Hurricane Florence: Severe flooding feared near South Carolina coast

Blanche Robertson
September 25, 2018

She alleges she did nothing wrong.

As Hurricane Florence barreled toward the North Carolina coast, Tammie Hedges chose to open a warehouse she had been remodeling to house pets displaced by the storm.

Her crime? Law enforcement allege she practiced veterinary medicine without a license.

'If we didn't feel like anything was being done wrong, we would not have taken (the animals),' Sauls said.

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.

What she believed was an act of compassion following Hurricane Florence ended in an arrest this week. "The roads may be unsafe, underwater or in some areas missing". She and others turned the warehouse into a temporary shelter, equipped it with crates, kennels, litter boxes and blankets, and asked for donations through social media. In total, Hedges and other volunteers cared for 17 cats and 10 dogs.

'The goal was to make sure they were not out there drowning, ' Hedges told WNCN-TV. "If your animal was in that condition, would you want someone to leave them to get sicker or stay in pain?"

Floodwaters have begun to recede farther inland.

Authorities said she lacked the proper permits to use the space to house animals. He told Hedges he was there on a welfare check after hearing the warehouse had been flooded.

After the storm had passed on Monday, Hedges received a phone call from Frank Sauls, the manager of Wayne County's animal services.

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"Florence is gone, but the storm's devastation is still with us", Cooper said at a news conference.

In a statement, Wayne County said animal control officers had "serious concern regarding the practice of veterinary medicine without a license and the presence of controlled substances".

Tammie has been released on an unsecured bond of $10k.

What did local officials say?

North Carolina Department of Transportation maintenance supervisor Jeff Garrett also shared images from the scene, with rotting carcasses strewn about the highway.

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

How did Hedges allegedly attempt to practice veterinary medicine?

According to [Hedges], most of the charges stem from her administering amoxicillin to animals that arrived at the shelter sick.

Emergency management officials began sending pre-recorded telephone messages to residents in harm's way over the weekend, and will probably start going door-to-door in the next few days, Georgetown County spokeswoman Jackie Broach-Akers said.

"It's just a mess", he said.

Meanwhile, a GoFundMe campaign to support Hedges has raised more than $20,000. Also, more than 1,700 supporters have signed a petition calling for Hedges to be cleared of all charges.

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