COVINGTON, Ga. (FOX 5 Atlanta) - A Covington man heard the barks of some abandoned dogs across the street and, like many of us would, he decided to feed them.
But that simple good deed landed Quincy Reid, 38, in jail, charged with multiple counts of felony animal cruelty.
"How in the world this happen to someone trying to do a good deed and they're being punished for it?" asked his wife Ashley.
For two weeks she's been a single mom, caring for her family while Quincy sits in the Newton County jail calling every chance he gets. The FOX 5 I-Team was there for one of those calls.
"I don't regret feeding the dogs cause they didn't have to be starved," he said.
It started in May when a neighbor across the street was arrested on drug charges. Days later, Quincy says he heard dogs barking in the backyard, so he grabbed a big bucket of his own dog food and fed them a few times. Made sure they had water. That neighbor -- Robbie Smith -- later called from jail to tell Quincy he didn't need to help because someone was coming to get the dogs.
But no one did.
Weeks later, another neighbor eventually called police.
"My favorite was a white pit bull," Bob Brown said. "And it was just skin and bones. They touched it and it was wagging its tail. Just tore my heart out."
When Newton County deputies made their way back to the backyard they found four dogs. Two of them dead, two others malnourished. They would make two arrests: the woman who lived in that house and that neighbor across the street who thought he was just doing a good deed.
Newton County deputies knocked on Quincy's door after the truck driver had returned from delivering an overnight load.
"I really was scared because I was like what did I do?" he said. "Feed the dogs and got locked up?"
The homeowner Unieka Washington faces the same animal cruelty charges. According to the incident report, she told detectives that she was afraid of her boyfriend's dogs and Quincy had been feeding them.
Ashley quickly got the dogs' owner to write a letter explaining to authorities that her husband did not have any responsibility for the care of his dogs. But because Quincy was already on probation from an old drug conviction, he'd have to sit in jail until his court date August 7. That's a month behind bars for a crime he didn't commit.
His seven-year-old daughter wrote her dad a letter saying "we love you Daddy. Hope you come back tomorrow." She left it on his favorite chair in the den.
"I got two girls who are asking when's daddy coming home?" said Ashley, fighting back tears. "And I'm like any day. That's what we hoping. And it's not working! I just don't want him to sit there for something he didn't do!"
He won't anymore.
After the FOX 5 I-Team explained the situation, the Newton County DA's office dismissed all charges against Quincy Reid. Probation released their hold as well. Quincy would go home to his family and his own dogs, but somewhat sadly, with a more sobering view of helping others.
"Just think twice before you do something," he said outside the jail surrounded by his relieved wife and family. "Even though to help somebody out is good, sometime it can turn out bad."
This story was started with a tip to the FOX 5 Call For Action Center