No good deed goes unpunished.
Tammie Hedges, the owner of a North Carolina animal shelter that was in the path of Hurricane Florence, has been arrested for administering medicine to animals without having the proper licenses.
Anyone who’s been around natural disasters knows that animals are often left behind by owners fleeing from the storm. The death tolls for pets aren’t often reported, but cats and dogs usually die in massive numbers during such events.
So Tammie volunteered to stay behind during Florence and take in pets. She was caring for between 18 and 25 animals during and after the storm, keeping them in a warehouse belonging to her Crazy’s Claws N’ Paws shelter.
During that time, she accepted donations of medicines and administered them to sick animals in her care.
She’s since been arrested for those actions, and the public is furious that such a charitable act is being punished. Check out the full story below.
The shelter's Facebook page has been keeping the public updated.
The “temporary safe haven” referenced is the facility Tammie used to house the animals. While the shelter owned the property, it had not yet acquired the permits to house animals inside.
“Our mission was to save as many animals from the flood that we could,” says Tammie. “We went through [2016’s] Hurricane Matthew and it was horrible. There were many preventable deaths.”
Tammie, pictured above, cared for abandoned animals that were brought to her by volunteers who’d saved them from the storm.
Since then, the animals have been seized and Tammy arrested.
The Claws N’ Paws Facebook page spells out the charges against her while putting the names of the animals she saved next to the drugs used — most of which, you’ll notice, are relatively innocuous.
It seems like there are some detractors out there who think Tammie acted irresponsibly — but as this post points out, what would you have done in the same situation?
Don't worry — the public is siding massively with Tammie on this issue.
A Facebook petition demanding the charges against her be dropped has gained a significant amount of steam.
As many reasonable commenters point out, how can you punish someone for doing what was necessary to save sick and scared pets?
Thankfully, most people have hearts and some common sense, so the story has made headlines nationwide.
Thanks to the attention this has garnered, donations are pouring in.
It sounds like Tammie is going to need a lawyer, so a GoFundMe page has been set up to help with her legal fees.
A huge amount of donors have left notes of encouragement and well wishes.
The supporters all insist that they approve of Tammie’s selfless actions, and that the authorities are being ridiculous.
In a statement, the county responsible for arresting Tammie says that animal services is working to reunite the animals she cared for with their owners.
That same statement concludes, “Ms. Hedges is considered innocent until proven guilty.” And hopefully, with enough public pressure and human decency, she’ll remain that way!