It’s astonishing how some individuals can be so heartless towards dogs. Riona, an affectionate pup, endured unimaginable suffering when she was intentionally set on fire by her owner last year. However, almost precisely one year after that horrifying incident, Riona is on her way to a new, loving home.
In June of the previous year, the residents of Nutbush, Tennessee, were horrified as Riona, a pitbull mix, raced down the street ablaze. The unmistakable scent of gas indicated that this was a deliberate act of cruelty. Witnesses attested to the intentional nature of the incident, and a neighbor’s ring camera even captured footage of Riona engulfed in flames.
Riona suffered severe burns, losing an ear in the process. Emergency medical response managed to save her left eye. Tails of Hope Dog Rescue took her in and provided medical care at Bluff City Veterinary Specialists, including twice-daily full-body wraps to protect her damaged skin.
Riona’s story gained widespread attention when a TikTok video went viral, generating millions of views and garnering sympathy from people around the world. Despite the trauma, Riona exhibited a resilient spirit and good cheer throughout her recovery, wagging her tail despite the pain.
The road to recovery involved multiple skin grafts for the fourth-degree burns covering her body. Tails of Hope shared updates on Riona’s progress, receiving support in the form of donations and gifts for the resilient dog.
Quishon Brown, a 43-year-old individual, was arrested for the heinous act of setting Riona on fire. He faced charges of misdemeanor assault and two felonies: aggravated cruelty to animals and setting fire to personal property. The case is pending trial.
Riona’s story had a broader impact, contributing to the passing of a new animal cruelty bill in Tennessee, as mentioned in a Facebook post.
Months passed, and Riona’s condition steadily improved. The inspiring update came almost a year after the traumatic incident, Riona was headed to her forever home.
Tails of Hope announced an upcoming ten-hour road trip to bring Riona to her new family. The organization expressed joy in finding Riona a loving home where she would have canine companions, interact with children, and enjoy a spacious yard. Despite the horrific start, Riona’s story was described as just beginning, with the rescue referring to her as their “warrior” girl.
In a poignant reminder of the ongoing challenges faced by animal rescues, Tails of Hope shared that immediately after Riona left for her new home, they took in another burn victim. The rescue emphasized the perpetual need for assistance, stating: “There is always another in need”.
Despite the initial tragedy, the uplifting conclusion to Riona’s tale brings a sense of joy, highlighting the resilience of animals and the positive impact of compassionate individuals and organizations.