Some people’s cruelty toward dogs is truly shocking. These helpless animals are frequently subjected to unnecessary pain and suffering.
That was the case for one dog, who was the victim of a heinous attack that left his face severely burned. But, thankfully, he has since begun to make a miraculous recovery, thanks to some caring veterinarians.
Buddy, a “happy and carefree dog” who was “never a threat to anyone,” was set on fire in April, according to the Tunica Humane Society. He was discovered with his face scorched and charred black, and an extension cord wrapped around his neck.
According to WTVA, a child later confessed to setting Buddy on fire, but he cannot be prosecuted because he is under the age of 12.
Buddy was placed in the care of the Tunica Humane Society in Mississippi and was treated by the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Buddy began a slow but hopeful road to recovery while in their care.
“Buddy’s vital signs are good but, as with any burn patient, this is very much the bottom of a tall mountain to be climbed,” Dr. Elizabeth Swanson, associate professor and veterinary surgeon, told WTVA.
“We are keeping him comfortable, changing his bandages, and managing any problems as they arise.”
Fortunately, Buddy does not appear to have lost his sight despite the shocking injury. According to the Tunica Humane Society, doctors believe his eyes are still intact. His eyelids will be repaired surgically, and he will most likely have some vision when he recovers.
Buddy is still wearing bandages around his entire upper body. But, despite everything, he remains cheerful.
“He continues to move forward daily,” the Humane Society wrote on Facebook. “Never once disappointing his doctors. Everyone concerned has been so pleased with the results of his skin grafts. Burn wounds are a very slow process but Buddy is excelling in his healing.”
“During his bandage change today, he showed remarkable improvement in the appearance of his face. While Buddy continues to heal, he is learning some basic commands.”
“This sweet, friendly dog didn’t deserve what happened to him,” they wrote on Facebook. “He wasn’t a threat to anyone. It was extremely cruel and calculated.”
“Hope for Buddy that his horrific injuries weren’t in vain. That somehow, some good will come from this tragedy. That change will come and Justice will be served in cases like Buddy’s.”
Buddy has made great strides since his story went viral a few months ago, and he is receiving excellent care from vets at Mississippi State.
As he had skin grafts to heal his burns, he needed fewer and fewer bandages and gradually returned to his old self.
“Now that his ears are loose from the bandages, he is much happier and more playful. I am sure he is feeling so much joy as he slowly gets his life back to normal,” Tunica Humane Society reported last month.
Buddy’s recovery reached a “huge turning point” on August 7, according to the rescue.
Buddy’s bandages, which had completely covered his eyes since the attack, were removed without him being heavily sedated for the first time, allowing him to see for the first time in over three months.
The Humane Society stated that “His eyes were actually open and he was very aware,” the Humane Society wrote. “In answer to your thousands and thousands of prayers, YES, Buddy can still see.”
“Buddy’s last real memory of vision was in the final horrific moments just before his face was set on fire by a child. In the blink of an eye, this dog’s whole life changed.”
For this poor pup, finally being able to see was a huge step toward returning to normalcy, and his carers say his personality has begun to shine again.
Sandy Williams, director of the Tunica Humane Society, told WREG that “Buddy’s entire personality has changed since seeing the light of day.”
“He is happy and playful and walking the halls of the hospital with a great big ball in his mouth. He loves balls. He carries them around so everyone can see.”
Buddy is shown playing fetch in a video posted by the rescue:
While this is a significant step forward, Buddy is still not out of the woods. He hasn’t fully recovered, and his eyelids will require some work to protect his eyes, according to the Humane Society on Facebook.
He will also have some special needs for the rest of his life due to the severity of his injuries.
“His skin is going to be sensitive, his eyes will probably require eye drops, he’ll have to wear sunscreen when he’s outside,” Williams told WREG. “He is not going to be a dog that can stay out in the sun hours at a time.”
But Buddy’s future is still bright: the Humane Society says he’ll be released from the hospital soon and will be placed in a foster home while he receives treatment. They eventually hope to find Buddy and his friend Snoop a forever home.