The level of brutality that certain people can exhibit toward animals is absolutely astounding. Riona, a lovely puppy, suffered as much as anyone when her owner viciously set fire to her last year.
Despite this, Riona is moving into her new home almost exactly a year after that tragic event.
Riona, a pitbull mix, dashed down the street in Nutbush, Tennessee, scaring the villagers last June. Because of the gas scent, she had evidently been set on fire on purpose.
“All you could smell was gas,” Mallory Mclemore of Bluff City Veterinary Specialists told Memphis Commercial Appeal.
“She was burnt and covered in diesel fuel… It confirmed she was set on fire via witness statements,” Ginger Natoli, founder of the Tails of Hope Dog Rescue, Newsweek writes. “We have obtained ring cam footage from a neighbor that also shows her running in a ball of flames.”
A TikTok video of Riona’s story went viral with millions of views, garnering sympathy for Riona around the world.
“She’s just always wagging her tail,” Mclemore said. “That’s what makes it even worse, I guess. Not that it would ever be OK, but just being so sweet and for somebody to do something like this to her. She just loves everybody.”
Tails of Hope continued to share updates of Riona’s recovery, and supporters sent in donations and gifts for the dog.
Meanwhile, 43-year-old Quishon Brown was arrested for allegedly setting Riona on fire. Police charged him with misdemeanor assault and two felonies, aggravated cruelty to animals and setting fire to personal property. The case is currently awaiting trial.
Months passed, and slowly but surely Riona’s condition improved. And recently, almost exactly a year after she was set on fire, there has been an inspiring update to Riona’s story: she’s finally going to her new home!
Tails of Hope wrote that they would be embarking on an ten-hour road trip to bring Riona to her new forever home.
“Riona’s story is not coming to an end, in fact it is really just beginning,” the rescue wrote on Facebook. “We have all been a part of this miracle, our ‘warrior’ girl.”
What a horrible thing for this poor sweet dog to go through, but we’re so happy that a year later Riona is off to her new home!
Please share this inspiring update! ❤️🐾