Good Samaritan arrested for rescuing dog from abusive owner

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A Good Samaritan was arrested and jailed for rescuing a dog that was being beaten by a homeless man in Gastonia, North Carolina. The incident occurred on September 12, 2018 in front of Zeb’s Produce on Hickory Grove Road.

Robin Huffman had been shopping in the store, when a homeless man who frequents the area was seen with his dog Rocky.   Rocky ran to Robin and jumped up on her. The homeless man, who goes by the name ‘Jackie” and many other aliases, began hitting the dog with his metal walking cane. He struck the dog twice. Robin told him to stop hitting the dog or she would call the police.  Jackie, then went across the street and in full view of Robin and Zeb Reese, owner of the produce store, hit the dog seven more times. According to Zeb, the dog was hit on the head and back with the metal walking cane.

Robin flagged down an officer with the City of Gastonia Police Department and reported the situation. He told her he couldn’t help her. Robin observed Jackie tying Rocky to an air pump, so she made the decision to rescue the dog, taking him in her car and driving away. Robin took the dog to her vet in Charlotte, North Carolina where she paid for his shots and placed him in boarding.

On September 15 2018, Officer RJ Miller of the Gaston County Police Department showed up at the Good Samaritan, Robin’s door and arrested her for “felony larceny.”   Rocky was also picked up from boarding in Charlotte and taken to the Gaston County Animal Care and Enforcement Division. Robin was in jail for four hours before being released on a secured bond. Her next court date is October 29, 2018.

In interviewing Zeb Reese at Zeb’s Produce, he corroborated Robin’s story. When asking if Officer Miller wrote up a witness statement based on what Zeb told him, he said no. According to Zeb, the homeless man known as “Jackie” has a history of abusing his dogs. Before Rocky, he had a beagle named ‘Darla.’ He was observed beating her on many occasions.  One day, Darla just dropped to the ground. Jackie dragged the dog and threw her into a dumpster not even confirming if she was dead.

Zeb also advised in the interview that Jackie, whose real name is George Randal Henson, is allegedly a nuisance to the people and business owners in the area.  Six weeks ago, he allegedly stole three watermelons from Zeb’s store and a week ago it was a bag of apples.

In an interview with Meredith Abercrombie, who frequents Will’s Food Store which is near Zeb’s Produce, she stated she had witnessed George Henson aka Jackie kick Rocky and also drag Darla by her leash so hard that her feet left the ground. He  also allegedly made rude, perverted comments to Meredith during the times she has had encounters with him; one time, when she felt bad for Rocky and bought some dog food. Instead of keeping the dog food for Rocky, George Henson took the food back into the store and got the cash for it to buy beer.

Meredith also stated that Robin Huffman is a pillar of the community and this type of animal abuse is unacceptable.

Jackie with Darla, the dog he had before RockyTonye Estes, an employee of Will’s Food Store echoed Meredith’s statements regarding George Henson saying vulgar, perverted things to women, harassing customers and his treatment of his dogs Rocky and Darla.  She has witnessed him hitting Darla with his walking stick and one time she saw him hurl Darla out of a car at least 5-10 feet. The District Manager told him to get off the store property and he had no right to throw the dog that way. Tonya also re-affirmed Meredith’s statement that George would get refunds for things bought for him and the dogs, so he could buy beer.

Tonya also stated that it is ridiculous that George Henson continues to get away with his behaviors and nothing is done about it. When reaching out to Chief Joseph Ramey of the Gaston County Police Department asking why Ms. Huffman was arrested and Mr. Henson was not charged with animal abuse, this was his response:

“On September 12th Ms. Huffman did encounter Mr. Henson in the area of Hickory Grove Road near a produce stand and as she engaged Mr. Henson and the dog, the dog jumped up on Ms. Huffman and Mr. Henson corrected the dog with his stick according to the witness at the produce stand.  Shortly afterwards, Ms. Huffman is observed approaching Mr. Henson at a convenience store and he does not respond to her.  Mr. Henson ties his dog up at the store and goes inside.  At this point Ms. Huffman unties Mr. Henson’s dog and puts it in her car and drives away ( We have video of her actions).  Ms. Huffman takes the dog to Veterinarian and the Veterinarian advised the dog although a little thin, was well taken care of, no signs of abuse, very sociable, and no reason not to be returned to its owner. 

