North Carolina Woman ARRESTED for Saving 27 Cats & Dogs Without Permission (And How You Can Help)

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by Daisy Luther

A woman from Wayne County, North Carolina did the right thing during the chaos of Hurricane Florence and she got arrested for it because she didn’t ask the government’s permission.

When Tammy Hedges saw that her neighbors had left behind 27 cats and dogs when they fled Hurricane Florence, she jumped into action to save their lives.

Hedges, a resident of Wayne County, North Carolina, was taken into custody Friday after providing care to more than two dozen animals – 17 cats and 10 dogs – for owners who had to evacuate before the storm hit.

“The owners got to evacuate. They got to save themselves. But who’s going to save those animals? That’s what we did,” Hedges said. “We saved them.”

The owner of Crazy’s Claws N Paws, a donation-based animal rescue center, was in the process of converting a warehouse space into a proper animal shelter when she decided to use the building to help keep pets dry. However, her facility was not legally registered as a shelter. (source)

Horrifying. Almost unbelievable.

Except there’s precedent.

This is not unique.

This will sound familiar to those who remember the historic flood in Louisiana back in 2016 (when the Cajun Navy was formed.) Citizens organized to rescue other citizens, they set up shelters in businesses that were unaffected and they took care of each other like communities are supposed to do. They all but rendered “official” rescue unnecessary, so effective were their efforts.

Of course, the government doesn’t want citizens to realize that they are perfectly capable of rescuing themselves. If people realize that they can perform independently and that it is much better than performing within the strictures of government regulations, they will be a heck of a lot harder to control.

So, they stepped in and uttered the scariest words ever. “We’re from the government and we’re here to help.

Like a horde of modern-day carpetbaggers, they began “helping” by forcing people who were struggling to rebuild to purchase permits. That’s right. They forced people to ask for permission for the right to repair their own property

…But that isn’t the worst of it.

They also decided to charge fees to the Cajun Navy before they were “allowed” to continue rescuing people.

I couldn’t make this up…

…The Libertarian Republic reported:

No good deed goes unpunished. The Cajun Navy is a group of volunteers that operates at its own expense to rescue people trapped in flooded areas in Louisiana. They use their own boats. They risk their lives. And now that people have noticed that they are far more effective than government rescue efforts, there are plans to require them to pay a fee before they are allowed to do any good. “Don’t worry. It’s just a small fee,” legislators explain. “Maybe only fifty dollars. That would be worth it to put authority behind the Cajun Navy, wouldn’t it?”

When the Cajun Navy members said, “No thanks” to the government who wanted to train them to do what the government wasn’t even able or willing to do, they were treated like criminals.

That’s right. The government deployed the police to prevent these good Samaritans that we all wish now were our own neighbors from continuing with their efforts.

You are not allowed to save your neighbors (or your neighbors’ pets, apparently) without permission. Only with the blessing of the government (and the proper fee, of course) are you allowed to help others survive.

It’s always a money grab. ALWAYS.

They “only” wanted to charge the Cajun Navy $50 a pop to save people. Here’s the backstory from Hedges:

Cray’s Claws N’ Paws is a 501c3 nonprofit, no-kill, volunteer, foster, and donation-based animal shelter. We take in surrendered animals, primarily injured, abused, neglected, and sick. They receive all their medical care to include, but not limited, spay/neuter, rabies, vaccinations, microchip, fecal testing, heartworm test/prevention/treatment(dogs), and FelV/FIV test(cats). After all medical care is done, each animal is placed available for adoption in hopes to find their forever home.

Myself, along with independent rescuers and volunteers came together during this natural disaster to save animals. We had a plan. We had the calls for help, but we didn’t know where to put the animals. Since we recently remodeled our indoor yard sale, very little had been moved back in. We decided to use this space as our emergency disaster center.

We were not open as a shelter, although we are remodeling to become approved by the state as a shelter location. We created a Facebook post for donations of food and supplies, while volunteers came and set up.

On September 12, Frank Sauls with the Wayne County Animal Shelter made a press release stating they would be closed beginning the 13th to owner surrenders. We began rescuing on the 13th. Monday, the 17th, I received a call from Mr. Sauls saying he was at our warehouse. I met him there, along with a volunteer who was there to care for the animals. He stated he had a call saying we were flooded and asked to check on us. He asked to see inside. As we walked in, before we got to the animals, he basically said I could hand the animals over voluntarily or he would get a warrant. At this time, I made the decision to voluntarily hand them over. During the seize, Sauls did tell me I would probably be charged with a few things. As of this post, I have not been charged. We will keep everyone updated on this through our Facebook page.

Our hopes at the end of all this is for me not to be charged/fined and for some things to change in our county/state for the better (for the animals). We came together as a community during a difficult time to help. We need to continue as a community to make these changes happen.

So…she immediately turned over the animals but that didn’t stop them from turning the “case” over to the local DA, who apparently doesn’t have enough to do with all the flooding and looting.

Hedges was summarily questioned and then arrested for her good deed. Two men were sent to arrest the 4’10” women and take her to the county jail.

The charges were broken down on a Facebook post.

  • 1 count of administering amoxicillin to Big Momma
  • 1 count of administering Tramadol to Big Momma
  • 3 counts of administering amoxicillin to a white Siamese cat
  • 3 counts of administering a topical antibiotic ointment (triple antibiotic from Dollar Tree) to a white Siamese cat
  • 3 counts of administering amoxicillin to a cat known as Sweet Pea
  • 1 count of administering amoxicillin to an unnamed black kitten
  • 1 count of solicitation to commit a crime (asking for donation of Tramadol (that was supposed to be a request for a vet)).

