NC Woman Face Charges For Sheltering Pets in Unregistered Shelter During Florence

NC Woman Face Charges For Sheltering Pets in Unregistered Shelter During Florence

NC Woman Face Charges For Sheltering Pets in Unregistered Shelter During Florence

Rain-swollen rivers in North and SC kept rising on Sunday and were forecast to remain at flood level for days, the National Weather Service said more than a week after the landfall of Hurricane Florence, already blamed for at least 40 deaths.

'We had an elderly couple, they were evacuating that afternoon, and there was no way they could take 18 animals with them'.

Law enforcement, however, saw her effort to keep the animals dry and safe as a violation of the law. She has been charged with practicing veterinary medicine without a license while the pets were in her care.

"Well, we can add "washing fish off of the interstate" to the long list of interesting things firefighters get to experience!" the department said on Facebook.

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Hedges is charged with a dozen counts of misdemeanor practice/attempt veterinary medicine without a license and one count of solicitation of a schedule IV controlled substance.

She was able to bring 27 animals - 17 cats and 10 dogs - into the warehouse, where volunteers stayed with them 24 hours a day as the storm was wreaking havoc on the Carolinas.

The suspect said she was contacted by someone from Wayne County Animal Control soon after the storm passed and threatened to obtain a warrant for her arrest if she did not surrender the animals.

"We were trying to help abandoned animals", Hedges said.

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She's in the process of converting a warehouse space along Route 581 into a shelter.

Animal services turned the case over to the Wayne County District Attorney's Office, according to a release from the county.

With the storm approaching, Hedges said she raised money through donations which enabled her to buy crates, food, and other supplies. The nonprofit - which serves Wayne, Johnston, Lenoir and Wilson counties - now operates out of pet foster homes.

Cooper said DOT officials were able to quickly identify sections that needed fix and a contractor was sent to the site to begin repairs Sunday afternoon.

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Some strengthening is expected in coming days, but forecasters say Kirk is likely to begin weakening later in the week. More than a week after Hurricane Florence made landfall in the Carolinas, at least 44 people have died.

The chairman of the House Appropriations Committee said the money would be available as grants to states to help rebuild housing and public works, and assist businesses as they recover from the storm.

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