by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
A Wayne County, N.C., woman is facing more than a dozen criminal charges for daring to take care of some pets during Hurricane Florence.
… [Tammie] Hedges runs a nonprofit called Crazy’s Claws N’ Paws — which helps take care of animals in need by giving them things like microchipping and medical care and finding them permanent homes — and the building was in an “easily accessible” area that had not been affected by the flooding. She was able to take in 17 cats and ten dogs, and she cared for them with the help of some donated supplies and devoted volunteers. …
… The problem? Although Crazy’s is currently working on “renovating a shelter site,” it is not a licensed animal shelter, which means that Hedges’s kindness is being rewarded with criminal charges. …
… [A]rresting Hedges for what she did is absolutely absurd. I mean, seriously — it’s not as if she was running some kind of undercover drug ring that sells dope to children. She was simply trying to help some displaced animals out of the kindness of her own heart. These animals could very well have died without her, and facing charges for saving lives just doesn’t seem right. The purpose of the law should be to punish people who create harm, not people who reduce it.
In general, I view this situation the same way that I view cops shutting down children’s lemonade stands for not being licensed. In other words, I view it as stupid. After all, I’ve yet to hear a single story of something bad happening because someone drank one of these illegally sold glasses of lemonade, so it’s not like these cops are protecting anyone. Similarly, none of the sources covering what happened to Hedges have offered a single example of a single animal being hurt because of what she did.