MEDIA RELEASE: Jubilation Over Mississippi Lt. Gov. Saving Buddy’s Law
Correction as of 2/11/22: The Sheriff’s Department received such a huge number of calls from animal advocates and as such was unable to confirm to us that the identity of the boy who recently burned another boy to death and previously was involved in the fatal shooting of his stepsister was Buddy’s torturer. We erroneously reported that it was the same boy who burned Buddy, but can now reveal that not one but two boys were involved in these separate acts of violence, showing the urgent need for mental health support for the youth of Mississippi.
JACKSON, Miss. (February 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 pleased that Buddy’s Law (SB 2261) will be considered by the Senate after it was blocked by Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann.
Buddy’s Law is named for a dog who narrowly survived after being severely burned by a 12-year-old in April 2021 and will mandate psychological assessment and treatment for youths who torture animals.
In Defense of Animals and Mississippi Citizens Against Animal Cruelty thank Lt. Gov. Hosemann for reconsidering and are thrilled that Buddy’s Law was assigned to and passed the Judiciary B Committee and will be heard by the full Senate. It is expected to pass before the February 10 deadline.
“We are thrilled that Lt. Gov. Hosemann responded to our calls and revived Buddy’s Law,” said Doll Stanley, who leads In Defense of Animals’ Justice for Animals campaign. “Buddy’s Law is a first step in acting on what all animal advocates know, children who suffer destructive and violent propensities must have help with the first indicators of a potential life of violence and incarceration. We say that we want social justice. There is nothing just about waiting until children strike at school or within family and friendship circles. Let’s end the ‘Circle of Violence’ now,” added Stanley.
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.
In Defense of Animals understands that Sen. Hill shared the letters with Lt. Gov.Hosemann. Mississippi Citizens Against Animal Cruelty and associate organizations also urged Lt. Gov. Hosemann to save children, their families, friends, animals, and entire communities from being harmed by children suffering from mental health issues. They shared 977 emails and phone calls imploring him not to block the Buddy’s Law.
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.
Buddy’s torturer may not be named as he is a minor. Current Mississippi law prohibits the prosecution of a child under the age of 12.
In Defense of Animals has confirmed that the youth who burned Buddy had previously caused the death of his stepsister. Now, at the age of 13, he has been charged with capital murder for burning his friend to death. In Defense of Animals confirmed these facts with a family member of the youth who was burned to death by a close relative who works in the mental health field.
In Defense of Animals’ Justice for Animals Campaign has saved thousands of animals, assisting through cruelty investigations, strengthening of laws, and enforcement of 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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