MEDIA RELEASE: Outrage Over Mississippi Lt. Gov. “Killing” Buddy’s Law

MEDIA RELEASE: Outrage Over Mississippi Lt. Gov. “Killing” 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. (January 28, 2022)In Defense of Animals, an international animal advocacy organization operating in Mississippi, Mississippi Citizen’s Against Animal Cruelty, and kindred organizations across Mississippi are outraged that Lieutenant Governor Delbert Hosemann has killed “Buddy’s Law.” SB2261 would have mandated psychological assessment and treatment for youths who torture animals.

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, which would have required psychiatric or psychological evaluation and counseling or treatment for children who torture dogs or cats. The effort aimed to intervene for 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. Governor Hosemann. Mississippi Citizens Against Animal Cruelty and associate organizations also urged Lt. Governor Hosemann to save children, their families, friends, animals, and entire communities from being harmed by emotionally disturbed children. 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 Law” is named for a dog burned by a minor in April 2021. Buddy narrowly survived after sustaining third and fourth-degree burns. He required months of veterinary care and surgeries. 

Buddy’s torturer may not be named as he is a minor. At the time of the horrific burning of Buddy the youth was 12 years old, and Mississippi law prohibits the prosecution of a child under that age. 

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.

“It’s an outrage that the citizens of Mississippi have been denied protection from youths who torture animals and go on to engage in school shootings, the killing of relatives, and other horrific acts. Animal cruelty is an unquestionable red flag to future acts of heinous violence,” said Doll Stanley, who leads In Defense of Animals’ Justice for Animals campaign. “After torturing Buddy with fire, this youth has now gone on to kill a young boy in the same horrific way. It’s shocking that anyone would act to block a law that could have prevented violent, unnecessary child deaths. We will not stop fighting for justice for animals and children, and urge Lt. Gov. Hosemann to give Buddy’s Law his full support in the next session.”

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,, (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.


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