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Memphis animal rescue raising money to save burned, 'tortured' dog

According to Tails of Hope Rescue, the dog was found on fire and screaming near Chelsea Avenue and Graham Street Wednesday.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Memphis dog is in critical condition but recovering after being found with significant burns Wednesday by a Memphis-area dog rescue. 

Tails of Hope Dog Rescue, which specializes in dogs with medical challenges, found the dog, now named Riona, after receiving a call from Memphis Animal Services (MAS) about her condition. 

According to MAS, the dog was found in the area of Chelsea Avenue and Graham Street, screaming and on fire. 

Initially, the dog rescue thought she had suffered from a bad case of road rash, but after transferring her to Bluff City Veterinary Specialists, it was determined Riona was doused in diesel fuel and set on fire intentionally. 

"She can't open her left eye, it's almost burnt shut," said Mallory Mclemore, a technician at Bluff City. "There's wounds all up under her elbow and her knee area, all the way down her belly. All you could smell was gas."

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According to Memphis Police, a nearby resident released Ring camera footage of the incident, although it did not show a suspect in frame. 

Bluff City said this wasn't the only case of a dog being burned this week; and they also treated a puppy that had its tail amputated and mouth bound by zip ties. 

Tails of Hope is also raising money to help with Riona's medical bills, which they said likely will top $10,000. So far, they've raised more than $2,300, and those interested can donate via their Facebook page.

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Memphis Police said they are investigating the case, and to call (901) 528-CASH with any information.

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