Woman who took in pets during Florence faces charges for allegedly giving them medicine

A North Carolina animal rescuer is facing criminal charges for allegedly practicing veterinary medicine without a license while sheltering pets during hurricane-turned-tropical storm Florence.

Tammie Hedges runs Crazys Claws N Paws, an animal rescue group in Goldsboro, North Carolina. The group, which has an empty warehouse it’s converting to a shelter, offered to provide temporary housing for the pets of local people who were fleeing Florence but had nowhere for their animals to go, CCNP volunteer Leona Mozingo told HuffPost.

“We just did this to get these animals out of the weather,” Mozingo said. They took in 27 animals, including 18 cats that all belonged to one elderly couple, she said.

“The goal was to make sure [the animals] were not out there drowning,” Hedges told local news station WNCN

Hedges wrote in a statement on Facebook that Wayne County Animal Services showed up at the property on Monday and told her they had received a report that the building was flooded and were there to check out the situation.

In its own statement Friday, Wayne County said that once inside, animal services workers “developed serious concerns regarding the practice of veterinary medicine without a license and the presence of controlled substances.”

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Pets, animals fight through Hurricane Florence
A cat clings to the side of a trailer amidst flood waters before it was saved as the Northeast Cape Fear River breaks its banks in the aftermath Hurricane Florence in Burgaw, North Carolina, U.S., September 17, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Drake TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
EAST FAYETTEVILLE, NC SEP 18: Jasmine does the dog paddle as she was out in the parking lot at an apartment complex with her owner Shianna Locklear. Locklear ventured into the flooded area to check on her flooded car. -The rainy remnants of Hurricane Florence created conditions that caused local creeks and rivers to rise resulting in flooding in East Fayetteville, North Carolina. (Photo by Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer David Kelly carries a dog to safety during Tropical Storm Florence in Lumberton, North Carolina, U.S., September 16, 2018. REUTERS/Randall Hill
A cat walks through a flooded street after Hurricane Florence struck Piney Green, North Carolina, U.S., September 16, 2018. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
Members of Coast Guard Shallow-Water Response Boat Team 3 help pets stranded by floodwater caused by Hurricane Florence near Riegelwood, North Carolina, U.S. September 16, 2018. U.S. Coast Guard/Petty Officer 2nd Class Loumania Stewart/Handout via REUTERS. ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY
A wet dog waits with his owners as they await rescue from rising flood waters in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence in Leland, North Carolina, U.S., September 16, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Drake
Carla Ramm checks on her cat Jackjack after they were loaded onto a boat during their rescue from rising flood waters in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, in Leland, North Carolina, U.S., September 16, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Drake
A German Shepard is seen on a front porch on Macon Street in the flood waters caused by Hurricane Florence in Lumberton, North Carolina, U.S. September 16, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Miczek
A man and his dog get a close look at the beach from a golf cart during Hurricane Florence in Surfside Beach, South Carolina, U.S. September 14, 2018. REUTERS/Randall Hill
Roger Hedgpeth, carrying his dog Bodie, gets help getting to higher ground via the United States Coast Guard during Tropical Storm Florence in Lumberton, North Carolina, U.S. September 16, 2018. REUTERS/Randall Hill
HAMPTON, GEORGIA - Marge and Steve Durham, with their dog Seti and Saba the cat, from Myrtle Beach South Carolina park their RVs and settle into the Family Campground section of the Atlanta Motor Speedway which has been made available for evacuees fleeing Hurricane Florence's path in Hampton Georgia on Thursday September 13, 2018. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
A man walks along the street with his dog as people return to their houses after the passing of Hurricane Florence in New Bern, North Carolina, U.S., September 16, 2018. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
Amanda Mason on Newport, N.C. carries a cat she rescued from her neighborhood off of Nine Foot Road on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 16, 2018. Mason and her partner Zack McWilliams visited their damaged home and found the displaced cat and carried it out to safety. Their home was flooded by fast rising water from a tributary of the Newport River on Friday night. (Robert Willett/Raleigh News & Observer/TNS via Getty Images)
A man and his dog walk along a flooded street after the passage of tropical storm Florence in New Bern, North Carolina, U.S., September 16, 2018. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
An abandoned dog that had been trapped in a cage filling with rising floodwater stands on the steps of its caretaker's home after volunteer rescuer Ryan Nichols of Longview, Texas, freed them in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, in Leland, North Carolina, U.S., September 16, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Drake SEARCH "DRAKE DOGS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
A dog is illuminated by the flashlights and headlamps of rescue workers inside a house during Tropical Storm Florence at night in Wilmington, North Carolina, U.S., on Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018. Major poultry and�meat�companies are starting to resume operations in the Carolinas as the torrential rains and flooding unleashed by Hurricane�Florence�start to subside. Photographer: Alex Wroblewski/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Sodden cats are brought to a boat by their owner as they are rescued from rising flood waters in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, in Leland, North Carolina, U.S., September 16, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Drake
FAYETTEVILLE, NC - SEPTEMBER 16: Dana Taylor and Elizabeth Taylor (L-R) and their dog, Brownie, sit on an evacuation bus as they leave their home ahead of possible flood waters after Hurricane Florence passed through the area on September 16, 2018 in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Rain continues to inundate the region causing concern for large scale flooding after Hurricane Florence hit the North Carolina and South Carolina area. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
LUMBERTON, NC - SEPTEMBER 16: From left, Pete Cihuniec and Adam Cooper, members of Colorado Task Force 1, try to catch a dog that got away from its owner as they go door to door checking on residents during Hurricane Florence on September 16, 2018 in Lumberton, North Carolina. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
A soaked cat rests at the entrance to a trailer home after swimming there through floodwaters, before eventually being rescued, as the Northeast Cape Fear River breaks its banks after Hurricane Florence in Burgaw, North Carolina, U.S., September 17, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Drake
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Hedges voluntarily surrendered the cats and dogs to animal services, but told WNCN she did so after being told that if she did not, animal services would “go get a warrant.”

She was ultimately charged with 12 counts of misdemeanor practicing or attempting veterinary medicine without a license and one count of solicitation of a Schedule 4 controlled substance.

Mozingo told HuffPost that some of the animals that came into the care of Crazys Claws N Paws were seriously ill or injured when they arrived, and that it would have been impossible to access a veterinarian’s office during the storm.

“Everything was closed, and a lot of the roads were closed,” she said.

A statement on the Crazy Claws N Paws Facebook page said that the last charge, solicitation of a controlled substance, stemmed from Hedges “asking for [a] donation of Tramadol” ― a pain medication commonly used on dogs and cats ― that was supposed “to be a request for a vet.” It also stated that one of the counts of practicing veterinary medicine without a license was related to a topical antibiotic ointment from a Dollar Tree store. 

Hedges was released from jail on a $10,000 unsecured bond, according to the same statement.

A Wayne County representative referred HuffPost to the district attorney’s office, which did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

The animals Hedges surrendered are now in the care of animal services, which the county said is trying to reunite them with their owners. 

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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