‘Buddy’s Law’ makes it through State Legislature’s Deadline Day

Published: Feb. 3, 2022 at 6:50 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Senate Bill 2261, also known as “Buddy’s Law,” made it through Deadline Day.

It was almost a year ago that Buddy the Dog was nearly burned to death by a 12-year-old in Tate County.

And now there’s a bill in the legislature, also known as “Buddy’s Law,” that could protect both animals and help troubled children.

“Buddy’s Law” would require psychological evaluations, counseling, and/or treatments for children who torture domesticated cats and dogs - and Senator Angela Hill said it can only do good.

“If they’re abusing a dog or cat to that degree to where they’re going to wind up in youth court, there’s a problem. So our goal is to get them help for whatever problem that they have that’s causing them to feel like that they need to, you know, do this to a dog or cat,” Sen. Hill said.

Director of the Justice for Animals Campaign said she’s seen a correlation between child animal abusers and repeat offenders.

“Statistically, violent criminals, repeat offenders, start out with animals because they’re the most vulnerable,” Doll Stanley said.

But Stanley and Senator Hill said the bill wouldn’t just help protect animals. It could actually help change the cycle of violence.

“We must have something in our justice system that addresses the need for helping children, before the age of 13, when they could be prosecuted and incarcerated,” Stanley said.

“If we can get them the medical evaluation that they need and some type of treatment and counseling, hopefully, they would not progress on as a teenager and then later be charged with an adult,” Sen. Hill said.

Stanley said she doesn’t know if the bill will be 100% effective, but it’s still worth passing for those it might help.

“Even if it only helps 100 out of 1,000. It’s worth it,” Stanley added.

Senator Hill said she is considering making the bill go into effect upon passage, instead of waiting for July 1, so troubled children can begin to get help and animals’ lives are saved.

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