Hundreds of puppies rescued from ‘deplorable conditions’



CANTON, Ga. — The Cherokee County Animal Shelter declared an emergency situation and shut its doors to handle nearly 360 small dogs taken from an alleged puppy mill on Tuesday, July 15.

Law enforcement and other officials seized 357 small dogs from a suspected puppy mill in Cherokee County.

The influx of dogs, many pregnant, shut down the Cherokee County Animal Shelter facility, 1015 Univeter Road in Canton, while officials check the dogs.

“None of those animals are available for adoption at this time,” a technician at the shelter said. “This is in ongoing litigation and there is no timeline available to us.”

On July 15, agents with the Cherokee County Marshal’s Office went to Heavenly Kennels in the 14000 block of Cumming Highway in Cumming, on the Cherokee/Forsyth border on a compliance check.

The dogs were in “deplorable conditions,” the compliance check found. Hours later, the agents returned with a search warrant. Veterinarians, shelter workers and law enforcement seized 357 dogs that were kept in small cages that contained feces, urine and decaying food.

Joy Wise, owner of the kennel, was operating without a license and faces 264 counts of animal cruelty.

Wise pled not guilty in magistrate court and the case was transferred to the State Court of Cherokee County, according to the Cherokee Tribune.

Cherokee County Animal Shelter will likely handle adoption for the puppies, but no date has been determined. On their Facebook page, shelter officials urged those interested to keep checking back.

Animal Shelter Director Susan Garcia told WSB Radio News the huge influx of dogs is triple the number ever brought into the shelter at one time.

Visit for adoption information. To assist the shelter with their needs, an Amazon wish list was set up at


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