According to the Facebook page, 18 of the animals were surrendered to Hedges already in very bad shape. No vets were open due to the flood. Was it better to let them suffer or to do what they could to help?

According to the government, Hedges shouldn’t have just let these animals suffer…she should have let them drown in the floodwaters.


I’m sick of having to “ask permission” and pay fees to do the right thing, and I think a lot of other people are too.

Here’s who you can contact to help Tammy Hedges

If you want to make your voice heard, here’s the contact information for those involved in prosecuted Ms. Hedges for being a good Samaritan. Your best bet is to be courteous when contacting them, but with a big enough outcry, hopefully, they’ll decide these charges are too much of a hassle.

Craig Honeycutt, County Manager [email protected]

Larry Pierce, Sheriff 9197311481

George Wayne Aycock, Commissioner at Large.
[email protected]

E.B. Borden Parker, County Attorney, 919-735-7275

E. Ray Mayo District 1 [email protected]

Edward Cromartie District 2
[email protected]

John M Bell District 3
[email protected]

Joe Gurley District 4
[email protected]

Bill Pate District 5
[email protected]

Joe Daughtery District 6
[email protected]

Here’s an online petition you can sign, asking for the charges to be dropped:

Here’s a fund started for Ms. Hedge’s legal defense:

It costs nothing to stir up a fuss and send some emails. If you’re as bothered by this government overreach as I am, please drop these people a line and let them know.

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Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived, and 3), an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. She is widely republished across alternative media and  Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

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  • I emailed all of the folks you listed. It took a lot of self-discipline but I was very polite and did not call them any names. Please keep updated and let us know if they drop the charges or if they persist in this nonsense.

  • Done! I sent emails to all listed above who had emails.
    This is insane! Ms. Hedges should be commended for her efforts. There is a whole bunch of stink associated with Animal Shelters currently. Not saying they are all bad but I personally know folks who have had animals taken for no good reason and financially ruined to say nothing of their reputations.
    Mr. Sauls should be whipped for such a cavalier position in telling Ms. Hedges there would probably be charges! He should have said “thank you” and we’ll take it from here!
    What an asshat-pardon my language!
    Thanks Daisy for making us aware of this situation.

  • From what your article says, Ms. Hedges was not charged with running an unlicensed shelter but rather with administering medications to the animals without being a licensed veterinarian, and with requesting the donation of one controlled substance to be administered to one of the animals. Personally, I think it’s ridiculous for her to be charged for doing those things since it is obvious she was only trying to help the animals in what was clearly an emergency situation (I’m assuming that she was not charging the owners any money to shelter their pets). I suspect the local veterinarians are the ones pushing for these charges as a way to protect their own income streams. I hope that the charges will be dropped or, if not, that she will only receive a warning or some sort of token punishment. If the State of North Carolina is charging Ms. Hedges for what seem like such minor infractions, just think how hard it would come down on a non-medical professional who provided medicines and medical assistance to an injured human victim of the Hurricane! The message seems to be: Good Samaritans take heed – be careful to whom you render aid. … That’s so sad!

  • In katrina, fema went and disconnected county law enforcement repeaters so only car to car comms were available. The sheriff dept went and reconnected everything and began operating again and fema tried to cut them off again. The sheriff posted armed guards to keep fema from monopolising comms. You can trust fema like you can trust the American red cross.

    Also a friend was there at the time and saw two gentlemen roving the streets, shooting out pole transformers in places where power was still available, saying if the hood didn’t have power, whitey got no power too. Armed citizens discouraged these gentlemen from continuing in that specific neighborhood.

  • Daisy,
    I would like to sign the petition but I refuse to use Facebook. It’s an evil organization in my book. Is there another way I could add my name to the petition?

    BTW, thank you for publicizing this atrocious abuse of government power.

  • Here’s a suggestion. When she gets an attorney, make sure that the whole TRIAL is published and that every person who can or may appear on the jury is familiar with Jury Nullification. The jury can say NOT GUILTY in spite of any or all evidence of a crime (she did not have INTENT to break the law – kinda like H. Clinton didn’t have intent to break the law by having a private email server… WINK WINK).

    With jury nullification, she gets her not guilty and then she can turn around and sue the DA and the County for malicious prosecution (she being not guilty). A couple of mill… ought to teach the DA and county a lesson.

  • I sent the following fax to the Wayne County NC sheriff and a similar fax to the DA:

    Sheriff Pierce,

    I hope you are enjoying the world wide recognition you are getting by arresting and jailing Tammy Hedges for the “crime” of rescuing and treating injured and abandoned pets during the recent flood. I guess the flood made it too stressful for the Sheriff’s Department to arrest murderers, opioid drug dealers, rapists, robbers, and looters, so you had to find something more within your capabilities, like jailing a 4’10” woman for “3 counts” of administering triple antibiotic ointment to a sick animal.

    Is this how you “provide judicious service to the community with utmost integrity in a positive and professional manner”? Is this your way of “providing sound service through ethical and humanitarian practices”? (Quotes from your website.) 

    Congratulations to the Wayne County Sheriff’s department for becoming the most famous North Carolina “police officers” since Barney Fife!


    C. David Kirby

  • I believe that the charges have been dismissed. I had an update sent to me stating she, Tammi, is waiting for confirmation on this. As I am hoping this is the case and truth, thank you everyone for speaking up and making our voices heard on her behalf and of the animals she has tried to help. We need more people like her and you!

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