Joy Wise, 63, and husband Guerry Wise, 79, both of Cumming, were arrested on misdemeanor charges and are set to appear before Cherokee State Court Judge Alan Jordan for arraignment Sept. 24, court documents show.
Joy Wise, who owns Heavenly Farm Kennel with her husband, turned herself in to authorities July 29, and was released July 31 on a $107,000 bond, Lt. Jay Baker of the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office said.
Guerry Wise remained in custody at the Cherokee County Adult Detention Center Tuesday, and his bond was set for $118,100, Baker said.
Joy Wise was initially cited for violation of county ordinances in May, after authorities visited the kennel and said the animals were being kept in deplorable conditions and did not have proper medical care.
She was cited by the Marshal’s Office for 264 animal cruelty offenses and 264 animal neglect offenses, as well as an ordinance violation for operating without a business license, court records showed.
Lt. Col. Ron Hunton of the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office said the ordinance violations were upgraded to criminal charges because of “the egregious nature of the offenses, the condition these dogs were in and the way they were being treated.”
“It went way beyond an ordinance violation,” Hunton said Tuesday.
Guerry Wise was not cited in May because his wife claimed ownership of the dogs, officials said. However, he “later claimed ownership in the kennel,” and was charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty along with his wife, Hunton said.
In the warrants taken out for Joy Wise’s arrest, Cherokee County Marshal Sgt. Kevin Roach stated she “willfully and intentionally caused unjustified physical pain and suffering to 359 dogs.”
“She housed the animals in deplorable living conditions, failed to have the animals receive proper veterinary care and treatment, and neglected to have the animals receive proper rabies inoculations,” the warrant said.
A second warrant for her arrest stated Wise mistreated seven rabbits by “willfully withholding water and food.”
One condition of Joy Wise’s bond, documents show, was that she must not possess or have, or be in contact with, any animal “whatsoever.” She must also stay away from “any business or location where animals are likely to be present.”
The bond documents also state that Wise cannot engage in the sale or breeding of animals, or own any animal.
The Cherokee Marshal’s Office began investigating the kennel after a complaint in May, Roach said.
“A lady from North Carolina had bought a puppy from there and the puppy got sick and died,” Roach said in July. “When animal control and marshals went out to the property, they saw all the dogs in cages and different deplorable conditions.”
When authorities went back to the property in July to check if conditions had improved, Roach said “the property had gotten worse and actually, they had brought more dogs in.”
The animals were seized July 16, and taken to the Cherokee County animal Shelter. The shelter had to close for business for a day while the dogs were examined, cleaned and given medical attention.
At this time, the animals seized from the kennel are not available for adoption, shelter officials said, until the issue is worked out in court.
When the dogs become available for adoption, they will be posted online at Adoptapet.com and announced through the shelter’s Facebook webpage.