Tammie Hedges, a resident of Waynes County, has a passion for pets. With the catastrophic Hurricane Florence and following rain ravaging North Carolina, Hedges made a decision to help shelter dozens of pets that might otherwise have been caught up in the storm. Unfortunately, Hedges’ good-intentioned decision has led to her arrest.

According to police, Tammie Hedges was taken into police custody on September 21. She is facing multiple charges including at least 12 counts of practicing medicine without a veterinary license. Hedges confirmed that she treated some of the animals with over-the-counter medicine, but she also highlighted the fact that all vets in the area were closed due to the storm.

Police confirmed that Hedges provided care for at least 17 cats and 10 dogs. The owners had evacuated before the storm hit. One elderly couple dropped off 18 of the animals at one time. Many of the pets were already sick and injured upon being dropped off. The animals were all taken to a warehouse space where they were kept dry and safe until the storm passed. While the area served its purpose, it was not a proper animal shelter.

On September 17, Hedges was shocked when she received a call from Wayne County Animal Control. The agent on the phone told Hedges she must voluntarily hand over the animals or else he would seek an arrest warrant against her. She complied with the agent’s request and voluntarily surrendered all the animals to animal control. Despite her compliance, she was called in for questioning and arrested a few days later.