Riona was cruelly set on fire — after a year of recovery, she’s finally going to her new home

A Year After Being Set on Fire, Riona Finds a New Home

Riona, a pitbull mix, faced unimaginable cruelty when her owner set her on fire last June in Nutbush, Tennessee. Witnesses saw her running down the street engulfed in flames, with the smell of gas in the air. “All you could smell was gas,” recalled Mallory Mclemore of Bluff City Veterinary Specialists.

Ginger Natoli, founder of Tails of Hope Dog Rescue, confirmed, “She was burnt and covered in diesel fuel… It confirmed she was set on fire via witness statements. We have obtained ring cam footage from a neighbor that also shows her running in a ball of flames.”

Remarkable Recovery

Despite severe injuries, including the loss of an ear, Riona’s left eye was saved after emergency medical treatment. Tails of Hope took her in, providing twice daily body wraps and skin grafts for her fourth-degree burns. Throughout her recovery, Riona maintained a positive spirit. “She’s just always wagging her tail,” Mclemore said.

Global Sympathy and Support

Riona’s story went viral on TikTok, drawing worldwide sympathy and donations. Natoli noted, “She’s actually kind of cute with one ear. It makes her personality cute.” Meanwhile, 43-year-old Quishon Brown was arrested and charged with aggravated cruelty to animals and setting fire to personal property.

A New Beginning

Nearly a year after the horrific incident, Riona’s condition improved significantly. She’s now heading to a new forever home, thanks to Tails of Hope. Natoli shared, “Our goal was to get her a forever home, and that’s exactly what we found. Riona has other dogs to play with, children to play with, a big yard, and a family with medical experience.”

“Riona’s story is not coming to an end, in fact, it is really just beginning,” Tails of Hope wrote on Facebook. As Riona embarks on this new chapter, Tails of Hope continues their mission, immediately rescuing another burn victim dog. “There is always another in need,” they stated.

Riona’s journey from a horrific act of cruelty to a new loving home is truly inspiring.

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