Friday, September 21, 2018


I was a little worried, because reading this story about a woman in North Carolina who offered to keep pets for storm evacuees who couldn’t afford to board them was coming dangerously close to renewing my faith in humanity.

After all, our elected officials in Washington work very hard to present examples of what happens when pure, refined, unadulterated ambition gets let loose: It feeds, first on everyone else and then on the possessor’s character and credibility until nothing is left. But here we have a woman who was worried about animals in the face of potential flooding from Hurricane Florence. People may not take pets with them when they evacuate, either because the people are human-shaped homunculi built from offal or because they know they can’t pay the cost to board them somewhere safe. But Tammie Hedges offered low-income families and the elderly a place where their animals would be watched, in a warehouse above the flood line. She, 17 cats and 10 dogs rode out the storm safe and dry. Something like that can make you wonder if you’ve been mistaken and your misanthropy is unwarrranted.

Comes the hour, comes the man, in the form of a county animal control supervisor who nailed Hedges and her fledgling nonprofit shelter (she’d been planning to set one up and had the warehouse ready but no permit) for operating an unlicensed animal shelter. Rather than do something like say, “OK, you need to get these animals back to their owners ASAP,” or, “In a couple days or so any you still have need to be brought over to us,” animal control officers told Hedges and the others to sign all of the animals over immediately or they would be back with a warrant to seize them. And they opened an investigation into the unlicensed shelter to boot, with the potential of charges — as yet unspecified.

It’s nice to know that even in the aftermath of a major hurricane government bureaucrats are still fully capable of fulfilling their function of being utter jerks.

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