Dog Deliberately Set on Fire by Child Leaves Hospital After Almost a Year

A dog that was intentionally set on fire by a child has finally left the veterinary hospital where he was being treated after a 10-month stay.

The stray Labrador—named Buddy—was released from the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine—Animal Health Center on Tuesday, the Tunica Humane Society announced.

"I have some very special news to share with everyone that has followed Buddy's story. This is the day we prayed for. The day Buddy would be well enough to leave the hospital. Today Buddy stepped back into life and a kinder, gentler world awaits him," the Society said in a Facebook post.

"It's been 10 months since this sweet yellow lab was intentionally set on fire. Buddy has spent the last 10 months in the hospital at Mississippi State. We have celebrated every obstacle he has conquered along the way. His courage and determination to survive has inspired us all."

Buddy had been recovering from severe facial burns after a child deliberately set fire to him in April 2021.

The dog was found dazed and in shock in East Tate County, northwestern Mississippi, on April 22 of that year, the Mississippi Clarion Ledger reported. He had burns to his face and an extension cord twisted around his neck.

Local authorities subsequently made an appeal for information, and eventually a 12-year-old boy admitted to being responsible for setting the dog on fire. Because of his age, the child could not be prosecuted under Mississippi law.

After the incident, Buddy was admitted to the veterinary hospital and had to undergo skin graft surgeries.

"As horrific as Buddy's injuries were, he never lost his faith in the goodness of mankind," the Tunica Humane Society said. "He never lost his joy for living. Through all the pain and suffering he endured, he taught us to never give up and never give in."

The Humane Society said that Buddy will now be looked after by Betsy Swanson, one of the veterinarians who treated him.

"Now this becomes the story of Buddy and the extraordinary doctor that has been by his side every step of the way. Dr. Betsy Swanson orchestrated Buddy's miraculous recovery. It was her skill and her passion for her profession that got him to where he is today," the Society said.

"It just seems right Dr. Swanson would be the one to open her heart and home to Buddy now that he is ready to step back into life. We are hopeful, optimistic he will transition into her home with her other dogs."

A sad dog
Stock image showing a sad dog. A dog that was intentionally set on fire by a child has finally left the veterinary hospital where he was being treated after a 10-month stay. iStock