Frank Sauls, animal services manager for the county, told the News-Argus that "if we didn't feel like anything was being done wrong, we would not have taken [the animals]". "There were many preventable deaths".
She told the publication that an elderly couple had left 18 animals with her, some of which were sick or injured. It said a newly formed subtropical storm in the North Atlantic, Leslie, was expected to dissipate in a few days.
She said volunteers stayed with the animals 24 hours a day.
"All animals who were NOT owned by Ms. Hedges were voluntarily surrendered to Wayne County Animal Services".
"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, and 1 count of solicitation to commit a crime", the non-profit writes. "All the charges are bogus". "A group of us got together to do something to help those animals".
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"I talked to one of the men that was here, and he said that she didn't have this registered as a shelter", she said. Hedges said some people had trouble getting in contact with the shelter to make arrangements while others didn't want to take their animals there.
"Of course this whole situation is unbelievable", Davidson said.
The county said it is working on checking the safety of the animals and returning them to their owners. Instead, they are now under the control of county officials. "[That's] why we opened our building to them, so they'd have a safe dry place to go until their owners returned to get them".
"Myself, along with independent rescuers and volunteers came together during this natural disaster to save animals", she said in a statement.
During that visit, she was arrested on charges including 12 counts of practicing medicine without a veterinary license.