Dog Named Buddy Who Was Set on Fire By Child Still Looking for His Forever Home

A Mississippi dog that was burned by a child last year is still looking for a home after a series of treatments.

Buddy, a Labrador retriever mix, was found in Tate County on April 22 with his face badly burned and an extension cord around his neck, the Jackson, Mississippi, Clarion-Ledger reported.

Tate County Sheriff Brad Lance told the Clarion-Ledger the investigation concluded that a 12-year-old child had set the dog on fire. Due to Mississippi law, a child that young cannot be prosecuted.

Buddy has since been recovering with the Tunica Humane Society under the supervision of Dr. Elizabeth Swanson at Mississippi State University, a Facebook post from the animal shelter said.

The humane society told Action News 5 it had planned to find a home for Buddy by the holidays, but "things did not work out" with a foster family.

In the Sunday Facebook post, the animal shelter said it is trying to find a family near Mississippi State so he can have follow-up visits with Swanson. According to the Clarion-Ledger, Buddy needed two skin graft surgeries in April using North Atlantic Cod fish skin. His eyelids and tear ducts were also damaged in the fire, which means Buddy requires artificial tears to keep his eyes moisturized.

The humane society said in its post that a spot between the dog's eyes was having trouble healing, but the wound has started to close in recent days. That means he wears a smaller bandage on his face than before.

"It's so important to us at the Tunica Humane Society to get this right for this precious dog," the statement said. "He deserves to be with the perfect family that will love him for all the right reasons."

Shortly after Buddy was harmed, Georgia woman Sheri Webb started a petition titled "Justice for Buddy," which demands consequences for the 12-year-old who burned the dog. So far, the petition has amassed over 203,000 signatures.

The petition says the child needs "time in a detention center" and long-term "psychological help." It also insists the parents pay for the medical care Buddy needed to recover from his injuries.

"To allow this act to go unpunished is like saying that it's ok to keep doing this- as the child surely will again and further down the road, perhaps torture other animals or children," the petition says.

The Tunica Humane Society's post said its employees have worked to teach Buddy "manners and all kinds of commands," adding that he loves to play fetch and go on walks.

The shelter said Buddy would best fit in a home with older children where he is the only dog.

"He is a happy, energetic, robust, typical lab except for the horrific injuries that he suffered at the hands of his abuser," it said. "Those scars will never leave him. They will always serve as his badge of courage and his undeniable will to live."

The Tunica Humane Society and the Tate County Sheriff's Office did not immediately respond to Newsweek's requests for comment.

dog paw, human hand
A dog named Buddy in Mississippi is still looking for a nearby home after nearly a year of recovering from being set on fire. Stock Image/Getty Images