A suspect has been arrested and charged for covering a dog in gasoline and setting her on fire in Memphis, Tennessee.
The pit bull, now named Riona, was found running down the road “screaming and on fire” on June 20. She was picked up by Tails of Hope Dog Rescue and immediately transported to a veterinarian for care.
While Riona began her road to recovery, staff at Tails of Hope Dog Rescue began searching for the horrible person who set her on fire and they gained help from around the world.
The rescue started a TikTok channel dedicated to Riona and she was an instant viral sensation. After posting the very first video about Riona and her story, she went viral and people from all over began rallying together to support the dog and find her abuser.
Reward money began pouring in and it wasn’t long before the rescue was offering $20,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person who set Riona on fire.
@justice4riona Humans covered her in gas and set her on fire. She was running down the street covered in flames. Yet all she wants to do is to love on everybody! Share her story!
Meanwhile, Riona was receiving around-the-clock care at the vet’s office to treat her wounds. She required full-body bandages, regular dressing changes, and eventual surgery to graft skin over her burns.
Her injuries very well could’ve been life-threatening, with 60% of her body being covered in 4th-degree burns. Thankfully, she was in good hands and the staff were dedicated to helping her recover slowly by surely.
The rescue shared an update post on Facebook on July 8, saying Riona was recovering well and police were involved in the situatuon.
They wrote: “So yes things are being done to not only care for her and help in her long road to recovery but we are also making sure her story is spread and shared so awareness can be made not only to what happened to her but to the horrific abuse that goes on everyday all over to these poor animals. Many others shared their stories, and sadly most of the abused dogs are pits. It needs to stop.”
In a separate post, they added that Riona had “old scars from previous injuries” which suggests she’d been suffering from ongoing abuse and it wasn’t just a one-off incident.
While many dogs never get the justice they deserve, the Memphis Police Department had great news to share on June 12, 2022: They made an arrest in Riona’s case!
They shared on Facebook that using video surveillance and witness testimonies, officers were able to identify 43-year-old Quishon Brown as a suspect.
Brown was charged with “Aggravated Animal Cruelty, Arson to wit Set Fire to Personal Property, and Simple Assault.”
Riona still has a long road to recovery, but she can rest easy knowing her abuser is behind bars!