Success: Charges Dropped Against Rescuer Who Saved Animals From Hurricane

Target: Matthew Delbridge, District Attorney for the 8th Judicial Circuit, North Carolina

Goal: Applaud that charges have been dropped against an animal rescuer who sheltered stranded cats and dogs during Hurricane Florence.

All charges have been dropped against the animal rescuer behind the organization known as Crazy’s Claws N Paws Animal Rescue, thanks in part to an overwhelming online response including petitions on ForceChange, such as this. Thousands of people nationwide and around the world came to the defense of animal rescuer Tammie Hedges, who faced the possibility of fines or even time in jail for her compassionate act of sheltering nearly 30 stranded cats and dogs in a warehouse shelter without first obtaining a permit.

The idea that someone could be charged with a crime for simply acting to save animals generated outrage and inspired hundreds of people to donate money to the organization and to help cover Hedges’ legal fees. In a Facebook post thanking concerned animal lovers for their support, the group stated that “this experience has unified rescues and has made our organization realize that not only do we need to be vigilant in our rescue efforts but, also in our legislative efforts to foster animal welfare laws that are conducive to actually helping owners, rescuers and animals.”

Now that these charges have been dismissed, Hedges can return to her organization’s important work of helping animals in need in Wayne County, North Carolina. Applaud the fact that this remarkable woman will not face punishment for simply doing the right thing at a desperate moment in time.


Dear District Attorney Delbridge,

You recently announced that all charges against Tammie Hedges, the organizer of Crazy’s Claws N Paws Animal Rescue, would be dropped after Wayne County animal services reported her for sheltering dozens of animals without a license during Hurricane Florence. Hedges was performing her duty as an animal rescuer by taking in these dogs and cats left stranded after their owners evacuated the area.

I applaud you for recognizing that Hedges acted out of compassion and did what any reasonable person would do when faced with the realization that innocent lives could be lost. I urge you not to file any additional charges as a result of this case so that this woman can continue her important work helping pets in need in North Carolina.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Krzysztof Belczynski


  1. This case should never have brought against Ms Hedges, rather she deserves a medal for her compassion and care for animals. Why did this lady have to suffer all this worry, it was an example of the law being an ass. Thank God common sense prevailed

  2. Margaret Melnick says:

    From what I have seen on facebook Wayne County certainly needs an animal shelter. Isn’t this just like the law attack someone for helping animals but slap the wrist of those who commit animal cruelty. Way to go Wayne County it was plain stupid to charge this women in the first place. Put a little more effort into finding animal abusers and leave the ones alone who are helping them.

    • AGREED! I can’t believe this was ever on the table to punish this woman for her soul being in the right place during a natural disaster trying to save lives… who creates these laws anyways? Thank god some common sense prevailed! What a novel idea spend the time and money finding the animal abusers and leaving the animal rescuers alone.

  3. Thus wonderful person should never have faced charges, doesn’t anyone in the area have any common sense except you- D A Delbridge you must start teaching it please

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