Buddy Petition Seeks to Defend Man's Best Friend - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

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Buddy Petition Seeks to Defend Man's Best Friend

Less than a month ago, Gautier Police launched an investigation into an abused puppy case.   

The black Labrador puppy nicknamed "Buddy" was found with his eyes glued shut. His legs and pelvis were broken.      

Now a campaign is underway in Jackson County, with the ultimate goal to create stricter laws against animal abusers.

"I'm hunting my lost cat. He's big and black, his name's Willie."   

Pascagoula resident Joan Smith is looking for her missing pet -- one that holds a very special place in her heart.   

"This was my last hope, I've searched everywhere," Smith said.   

But today, she is thinking about a special animal other than her own, one by the name of Buddy. 

"If somebody picks him up, stray like that, and wants to hurt him, it's the same as child abuse. It's just a weak animal on the highway," she says.     

Jackson County Animal Control officer Sherwood Beckham says these cases of neglected and abused animals are an unfortunate reality, but there is hope.     

"Although we can't do anything for Buddy, we can do stronger laws that are preventative, and prevent the things that happened to Buddy," Beckham says.     

Beckham says that as the law stands, dog fighting and dog napping are the only animal cruelty felony charges. Things could soon change though with the help of a simple piece of paper. Throughout Jackson County and beyond, hundreds of signatures have already been gathered keeping the memory of Buddy's vicious abuse case fresh on citizen's minds.

Body Quest trainer Johnnie Walker has encouraged many to sign the petitions.   

"It's the least you can do. I haven't gone door to door, but we hope that this will lead a lot of people to fill out the paperwork and get something done about it," Walker says.     

So in memory of Buddy, people will continue to petition for stronger laws, hoping their signature will push lawmakers to remember that pets are more than just animals; they're a part of the family.   

"Most of the time, these pets are sleeping in your bed, they're living in your homes, you feed them and you care for them. They become your children," Walker says.

To find out how you can help in the Buddy Campaign, please call 934-1422.   

By Keli Rabon

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