Kennel owner files for custody hearing
by Michelle Babcock
July 20, 2014 01:01 AM | 4375 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The owner of the kennel where authorities seized hundreds of dogs from what they called “deplorable condition” gave notice Thursday to the Cherokee Marshal’s Office she wants a hearing to try and regain custody of the animals.

Interim Chief Marshal Kevin Roach said Joy Wise, the owner of Heavenly Kennel on Cumming Highway, filed the hearing request with the Marshal’s Office and animal control Thursday. The request came after Roach notified the owner of her right for a hearing, as required by state law.

“The owner did file the papers for a hearing to take place,” Roach said Friday.

While a date for the hearing had not been set as of Friday, Georgia law states “Within 30 days after receiving a written request for a hearing, the government agency having custody of the animal shall hold a hearing.”

If a hearing officer decides the dogs were improperly impounded, the animals would be returned to the kennel owner, according to the law.

But if the hearing officer determines the animals were lawfully impounded, they could authorize the Cherokee County Animal Shelter to allow for adoption of the dogs.

According to state law, the hearing will be open to the public.

Wise could not be reached for comment Friday.

Wise was cited in May for 264 animal cruelty offenses, 264 animal neglect offenses and a violation of county ordinance for operating the kennel without a business license, court records show.

Wise is now expected to appear before the State Court of Cherokee County for arraignment Aug. 27 at 9 a.m., where she will have the ability to enter a plea of either guilty or not guilty, court records show.

Wise previously pleaded not guilty to the charges in Magistrate Court on Tuesday, and the case was transferred to State Court after Wise requested a jury trial.

More than 350 dogs and several bunnies were seized from Wise’s kennel Tuesday afternoon, Roach said, after conditions at the site had worsened when officers went for a compliance check at the property.

No arrests had been made as of Friday, but Roach said criminal charges are a possibility.

Meanwhile, the Cherokee County Animal Shelter was flooded with the hundreds of animals on short notice, and Director Susan Garcia has asked for specific donations to help take care of the dogs.

A wish list was created online at

“We prefer they look at our wish list for this so we don’t get stuff we don’t need,” Garcia explained, adding the wish list includes items specifically needed for the hundreds of rescue dogs taken from the kennel.

Garcia said none of the dogs will be available for adoption until the case is settled.

Monetary donations can be made online at or checks can be mailed to the Cherokee County Animal Shelter at 1015 Univeter Road, Canton, GA 30115.

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