Tammie Hedges knew that hundreds of pets would be left vulnerable when Hurricane Florence devastated her home state of North Carolina.
And she couldn’t just sit back and watch.
Hedges owns Crazy’s Claws N Paws, an animal rescue that was not yet legally registered as a shelter by the time the storm arrived, according to USA Today.
She was still in the process of converting a warehouse into a shelter but knew she needed to help local pets left behind by their owners during the evacuation.
So Hedges went out and collected 17 dogs and 10 cats that had been left stranded, she said:
“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.”
The rescuer tended to the animals and medicated those that were sick, saving their lives.
But on Friday, Hedges was arrested for treating the animals, resulting in 12 charges of practicing medicine without a veterinary license.
Crazy’s Claws N Paws posted a list of the charges on Facebook:
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.
The animals were seized by Wayne County Animal Control, who said it is working to reunite the animals with their owners.
But Hedges isn’t convinced that the animals will be safe. She said that if the owners can’t be located, the animals will be sent to a “kill shelter.”
Hedges was released on $10,000 unsecured bond. She will head to court on October 17, the nonprofit said on Facebook.
A petition has been started calling for Crazy’s Claws N Paws not to be fined for helping the animals. It has over 10,000 signatures so far.