THE DAILY LEADER / RHONDA DUNAWAY / Missy Thames fed Belt Line Buddy for nearly a year, but the skittish hound would never come close until a recent injury to Buddy brought the two together.
THE DAILY LEADER / RHONDA DUNAWAY / Missy Thames fed Belt Line Buddy for nearly a year, but the skittish hound would never come close until a recent injury to Buddy brought the two together.

For The Love Of A Dog: Locals rally round Belt Line Buddy

Published 10:08am Thursday, March 20, 2014

A local stray animal has become the talk of Belt Line Drive in Brookhaven. “Belt Line Buddy,” as they call him, has won over the hearts of those who know him and have been feeding the stray dog for the past year. A recent traumatic injury to Buddy has brought local residents together to help him heal and find a permanent home.

Missy Thames is one of the big-hearted people who has been feeding the white-and-tan stray. She said there were times he’d disappear and she worried about his wellbeing.

“We’ve been feeding him on Belt Line for about a year,” said Thames. “I’ve talked to other people who said they have been doing the same thing.” Everyone with a Buddy story says they’ve fed him and tried repeatedly to get the dog to come to them and take him home. They were all attracted to his spunky profile and sweet face, said Thames. But, Buddy was always too skittish.

Thames said last fall he disappeared a couple of times, and then a couple of weeks ago they saw him reemerge with a traumatic injury to his face.

“We thought maybe someone picked him up,” she said, “and then I saw him running with another dog. Then about two weeks ago we saw him, and when he saw us coming he came closer – because he knows we will feed him – that’s when we saw that the side of his face was ripped off – just gone. We weren’t sure what had caused it, but we knew we had to get him to the vet.”

That’s when Thames started calling friends like Brookhaven Animal Rescue League members Julie Montalvo and Sonja Littlefield. She said Dr. Crystal Ferguson at Brookhaven Animal Hospital helped her set up an account for Buddy to receive funds for his medical bills and agreed to fix him up.

Now, all she needed to do was get Buddy to the vet.

Her daughter Tyler Thames then set up a Facebook page where they could reach out to people for help in capturing him, and where people could put in their Buddy stories and find information about donating to his medical account. The response was instant, Thames said. They quickly raised the funds for the veterinarian bill and people started posting their Buddy stories.

Littlefield went out as soon as Thames told her about the injury and set out hamburger meat with antibiotics stuffed in it, and Buddy ate it right up, she said.

It was Quinn Jordan, facilities manager at Lincoln Civic Center on Belt Line, who ended up having a trap that could safely capture Buddy and get him transported to the veterinarian.

On Tuesday Brookhaven Animal Hospital called Thames to tell her that Buddy’s X-rays revealed a gunshot wound.

“He had pellets in his face,” she said. “He had some in his skull, too. So, apparently someone shot him point-blank in the face. I can’t believe someone would have done that to Buddy. He is very sweet looking. You can tell he is not aggressive. He’s just scared.

“Dr. Christy did a great job on the surgery and removed a lot of the pellets that were lodged in his sinuses, but we’re not sure what more can be done.” Part of Buddy’s snout is gone and teeth and gums are exposed.

Thames said there is possibly a family that wants to adopt Buddy, but if anyone is interested they should call Thames at 601-757-4494, or visit the Facebook page, “Belt Line Buddy.”