Victory! Justice Served for Burned Dog Riona

Victory! Justice Served for Burned Dog Riona

We applaud Tennessee District Attorney Steve Mulroy and Assistant District Attorney Donna Fields for their tenacity in prosecuting a man who maliciously gloated over dousing Riona with gasoline and setting her on fire.

On June 20, 2022, Memphis residents spotted a dog in flames running from a neighboring yard. She was transferred to Bluff City Veterinary Specialists for treatment where it was found she sustained fourth-degree burns covering most of her left side and she ultimately lost her left ear.

The investigation led to the arrest of Quishon Brown on July 12. He was initially charged with two felonies, aggravated animal cruelty, burning personal property, and a misdemeanor simple assault. When Brown was shown a photo of Riona, he gloated, “I did her good.”

On July 16, 2022, Brown was again arrested because it was reported that he was in possession of a puppy which was a parole violation. Disturbingly, the puppy was not found, but evidence supported the claim. Brown’s bond was set at $150,000, then revoked by Judge William Anderson on July 22 when a recording of a jailhouse call revealed he was threatening to burn down the homes of whoever provided authorities with the surveillance video that captured his torturous crime of burning Riona. He also reportedly threatened to shoot journalists who attempted to interview him at his home.

Riona, who was named by her rescuers, faced a long road to recovery, but was given months of extensive 24-hour care by Tails of Hope throughout and adopted into a loving forever home in June 2023. 

On March 4, 2024, Brown was unfortunately handed a plea deal because he had served a third of his two-year prison sentence. Sadly, his crime, a third-degree felony, carries only a two-year prison term, with release after a third of the sentence if it is served without incident.

Additionally, Brown was ordered not to have an animal in perpetuity, must pay court costs, and was ordered to pay $1,000 to Tails of Hope. Details will be finalized in court on April 16. Brown was also arrested during the same court appearance for the alleged rape of a minor family member. He’s now facing 25 years in prison for this crime. Let’s hope he gets the maximum sentence possible if found guilty.

Our Senior Campaigner Doll Stanley was able to meet with District Attorney Steve Mulroy and Assistant District Attorney Donna Fields to present them with a letter supporting Brown’s prosecution signed by 15,472 In Defense of Animals supporters.

“It’s maddening that individuals who harm cannot receive the incarceration they deserve for their heinous acts of violence. Yes, we want help for individuals who suffer from mental illness, but we recognize that there are others who are simply sadistic and have no remorse for the harm they cause. Animals and communities should be protected from them.”

— Doll Stanley

We continue to push for strong prosecution in cases like this and have seen a general trend toward stronger sentencing emerge. Please take a moment to learn more about what we do and consider making a donation to support our work. Thank you.