Tammie Hedges — the North Carolina Good Samaritan who took in over two dozen animals abandoned when their owners fled Hurricane Florence — will not face criminal charges for her actions after all.
As the old saying goes, no good deed goes unpunished. And as previously reported by the Inquisitr, Tammie Hedges found that out the hard way last week. The animal lover, who before Hurricane Florence was in the process of building a more permanent location for her Crazy’s Claws ‘N Paws shelter, took in 27 cats and dogs whose owners had to leave them behind during the storm.
For her efforts, she was charged for various crimes.
Specifically, the building where she held the homeless animals was not — at the time — a registered animal shelter, for which she was slapped with code violations. But the larger indignity was to follow — authorities said that she gave the animals antibiotics and ointments while they were in her care, and for that she was charged with practicing veterinary medicine without a license.
She claimed she had no choice but to administer the medicines herself — medicines that she said could be purchased over the counter, because there were no licensed veterinarians on duty.
“Our mission was to save as many animals from the flood that we could. We went through Hurricane Matthew and it was horrible. There were many preventable deaths.”
OUTRAGEOUS – Tammie Hedges gave care and shelter to dozens of animals left behind during the natural disaster Hurricane Florence – and now she has been arrested and is being investigated for practicing as a vet without a license. PLEASE LIKE IF YOU WANT INVESTIGATORS TO BACK OFF! pic.twitter.com/vwRmhBMBMr
— Vinnie Politan (@VinniePolitan) September 23, 2018
The case caused an intense public backlash, and this week — according to WBIR-TV (Knoxville) — the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office decided that charging Hedges for her kind deeds wasn’t in the best interest of justice and public order.
In a statement, Wayne County District Attorney Matthew Delbridge said that he only acted out of concern for the animals. First, he noted that his office was concerned about the animals not being in a safe place during the storm.
“The removal of animals from a building that failed to meet suitable standards for license as an animal shelter and away from the control of this defendant who has previously been censured for the unauthorized practice of veterinary medicine was a prudent decision made with the best interest of the animals in mind.”
He also expressed concern that Hedges may have been scamming donors.
“This was especially true in light of her taking advantage of a dire situation to solicit money and opioid narcotics from our generous and well-intentioned citizens.”
Hedges’ ordeal is far from over, however. The North Carolina Veterinary Medical Board will be reviewing the case, and the board could move to deny Hedges a license to operate her shelter in the future.