As a volunteer and one of the directors for CCNP's Board, I need to make a personal comment. For those being judgemental...Posted by Crazys Claws N Paws on Friday, September 21, 2018
A woman in North Carolina is reportedly being punished for taking care of over a dozen cats and dogs that were abandoned during the deadly hurricane that ravaged North and South Carolinas, claiming at least 42 lives and leaving thousands homeless.
When people were fleeing their homes amid floods and heavy rainfall, the owner of a donation-based animal rescue center decided to stay put and protect pets that would have otherwise been caught in the storm after their owners left them behind.
Tammie Hedges of Crazy's Claws N Paws took care of at least 17 cats and 10 dogs – and she was rewarded for her kindness by police arresting her for “practicing medicine without a veterinary license,” according to local news channel WCNC.
The animals were also confiscated from the temporary shelter she had built in a warehouse the group was in the process of buying. However, it had not been registered as an official shelter before the tropical storm made a landfall in Wayne County.
“The owners got to evacuate. They got to save themselves. But who’s going to save those animals? That’s what we did. We saved them,” Hedges said. “Our mission was to save as many animals from the flood that we could. We went through Hurricane Matthew and it was horrible. There were many preventable deaths.”
She said an elderly couple had dropped off 18 pets at the shelter during evacuation.
“We were trying to help abandoned animals,” Hedges told the News-Argus of Goldsboro. “A group of us got together to do something to help those animals. That's why we opened our building to them, so they'd have a safe dry place to go until their owners returned to get them.”
Some of the animals that were brought to her were reportedly sick and needed medicine, which the woman administered.
Once the storm passed, Hedges said she received a phone call from Wayne County’s animal services manager Frank Sauls, who told her “You can voluntarily hand over the animals, or I can go get a warrant,” according to Hedges.
She said she handed over all the animals. However, a few days, she was called in for questioning and subsequently arrested.
Following her arrest, Wayne County officials issued a statement.
“Wayne County Animal Services turned the case over to the Wayne County District Attorney’s office based on suspicion of practicing veterinarian medicine without a license and presence of controlled substances,” it said.
Hedges was soon related on a $10,000 bond. Crazy's Claws N Paws explained the charges against her in a Facebook post.
“She is charged with the following: 1 count of administering amoxicillin to Big Momma, 1 count of administering Tramadol to Big Momma, 3 counts of administering amoxicillin to a white Siamese cat, 3 counts of administering a topical antibiotic ointment (triple antibiotic from Dollar Tree) to a white Siamese cat, 3 counts of administering amoxicillin to a cat known as Sweet Pea, 1 count of administering amoxicillin to an unnamed black kitten, and 1 count of solicitation to commit a crime (asking for donation of Tramadol (that was suppose to be a request for a vet).”
According to an animal rescue volunteer, all the medicine and ointments she is accused of administering without a license can be bought over-the-counter at stores like Dollar Tree
“She couldn’t get the animals to the vet because the vet was closed. All the charges are bogus,” said 24-year-old Raina Nyliram.
She has since set up a GoFundMe page to help raise money for Hedges’ legal fees. As of writing this, the campaign has fundraised $18,568 of the total $20,000 goal.
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: Dorchester Paws/via REUTERS