Woman Arrested After Sheltering Animals During Florence

 Alexa Lardieri

A WOMAN WAS ARRESTED last week after sheltering more than two dozen animals while Hurricane Florence moved across North Carolina.

Tammi Hedges, who runs the animal rescue group Crazy Claws N Paws in Goldsboro, North Carolina, was arrested last Monday for practicing veterinary medicine without a license after sheltering animals during the storm. The organization housed the animals in its empty warehouse that is in the process of being converted into a shelter.

CCNP offered to provide temporary housing for pets of residents who were evacuating the storm but couldn't bring their animals, Leona Mozingo, a volunteer with CCNP told the Huffington Post.

According to the volunteer, the group took in 27 animals, including 18 cats from one elderly couple.

In a post on CCNP's Facebook page, the organization said that Hedges was charged with "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)," which was meant "to be a request for a vet."

Wayne County Animal Services first arrived at the warehouse-turned-temporary-shelter on Monday after they received a report that the building was flooded, according to CCNP's post. In a post on Wayne County Government's Facebook page, animal services said "they developed serious concerns regarding the practice of veterinary medicine without a license and the presence of controlled substances."

Hedges then voluntarily surrendered the animals to Wayne County Animal Services and they were brought to Wayne County Animal Shelter. Animal services is working to reunite the pets with their owners. According to the post, Hedges is charged with "(12) counts of misdemeanor practice/attempt veterinary medicine without a license and (1) count of solicitation of a Schedule 4 controlled substance."

Hedges said in the Facebook post that "myself, along with independent rescuers and volunteers came together during this natural disaster to save animals." Mozingo told HuffPost that some of the animals that had been rescued by CCNP were seriously injured or ill and it was not possible to get to a vet's office during the storm.

Following Hedges' arrest, a petition began circulating to support her. It currently has 9,217 signatures. A GoFundMe was also started to help raise money for legal fees and the rescue animals. It has raised $20,237 of its $20,000 goal.

Hedges was released on an unsecured $10,000 bond and is due in court on Oct. 17, CCNP's Facebook post said.

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