Wayne County animal control officers confiscated 27 dogs and cats from a temporary emergency shelter Monday that was being run by volunteers with Crazys Claws N Paws rescue.
Frank Sauls, animal services manager for Wayne County, said there is an ongoing investigation with animal control services and could not say what the charge would be.
“If we didn’t feel like anything was being done wrong, we would not have taken (the animals),” he said. “But that is for the courts to decide.”
Sauls also could not say how animal control services knew about the temporary emergency shelter located in a warehouse in Rosewood.
“All that will come out, if the case goes to court,” he said. “But at this point, it’s very early in the investigation.”
Tammie Hedges, who runs Crazys Claws N Paws, signed the dogs over to animal control.
All of them were taken to the Wayne County Animal Adoption and Education Center.
“We were trying to help abandoned animals,” Hedges said. “We knew North Carolina didn’t have any regulations or laws regarding shelters for animals.
“So a group of us got together to do something to help those animals is why we opened our building to them so they’d have a safe dry place to go until their owners returned to get them.
“I had not gone out and gotten any animals, but a couple of independent rescuers had gotten some from flooded areas and brought them to me.”
Kathie Davidson, a Crazys Claws N Paws volunteer, was at the shelter when the animals were confiscated.
She said the building that was being used as a temporary emergency shelter will eventually be a registered animal shelter, but isn’t currently.
“Since she had space, Tammy had not opened as a shelter, she just wanted to be able to provide a place for the animals,” Davidson said. “Each one had its own cage or playpen, its own water, its own food, and cats had their own litter box. There was a kennel set up with pads that dogs could be taken to to use the bathroom.
“All of this was inside, dry as a bone. Someone stayed all night, so the animals were never left alone.”
Davidson said animal control officers said Hedges was breaking the law and took the pets.
“One officer specifically told me that Tammie was operating a shelter without a permit,” she said.
Davidson said whenever rescuers found an abandoned pet in flooded areas, they made a note of the address where it was found so they could contact owners after the water receded and they could be reunited with their pets.
“It’s very disturbing this happened,” Hedges said. “We were just trying to help animals. That’s what we do.
“I am very disheartened that people who try to have a voice for animals are shut down.”