Memphis man arrested for setting dog on fire, police say

·2 min read

Just over three weeks after a community watched in horror as a dog ran down the street engulfed in flames, a man is behind bars and charged for the horrific crime.

Memphis Police said that 43-year-old Quishon Brown was arrested Tuesday, July 12 and charged with aggravated animal cruelty, setting fire to personal property and simple assault.

ORIGINAL REPORT: Neighbors leap into action to save dog set on fire in Memphis

On June 20, Good Samaritans jumped into action to save the dog they saw running down the street in Nutbush. Disturbing video from that day shows a ball of fire running down the street, the dog crying out loudly in the process.

Rescuers at Tails of Hope Dog Rescue took to calling the dog Riona and said that an accelerant was used to set the dog on fire, leading Riona to suffer 4th-degree burns which covered about 60 percent of her body.

" I am super happy that they were able to arrest somebody I wish that we had harsher animal cruelty laws here,” said Mallory McLemore, a vet with Bluff City Veterinary Specialist and with Tails of Hope Rescue.

Riona was set on fire in the Nutbush neighborhood of Memphis on June 20, 2022. $20,000 is being offered as a reward for information that leads to the arrest of the person who set the dog on fire.
Riona was set on fire in the Nutbush neighborhood of Memphis on June 20, 2022. $20,000 is being offered as a reward for information that leads to the arrest of the person who set the dog on fire.

Memphis Police said that video surveillance showed a man in the backyard of a home on Berkshire only 36 seconds before the dog escaped that home and took off running down Hood Street.

RELATED: $20,000 reward being offered for information after dog set on fire in Memphis

On July 11, around 8:30 p.m., officers were called to that area and were told that the man responsible for setting fire to the dog was speaking to other people and saying that he was going to burn down the house of whoever gave that video to police and news stations.

On Tuesday, officers arrested Brown and charged him with setting the dog on fire, police said.

Miraculously, the dog, whose real name is Queen according to police, is expected to make a full recovery.

“She should make a full recovery. As long as she does well with the anesthesia, she will probably have a three to four-month recovery from here. We will just have to stage the surgeries and have a three-week recovery for each one,” Mclemore said.

Tails of Hope Dog Rescue has been posting frequent updates on the dog’s condition and at one point there was a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of whoever set the dog on fire.

While Brown now goes through the court system, Riona continues to get support from all over the country.

" We have a lot of them from California and from Montana and Michigan and it’s great to see how her story has touched people all over the world,” Mclemore said.

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