The arrest of an NC animal rescuer: In the beginning, a plea was put out and volunteers showed up

In the beginning, a plea was put out and volunteers showed up. The animal rescue world is currently watching the case involving Tammie Hedges of Crazys Claws N Paws Rescue and Tammie’s subsequent arrest for reached out to help animals in the path of Hurricane Florence in North Carolina.

Tammie’s setup to protect animals from Hurricane Florence
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

In the beginning

A lot of readers who wonder how this unbelievable case got started. It began with a Facebook post where Tammie reached out in a heartfelt attempt to help others.

original Facebook post from September 11

The translation to the above screenshot is:

It has been a long day! Jax & Pinn both went to the vet today for check ups. Pinn’s leg is not broken, thank God! He has a torn ligament & a skin infection. Pain killers & antibiotics. We also got part of our emergency center ready. We do need a few more items, if you can donate any:
*C & D batteries!
* Battery powered push lights
*A generator would be great, but we will take a car inverter or 2
* Cat food (dry & canned)
*Paper towels
And of course, VOLUNTEERS after the hurricane will be needed.

None of the animals will be left alone. We have a volunteer who will stay here through the hurricane & after as long as animals are present.

If you see an animal left behind or needing help, please contact us, Wayne County Animal Shelter, police, or any rescue. We will all do our best to help.

Crazys Claws N Paws statement

The Crazys Claws N Paws posted the following statement September 24:

“To those of you wanting to condemn Tammie, let’s look at some facts,
1. 8 counts of amoxicillin
2. 3 counts triple antibiotic ointment ( seriously )
3. 1 count Tramadol
4. A supply list was put out there, it was a general list of things needed, from the store, from donations, from the vet, etc. It was all there together. It was a list made late at night after a long day. And don’t condemn, I’m sure we’ve all been there.
5. There is no proof that any of this was given.
6. I’m sure you have seen the pictures posted of the cages set up, its all neat and organized.
7. The 18 animals, dogs and cats, that came in together were surrendered by the owners to the three ladies that were out rescuing them. They were sickly and injured when picked up, not from the storm, or flood, but from owner neglect.
8. Tammie had one of her own cats pass away, it was about 14 years old, and had, had surgery to remove a large ruptured sarcoma.
9. Tammie only had these animals a few days, it takes weeks, months, years to get in the shape these animals were in.
10. A plea was put out for help, because it was more than one person should have to do alone. And volunteers showed up.

Now I want to ask you, there’s a state of emergency, a natural disaster, you have one pet or twenty, doesn’t really matter, you need to evacuate but can’t take them with you. What do you do?
1. Do you leave them to fend for themselves?
2. Do stay, pray for the best, but end up clinging to your rooftop with your pets?
3. Suppose DURING this disaster, you pet gets swept away from you, and its found severely injured and all the vets are closed, and most roads are flooded. The finder actually has some degrees in animal welfare and CPR training for animals, And has a pain pill and some antibiotics and ointment. Would you want your beloved pet to lay there in pain until who knows when, or would you want this person to make your beloved pet comfortable and address the wounds be for a major infection set in? Seriously think about that.

I, would stay with my animals, I would also make arrangements for OUR well being before the disaster hit. But, if one of my animals did get lost from me, and was injured, I would hope that whoever found it would go above and beyond to make my animal comfortable. ….at all costs.”

Rescued pets setup

My personal rant

Wayne County Animal Control, you are making a mockery of your county and your state. We all know the reputation of North Carolina where animals are concerned. Even those arrested with plenty of evidence showing them responsible for neglecting or abandoning animals get a slap on the wrist.

The Wayne County District Attorneys office will have to prove Tammie actually broke any laws and they’ll also have to be prepared in court to explain how all of these charges came from actions that took place during the worst disaster to hit North Carolina in many many years.

In your infinite wisdom, Wayne County, you decide to go after someone who tried to help in a “life or death” emergency. You arrest a woman who actually has some degrees in animal welfare and CPR training for animals. She had a few medical supplies, including dollar store ointment.

Like the above message from the rescue stated: Would you want your beloved pet to lay there in pain until who knows when, or would you want this person to make your beloved pet comfortable and address the wounds be for a major infection set in?

Think of the cost to Wayne County taxpayers if this farce of a case isn’t dropped. If history proves correct, this case will go before the courts at least three times with people coming each time to stand up for Tammie. Which will bring even MORE bad publicity to your county. I don’t believe a jury out there would vote for a conviction.

The part that REALLY infuriates me is Tammie asking people on her original Facebook post to call animal control if they see an animal in distress. How many people will take in an animal during an emergency after the spectacle Wayne County has made of their animal control division.

And HOW did you learn Tammie was allegedly practicing veterinary medicine without a license? Does she have enemies and one of them took a screenshot of something and sent it to animal control? Number 5 above says there is no proof that medication was given.

From now on when people hear “Wayne County” they’ll think of a poorly managed local government who went after an animal rescuer during a deadly storm and put her in jail for helping animals who likely would have drowned in the flood waters or from illness.

Tell us what you think

Readers, is there anything YOU would like to say to Wayne County? Sound off in the comments. Facebook comments go right through but comments in the main section go through moderation first. Either is fine. Just no threats.

Click here for article on this mockery of Wayne County going viral. There are links at the end of this article that will take you to the previous write ups.

Please search using the search box at the top of the site. You are bound to find what you are looking for.

7 thoughts on “The arrest of an NC animal rescuer: In the beginning, a plea was put out and volunteers showed up”

  1. Great article Elisa. You put into words my thoughts and indignation. Whoever comprises Wayne County Government Officials, a good portion of them seem to be vicious and backward thinking. I hate to use labels, but these type of people come to mind every time I think of the term “rednecks.” 😠😬

  2. For as long as I can ever remember, I have tried to get the people of NC to understand that the leaders and legal system of this state hate animals. Animal cruelty is rarely prosecuted. The people who have seen the level of cruelty in the state, because of the storm, will most likely not document. The animals will be warehoused and then killed. There ARE laws on the books, spelled out in black and white, that would have or could have prevented the abandonment of so many. But least, our law enforcement chooses not to pursue and fine those for neglect. However our law enforcement, legal system, and state would rather choose to go after a volunteer who was trying to care for an keep safe those to be discarded by others. And, I will say that these animals should have never been born to begin with. What you want to bet me that people were begging, borrowing, maybe stealing, medication for themselves when they had to be sheltered from evacuation. Have we bothered to send in the police to scan and confiscate all medications in their hands that were not prescribed to them? Oh, wait, we are talking about people here…in a state of emergency here….not animals. On the other hand, animals were the afterthought….not important….You can’t have it both ways. They either matter or they don’t.

    • It is a load of crap. The police at worst should have had a word in her ear and left her alone. There are many serious criminal activities taking place which should be prioritised over this alleged crime. Your assessment in the article is spot on as far as I am concerned. Thanks Elisa.


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