Bentonville man arrested, accused of neglecting his dog

BENTONVILLE — A Bentonville man was arrested after his dog was taken into custody and a veterinarian reported the animal was negligently starved, court documents show.

Thomas Henson, 34, was arrested on Friday for aggravated animal cruelty. Prosecutors have not filed a formal charge against him.

Henson was released from Benton County Jail after posting $7,500 bond.

The investigation began after detectives from Bentonville Police searched a house and found an emaciated Great Pyrenees with missing hair on his tail and parts of his body, according to a probable cause affidavit. The dog had severe hyperplasia in its lower jaw, and the tissues inside its mouth were swollen to at least twice normal size, the affidavit said.

The dog was taken to MidCities Animal Hospital and examined by Dr. Emily Warman, according to the affidavit.

Warman said the 12-year-old dog named Thor was one of the worst cases she had seen in the six years she had helped Bentonville animal services, according to the affidavit.

Warman said Thor could eat soft food but was starved due to his negligence, the affidavit states. She reported that the dog’s condition left her in pain, according to the affidavit.

Henson reported that the last time Thor visited a vet was in 2021 and the dog did not have an ongoing care plan or ongoing medical treatment, according to the affidavit.

Henson said Thor was happy to see him, but the dog’s condition had deteriorated over the past few months, according to the affidavit. Henson said he bought soft food for his dog, changed his water twice a day, and Thor had all the food he needed, according to the affidavit.

Henson’s arraignment is scheduled for Oct. 24 in court under Benton County Circuit Judge Brad Karren.