Tennessee Dog Set on Fire Receives Support from Around the World After Becoming a TikTok Star

The Memphis Police Department is investigating the attack on Riona, and a $20,000 reward is being offered for information about the people responsible, according to Tails of Hope Dog Rescue

riona the dog
Photo: Tails of Hope Dog Rescue/Facebook

A dog covered in gasoline and set on fire in Memphis, Tennessee, is getting attention from social media users across the globe.

The dog, named Riona, was saved by neighbors after they spotted her on fire and in agonizing pain on June 20, according to WHBQ.

"So I come bolting outside, and I see this dog in flames; all you see is a big flame," neighbor Ashlie Craft told WHBQ. "It was the worst sight, probably, you really seen in your life."

Craft and other neighbors saved the dog by dousing her with water.

"My pool had water in it at the time, and what I did, I just grabbed the bucket, filled it up with water, and ran over there," she explained.

riona the dog
Tails of Hope Dog Rescue/Facebook

Riona was brought to Tails of Hope Dog Rescue and received treatment for the burns covering 60 percent of her body at Bluff City Veterinary Specialists.

The animal rescue created a TikTok account for the pup called Justice4Riona to share the recovering canine's story. Her first video currently has over 3.8 million views.

"It's definitely blown up more than we expected," Mallory McLemore, a vet tech with Bluff City Veterinary Specialists, told WREG. "We were talking to each other that if a thousand people saw it, that would be good to get the word out about what's going on and happening to her, but within eight to 10 hours, there were hundreds of thousands of people who had seen it."

Once her TikTok started getting attention, Riona began receiving gifts and letters from around the world.

"We actually posted a video this morning to see where people had seen her from. There was somebody from Ukraine, Greece, and Denmark. All kinds of places." McLemore told WREG.

Tails of Hope and Bluff City Veterinary Specialists want to find the people responsible for the attack on innocent Riona. There's a $20,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person/persons responsible for attacking Riona, according to a Facebook update from Tails of Hope Dog Rescue.

The organization said the Memphis Police Department is investigating the incident.

riona the dog
Tails of Hope Dog Rescue/Facebook

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"Somebody did this intentionally, and you can't just have somebody out there like that," McLemore told WHBX.

"It's super important to us, I feel like for her and for us, to have somebody held accountable for what happened," she added.

Riona is continuing to recover from the attack, and her "first of several skin grafts should start next week," according to the animal rescue's Facebook post.

"She's definitely starting to blossom, 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," McLemore told WHBX.

Anyone with information about the attack on Riona should email tailsofhopedr@yahoo.com or call CrimeStoppers at (901) 528-CASH.

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