddy’s case came up,” Williams said. “People are contacting us from all over the country. People are outraged that it doesn’t appear, because of the law, nobody’s going to be held accountable here.”

That frustration is shared by Tate County Sheriff Brad Lance.

Mississippi sheriff wants to charge juvenile in animal cruelty case, can’t because of state law

“The law in our state, as it stands right now, is that no person that has not reached the age of 13 can be charged with any crime in any court, and that includes youth court,” Lance said.

Buddy was found with an electrical cord tied around his neck, suffering from third and fourth degree burns on his face. While Buddy continues recovering, Williams is urging those who are outraged to use their voices to make change.

“Laws cannot be changed overnight,” Williams. “We need to take all this anger and frustration and do something good with it. And we can do that by contacting our state legislature and get them to step back and take another look at the laws concerning juveniles.”

Williams says she would like new legislation to be named “Buddy’s Law”.

WREG reached out to Trey Lamar, the state representative for District 8, which includes Tate County, to ask his opinion but have not heard back from him.