MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Buddy, the dog who was badly burned after being set on fire by a 12-year-old, visited those who started a case against the child.

Buddy met with the Tate County Investigators and volunteers on Friday. He received a special Tate County Deputy badge from Sheriff Brad Lance, along with a lot of hugs and doggy treats.

The incident took place back in April 2021 when Buddy was found with an electric extension cord around his neck. He suffered from the burns, which damaged parts of his face and fur.

Under the Mississippi state law, the child responsible could not be prosecuted because he was under the age of 13 during that time. This caused a public outcry, leading to the creation of Buddy’s Law.

Buddy’s law now requires children who abuse animals to undergo a psychiatric evaluation and treatment.

Buddy was later adopted by Dr. Elizabeth Swanson, who is employed at Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Swanson also performed numerous graft surgeries on Buddy at the University.

“He acts like a Lab, he looks like a Lab, he’s eager to please.” Dr. Swanson said. “He loves to play, he loves to eat, he doesn’t show any sign of pain.”

John Woods, the neighbor who found Buddy and called for help says he didn’t think he’d ever see him again.

“Even though he’s not my dog, I love him.” Woods said.