Tammie Hedges stepped up to the plate when Hurricane Florence swept through her home state — rescuing pets that may have been lost in the storm.
Only, she was not praised for her heroics — she was arrested.
A resident of Wayne County, North Carolina, Hedges was taken into custody on Friday after administering care to over two dozen animals for owners that had to evacuate before the storm hit — 17 cats and 10 dogs to be exact.
“The owners got to evacuate. They got to save themselves. But who’s going to save those animals? That’s what we did,” Hedges said to USA Today. “We saved them.”
Hedges is the owner of donation-based animal rescue center known as Crazy’s Claws N Paws. She was in the process of converting a warehouse space into an animal shelter when she decided to instead use the building to aid in keeping pets dry but her facility was technically, not legally registered as a shelter.
“Our mission was to save as many animals from the flood that we could,” Hedges said. “We went through Hurricane Matthew and it was horrible. There were many preventable deaths.”
Hedges shared that an elderly couple dropped off 18 of the animals just before the storm, noting some were sick as well as injured. After Florence passed on Monday, Hedges received a call from Wayne County Animal Control about the animals in her makeshift shelter.
“He basically told me, ‘You can voluntarily hand over the animals, or I can go get a warrant,’ ” Hedges said.
And Hedges complied.
“A few days later they called me in for questioning and yesterday they arrested me,” Hedges said.
The charges included 12 counts of practicing medicine without a veterinary license.
A Facebook status of the charges was shared by the non-profit below.
“Tammie has been released on an unsecured bond of $10k. 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 supposed to be a request for a vet)).
“It was all over-the-counter stuff you could literally find at Dollar Tree,” an animal rescue volunteer, Raina Nyliram, said.
Nyliram started a crowdfunding campaign in Hedges name to help with any legal fees inccurred.
“She couldn’t get the animals to the vet because the vet was closed. All the charges are bogus.”
Tammy’s court date is on October, 17th, at the Wayne County Courthouse. The county issued a statement about the incident:
“Wayne County Animal Services turned the case over to the Wayne County District Attorney’s office based on suspicion of practicing veterinary medicine without a license and presence of controlled substances. Ms. Hedges is considered innocent until proven guilty.”
A petition was also made in support of Tammy’s innocent deeds.
But according to a recent Facebook post on the shelter’s page, it appears as if the charges against Tammy were dismissed.
Until the official statement is released, be sure to sign the petition here!
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