A Memphis man has been arrested on charges of Aggravated Animal Cruelty following a brutal and senseless attack on a beautiful Pitbull Mix named Riona.
Riona, who initially sported the name Queen, was found running down a Memphis street engulfed in flames. This torturous act was found to be intentional as the innocent dog’s coat reeked with the smell of diesel fuel. According to her caretakers at Bluff City Veterinary Hospital, she suffered critical burns to over 60% of her body.
After her rescue, Riona quickly became an internet star and is now a beloved worldwide treasure. A TikTok account created to tell Riona’s story (@justice4riona) now boasts over ninety-four thousand followers. And the sweet girl, still being treated for her injuries at Bluff City Vet, has received an astonishing outpouring of gifts, cards, and donations to assist in her recovery.
The kind-hearted folks at Tails of Hope Rescue, who now own Riona, have been campaigning for this arrest for weeks and were overjoyed at the news.
“Sleep in peace sweet girl,” said the rescue. “Your abuser is behind bars.”
Riona continues to make vast improvements each day. Her condition is now stable enough to begin skin grafting, the first of which will take place next week. And her left eye, which the veterinary staff initially thought might not be salvageable, has miraculously healed with no loss of vision.
Riona’s caretakers report that she continues to let her sweet and loving personality shine through. She is beginning to act like a real dog again:
“She’s definitely starting to blossom,” said Bluff City Veterinary Technician Mallory McLemore. “She wants to roll around in the grass and play and do things like that. And somebody sent her a teddy bear, so she was squeaking on that earlier.”
In addition to the animal cruelty charges, Riona’s abuser is also charged with Simple Assault and Arson to wit Set Fire to Personal Property. This last charge was added when the arrestee threatened to burn down the house of whoever submitted the home security footage that ultimately led to his arrest.
Supporters of the rescue on Facebook have shared in celebration of the exciting news in addition to expressing their sincere hope that Riona’s abuser receives justice to the fullest extent of the law:
“WHAT A GREAT DAY IN THE ANIMAL RESCUE WORLD!!!!” said one user. “Now prosecute him to the FULLEST EXTENT OF THE LAW and set a precedent so that others may think twice before repeating such heinous acts of cruelty.”
Riona’s rescuers at Tails of Hope are now selling Justice for Riona-themed t-shirts to raise money for her medical bills. While she still has a long road ahead of her, specialists believe that this sweet girl will make a full recovery. And she can now sleep soundly at night, knowing that her abuser will never be able to hurt her again. Justice for Riona!
Featured Image: Facebook