GASTON COUNTY, N.C. — A Gaston County woman was charged with stealing a homeless man's dog after she said she saw him beating it.
Robin Huffman said she first saw the homeless man and his dog, Rocky, at a corner produce market.
When he tried to tie his dog at the gas station, she stepped in.
“I went down to pet him, and he jumped up on me, and I was loving on him,” Huffman said. “And he was kissing on me, and the man just whacked him with his stick as hard as he could.”
“He was tying up the dog on an air pump, and I just untied the dog and opened the back of my car and said, ‘Get in,’ and he did,” Huffman added.
Huffman took the dog to her veterinarian and paid for all of its shots.
Police arrested her and charged her with stealing the dog.
Investigators said they didn't charge the homeless man because the veterinarian didn’t report any signs of abuse.
“It’s wrong,” George Henson, the homeless man, said. “You can’t. You can’t steal a man’s dog. You ain’t going to steal this one. She’s going to stay on my arm.”
Henson has a new dog now named Bandit.
Someone in the community saw him alone and gave him the pit bull to keep him company.
“The dog’s got her shots,” Henson said. “She’s tagged. She’s registered to me. That’s the end of it. Can’t take this dog.”
Investigators said Rocky was adopted by a new family.
Officers said they're trying to get Henson into counseling, therapy and special housing where dogs aren't allowed.
Huffman said she hopes Henson gets the help he needs, but in the meantime, she’s asking investigators to make sure his new dog is taken care of, too.
“Anybody can have a dog,” Huffman said. “I said, ‘But if he’s homeless or a millionaire and starts to beat the dog, that takes away his right to have an animal.’”
Huffman will be back in court in two weeks, so this case is far from over.
If you see a dog that you think is being mistreated, you cannot take the dog if it belongs to someone else.
Instead, you need to report it to authorities so they can investigate.
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