The road to recovery has been a long one for Buddy the Labrador Retriever mix.
Buddy is getting a new lease on life after being intentionally set on fire by a 12-year-old boy while living on the streets as a stray. No one knows why the child decided to do this — but it resulted in terrible wounds and pain for the poor dog, who was found wandering the streets of Mississippi on April 22 with an extension cord wrapped around his neck and his face and front leg severely burned.
Having third and fourth-degree burns on his face has been a huge struggle for the young dog. Vets at Mississippi State University’s veterinary college have been caring for Buddy since he was found, applying medicine to the wounds and bandaging his face daily to help him heal. He’s also had to undergo multiple skin graft surgeries.
Despite the cruelty that Buddy has faced, he is unbelievably sweet.
“He’s a loving, forgiving dog,” Sandy Williams, shelter director of the Tunica Humane Society, told the Clarion Ledger. “I don’t know how he’s come through this and kept his tender heart, but he has. He’s going to make somebody an exceptional dog.”
Buddy has been reaching recovery milestones — including growing some whiskers and fur back on his face. His front leg that was originally badly burnt is now all healed up, and his mobility has greatly improved.
For his bravery and forgiving nature, Buddy has also achieved hero dog status. He will be inducted into the Animal Heroes Hall of Fame for 2021, which is an honor given to animals who have overcome adversity.
If there’s one thing that Buddy knows all too well, it’s overcoming difficult obstacles.
“Animal Heroes Hall of Fame was created to honor brave and inspirational animals worldwide,” the website states. “Animals that have been through the horrors of living as strays, being abandoned, living in puppy mills, used for lab tests, used in fighting rings, put in pounds and shelters, abused, dismembered, ill! They have overcome their difficulties and have gone on to be heroes either by performing acts of bravery, raising awareness on various issues or being inspirations to others, both human and animal, going through tough situations.”
To honor his bravery and strength, Buddy will be given a profile page on the Animal Heroes Hall of Fame website as well as a plaque in its virtual museum of animal heroes.
There is still plenty of goodness ahead for Buddy. The Tunica Humane Society has located a dog named Snoop who was Buddy’s companion on the streets. They hope to reunite the dogs soon and even possibly adopt them out together once Buddy is all healed.
Vets expect Buddy to be able to leave the hospital sometime in August possibly. Then, the search for his forever home will begin. Hundreds of people have already shown interest in giving Buddy the life he deserves.
“Right now, we are accepting applications on Buddy and Snoop,” the Tunica Humane Society said in an update on Facebook. “But until we know what Buddy’s future medical needs might be, we won’t make a decision about where he will live out his life. People from all over the country are wanting to give this sweet dog a new start in life. He will have many, many options and we won’t make that decision lightly.”