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Woman Arrested After Taking in Pets During Hurricane Florence

Time logo Time 9/23/2018 Alejandro de la Garza
a man and a dog on a boat: Volunteers help rescue residents and their pets from flooded homes during Hurricane Florence September 14, 2018 in New Bern, North Carolina. © Getty Images Volunteers help rescue residents and their pets from flooded homes during Hurricane Florence September 14, 2018 in New Bern, North Carolina.

In North Carolina, a woman faces criminal charges after taking in animals during Hurricane Florence. She has been charged with practicing veterinary medicine without a license while the pets were in her care.

Tammie Hedges, who runs Crazys Claws N Paws, a Goldsboro, N.C., animal rescue group, took in 27 cats and dogs belonging to residents who were fleeing the storm.

“The goal was to make sure that they were not out there drowning,” Hedges told WNCN, a local television station.

According to a Facebook post from the Wayne County Government, Wayne County Animal Services visited the site on Sept. 17 at the request of the North Carolina State Department of Agriculture.

“Wayne County Animal Services made contact with Ms. Tammie Hedges and upon entering the facility they developed serious concerns regarding the practice of veterinary medicine without a license and the presence of controlled substances,” said the statement.

Hedges voluntarily surrendered the animals to Wayne County Animal Services, according to the statement.

Hedges was later charged with 12 counts of misdemeanor practicing or attempting veterinary medicine without a license and one count of solicitation of a Schedule 4 controlled substance. She was arrested and released on a $10,000 unsecured bond.

According to the group’s Facebook page, those charges stemmed from administering amoxicillin, an antibiotic, and Tramadol, a pain reliever, to animals in her care, as well as for soliciting a donation of Tramadol that was supposed “to be a request for a vet.”

“You need to remember this was during a natural disaster,” a Crazys Paws N Claws volunteer posted on the group’s Facebook page. “Even though her site wasn’t flooded, all routes to everywhere were closed. The vets closed too. She had two cats come in severely sick and an injured dog.”

The Wayne County Manager and Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

 
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