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Last year, a dog named Buddy was found with an extension cord wrapped around his neck, and nearly his entire face burned. He was set on fire by a child in Mississippi and was left to suffer. The 12-year-old confessed, but even though this crime would have been a felony punishable by up to three years in prison, under Mississippi state law, children under the age of 12 can not be charged with a crime or evaluated. The public and many officials were frustrated over this case and set to create Buddy’s Law.

Source: WJTV 12 News/Youtube

Buddy’s Law requires children who torture animals to receive counseling and treatment. Thanks to organizations like In Defense of Animals and politicians, Buddy’s Law passed the state Senate in March, and after lots of hard work, Mississippi has now officially enacted Buddy’s Law!

The costs of the psychiatric evaluation or treatment prescribed by the court will be paid by the parents or by the state if offenders are wards of the state. Parents will be held in contempt if they refuse to follow recommendations by the court.

After the bill almost did not pass the first time, it passed the Senate without opposition in February but died in the House Judiciary B Committee after it was refused to be pushed to the floor for a vote. While supporters were disappointed, no one gave up. Finally, Buddy’s Law was ultimately attached to another bill, and it passed and was signed by Gov. Tate Reeves and went into effect on July 1.

We hope this will encourage other states to enact similar legislation too.

Animal abuse is more prevalent than many may think. According to PetPedia, every 60 seconds, an animal suffers from abuse, with more than 65 percent being dogs. More than 10 million animals die from abuse every year in the US alone, not including the livestock bred for consumption, who also suffer immense abuse. Animal abuse happens everywhere and is a serious issue. We need more laws to protect animals and hold abusers accountable.

Sign this petition to demand all states make all animal abuse a felony now!

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