However, the dog has not been returned to Mr. Henson as we have worked with a community resource Gateway at the Y to arrange for Mr. Henson to enter Counseling and Rehab beginning on Monday ( a commendable approach by Officers).  As a Former Marine Mr. Henson will receive additional assistance from Veteran Services to help him get back on his feet once he completes the counseling and rehab.  Afterwards, we’ll reevaluate his situation and consider returning the dog.  The dog may have been the only positive thing going for Mr. Henson and Ms. Huffman intentionally deprived him of that.   I have also reviewed our calls for service regarding Mr. Henson, I’m currently only showing 4 calls in the past 9 months regarding Mr. Henson of those 4 he was a victim in 1.  Finally, there is a Facebook posting from Ms. Huffman in which she states she “took” the dog.  The appropriate way to handle animal abuse is to contact Animal Care & Enforcement.  Again, thank you for your concerns.”

When reaching out to the Gaston County Commissioners via email,  the simple statement “We will look into your concerns” was their only response. There has been no response from Officer RJ Miller.

According to Zeb Reese, as of October 1, 2018, George Henson is not in any rehab program but is still said to be on the streets in the same area near the produce shop.  He did confirm that George does not have any dogs at this time.

Gaston County Animal Care and Enforcement Division does have Rocky listed for adoption.

The fair and just thing to do in this case, in this writer’s opinion, is to have Robin Huffman exonerated of all charges and to have Mr. Henson court ordered to go to rehab where he can learn to be a more productive member of society, and learn not to abuse animals.

Yesterday in the news: Abandoned puppy found with sad note – more here.

More news: Amazing survival – dog found floating on a couch in flooded home!

A senior dog gets help with her bucket list

Senior dogs surrendered, then separated – and then reunited


21 replies
  1. Vicky says:

    This is unbelievable, there should be a petition started to 1) have all charges dropped against the Good Samaritan who intervened to help the dog, 2) van thus abusive man from ever owning pets again.

    • Animal Advocate says:

      Exactly! Sounds like the police department is too damn lazy to investigate. They should have video footage of the perp beating his dog, but that was probably edited out. Deep South in general , especially in rural areas turns a blind eye to animal abuse.

    • Ma. Lourdes Bettina Lim says:


  2. Jan Barnes says:

    Does anyone remember who helped Good Samaritan Tammie Hedges so we can contact? Also, some tv news advocated for her. Can petitions and a GoFundMe be set up? Don’t think I can help without FB but would be glad to donate.

  3. Diana Rowell says:

    Earth to NORTH CAROLINA: if you REALLY want change regarding ANY abuse in your “abuse ridden state”, then stand up and CHANGE things by voting in people who ACTUALLY CARE ABOUT THEIR CONSTITUENTS SAFETY, WELFARE AND PROTECTION. This has been an issue here for ALL of it’s history, beginning with beating slaves, horses and cows; it will NEVER change unless YOU stand up to these bullies, who abuse their power, leaving GOOD LAW ABIDING CITIZENS at the mercy of thugs like this pos! Another thing to consider: I’m not being mean, BUT I quit giving ANY money to help rescues in your state because election after election, the SAME VILE, SADISTIC vermin are STILL in POWER by YOUR OWN VOTES! I pray you see the REAL wisdom in my criticism and I promise if I see YOU standing up to make change, I WILL HELP.

  4. Barkley's Mom says:

    This is one of the most ridiculous things I think I have ever heard! He was beating his dog and has a history of beating all of his dogs and SHE is in trouble for helping the dog? “The dog may have been the only positive thing going for Mr. Henson and Ms. Huffman intentionally deprived him of that.”? I don’t blame her for taking the dog, she did what many of us would, try to get the dog to safety and he has a funny way of showing he cared about the “only thing going for him”. The officials in this community are as disgusting as this former Marine, they all should seek help! If Mr. Henson had wanted counseling and rehab or even the additional service from the VA he would have sought them out himself. Meanwhile a dog is sitting in animal care and may be given back to this moron. I agree with the author Ms Huffman needs to be exonerated of all charges and Mr. Henson needs to go to rehab where he can learn to be a more productive member of society, and learn not to abuse animals, (if that could ever even be a possible outcome).

  5. Sue says:

    Police report: “…and Mr. Henson corrected the dog with his stick.”

    This is typical. What is outrageous abuse to most of us is “correction” to the majority of police departments. That’s how they describe, in their own K9 units’, hanging to unconsciousness, kicking in the stomach and groin, beating with poles or sticks, etc.

    It’s just “correction,” and in the world of ‘law enforcement’ it is perfectly acceptable.

