MEDIA RELEASE: Disappointment After Buddy’s Law Killed in Mississippi House Committee
JACKSON, Miss. (March 2, 2022) – In Defense of Animals, an international animal advocacy organization operating in Mississippi, Mississippi Citizen’s Against Animal Cruelty, and kindred organizations across the state are disappointed that Buddy’s Law (SB 2261) died in committee.
Buddy’s Law is named for a dog who narrowly survived after being severely burned by a 12-year-old in April 2021 and mandates psychological assessment and treatment for youths who torture animals.
Buddy’s Law passed the Mississippi Senate unopposed on February 9. Yet the bill died on Tuesday, March 1, in the House Judiciary B Committee when Chairman Rep. Nick Bain and members refused to pass it to the floor for a vote.
“Killing Buddy’s Law fails to protect Mississippians from crime. It is a slap in the face for everyons who followed the recovery of Buddy, the precious dog scorched by a minor who faces no consequence, nor could be mandated to receive mental health care,” said Doll Stanley, In Defense of Animals’ Justice for Animals Campaign Director. “It's absolutely shocking that the men and women we vote in to represent us choose to serve their personal whims. No rational person could oppose mental health care for minors whose propensity for violence and cruelty is a red flag for escalating violence.”
In January, Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann nixed the bill and subsequently saved it after advocates flooded his office with communications supporting Buddy’s Law. The law would have brought social justice for abused animals and children who, without mental health guidance, might be destined to a lifetime of violence and incarceration.
In Defense of Animals and Mississippi Citizens Against Animal Cruelty applaud Sen. Angela Hill and co-authors of Buddy’s Law for addressing a long-neglected component of the justice system. Advocates encourage lawmakers to reintroduce and pass this urgently-needed bill next session. Mississippi law currently prohibits the prosecution of juveniles 12 years of age and younger. Buddy’s Law would have addressed the vital need to aid children with a propensity for violence that manifests
itself in acts of animal torture. Left unchecked, it could lead to school shootings, domestic violence, and a myriad of other horrors.
“A healthy society protects its most vulnerable: animals, children, and our elderly citizens,” said Doll Stanley, who leads In Defense of Animals’ Justice for Animals campaign. “Children who suffer destructive and violent propensities must have help at the first indicators of a potential life of violence and incarceration. Violence against animals and humans is strongly linked, so Buddy’s Law is a first step to get social justice for all. There is nothing just about waiting until children strike at school or within family and friendship circles. We urge lawmakers to reintroduce and pass Buddy’s Law next session to let us end the ‘Circle of Violence’ once and for all.”
In June 2021, In Defense of Animals presented to Sen. Angela Hill letters from more than 14,000 animal advocates imploring her to sponsor Buddy’s Law. Sen. Hill introduced the bill in an effort aimed to intervene on behalf of children on the road to a lifetime of mental health issues and prevent violence to both humans and animals.
The draft legislation was also supported and championed by Tate County Sheriff Brad Lance. His department had to deal with the frustration and horror of the Buddy case.
In Defense of Animals’ Justice for Animals Campaign has saved thousands of animals, assisting through cruelty investigations, strengthening laws, and enforcing animal cruelty statutes and ordinances in the mid-south for 29 years.
Contact: Doll Stanley, firstname.lastname@example.org, (662) 809-4483
In Defense of Animals is an international animal protection organization based in Marin, California, with over 250,000 supporters and a 39-year history of fighting for animals, people, and the environment through education and campaigns, as well as its hands-on rescue facilities in India, South Korea, and rural Mississippi. www.idausa.org/justice4animals
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