  6. BA says:

    OK ARE YOU KIDDING ME NC AND LAW ENFORCEMENT???? you allow people to abandon there animals in disasters (inhumane sickos) and allow sub humans to hit, kick, kill animals..its amazing how when she reported to the “cop” his abuse the cop “couldn’t help her” F REALLY??????? yet that part of the abuse wasn’t in there bogus statement!!! just her taking the dog to the vet! she saved an animals life that according to the workers around the area he has done before and again the cops DID NOTHING, Yet you will arrest a person who helped an abused animal from a homeless nasty abusive creep, who also is rude to humans – yet NC thinks this is acceptable!!! SHAME ON NC AND THE POLICE WHO DID NOTHING!!! this post will go viral..THIS WOMAN DID NOTHING WRONG OMG..NC apparently promotes animal cruelty and enjoys it~~SICK SICK – SHAME ON ALL INVOLVED who arrested an innocent woman and lets an abuser run free to do it again..oh PS did they do anything about the beaten beagle dumped in a dumpster? guess allowing him to get another punching bag made there day!!!!

  7. Micele says:

    The only thing this lady did wrong was to admit that she took the dog.
    I would’ve taken the dog returned back with my posse and beat the shit out of the guy who abused the dog end of story.
    When are people going to wake up and smell the coffee and that the laws on not on your side….

  8. Lisa Weston says:

    This woman is a hero not a felon!!!! We must all get educated on this ASAP! Basically if we see animals receiving abuse then call 911 or police department or animal control and stand there as he beats the animal too death? I have one question….how does a homeless person take care of anything and what personal property does he pay taxes on or even show proof of owning a dog……..where exactly would he keep proof of rabies vaccination? I guess the tax paying citizens have no rights and he has all rights to continue abusing dogs? What’s it gonna take? I thought abusing animals with witnesses is a felony? I’m totally confused as to why he’s not charged? What will happen next…..him abusing a human because that’s where it all starts…….abusing animals first! Rehab? What a joke…..he does exactly what he wants…..I’ve heard of many good people trying to help him just to be told “I want to be homeless….I don’t want to work…..dogs are my meal tickets”!!!! Disgusting!!!! AGAIN, this woman is a BRAVE HERO NOT A FELON!!!

  9. Dalma Bugg says:

    I agree it’s the writer of this article, George Henson must be compelled to enter rehab for his own goodcand that of his local community. If he successfully completes rehab, then he should have his dog Rocky returned to him. It is not right that Rocky is currently listed for adoption – he should be properly cared for by the appropriate organisation (or a willing and capable person) for the duration of Mr Henson’s rehabilitation programme and only adopted out if Mr Henson does not successfully complete same.
    Whilst Robin Huffman seems yo have broken the law, there were extenuating circumstances and I believe her charges should be dropped and the case against her dismissed on the grounds that Ms Huffman was doing a good deed not intentionally breaking the law.

      • Dalma Bugg says:

        Tami, with all due respect, this man is a veteran, so I believe that if he SUCCESSFULLY completes rehab then he will need a dog to help him with likely PTSD, so may as well be his own dog in first step to making amends for the past. I do get where you’re coming from though.

    • Lisa says:

      Monsters and animal abusers can’t be rehabilitated……….he has been manipulating all of you for years. He knows exactly what he is doing and the beer makes him meaner…..then the beatings start….let’s see….homeless guy will go to AA meetings? NOT! Homeless guy will go to class about animal abuse? NOT! Homeless guy cares about his community or the church he trashed weekly? Not! He needs to be caged like the wild animal he is or tries to scare you into being afraid to report him! Call until you tax sting citizens get him taken care of! Watch him like a hawk ???? and video all you can!!!! Take pictures of his messes and ost away folks! It takes a village to raise a good child and it will take a village to remove him!

  10. Melissa Gurley says:

    Totally behind Ms Huffman if the police would not do anything someone had to I would of done same thing animals have no voice we have to be their voice I think what she did was wonderful and I applaud her all charges should be dropped NOW she had the guts to stand up against abuse when the police of thus town did not

  11. Anonymous says:

    This pos has been sitting across the road from my place for months now. I don’t think he was ever in the Marines. I believe this is a case of stolen Valor. He can’t answer simple questions that a buck private would learn on day one.

  12. Laura says:

    “where she paid for his shots and placed him in boarding” …Right, that’s what’s needed when a dog has been severely beaten by a big stick, to be shot full of vaccines. Many dogs yelp and howl in pain for a long time after that toxic cocktail has been shot into them. But that’s likely the vet’s fault as he/she probably demanded the shots as part of the checkup. But that monster out on the streets should be put away for felony animal cruelty like anyone else would. The idea that Robin instead is in trouble and jailed for rescuing that poor dog from that MONSTER??!!! The insanity and cruelty have reached new lows. But in the end or before then, Karma will come to all of us, so these people (the monster and his enablers in “law enforcement”) only THINK they’re enjoying and getting away with their sadism. They’ll be so sorry, forever.

  13. Robin Huffman says:

    He has ANOTHER dog as of today!!! Please spread this message wide and far!!!! How can this be? WHO is providing this POS with dogs????


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