Shelter adoption event gives 228 seized dogs new lives
by Jessicah Peters
August 27, 2014 04:00 AM | 2079 views | 1 1 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Trent, right, and Alisha Ellis pick out a Beagle puppy during the Happily-Ever-After Celebration at the Cherokee County Animal Shelter on Saturday.<br>Staff/C.B. Schmelter
Trent, right, and Alisha Ellis pick out a Beagle puppy during the Happily-Ever-After Celebration at the Cherokee County Animal Shelter on Saturday.
Staff/C.B. Schmelter
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The line to adopt a new furry family member at Cherokee County Animal Shelter’s Happily-Ever-After Celebration event was about as long as those seen outside stores on Black Friday.

After hundreds lined up Saturday to adopt dogs, Animal Shelter Director Susan Garcia said 50 more people were waiting outside the shelter Tuesday morning hoping for another opportunity to adopt.

Some people camped out the night before the Saturday event for a chance to pick out one of the 359 dogs that were being held at the shelter, while others took their spot in line at about 5 a.m., hours before registration officially began at 9 a.m.

The shelter had the event after receiving full custody of the more than 300 dogs and seven bunnies seized from a kennel on Cumming Highway, after authorities said the animals were being kept in “deplorable” conditions.

Kennel owner Joy Wise, 63, and her husband, Guerry, 78, were arrested and charged with 366 counts of cruelty to animals.

Out of the 359 dogs seized, 228 dogs found their forever homes and about 20 adult dogs were still available to adopt Tuesday, Garcia said.

Joy Wise requested a public hearing in order to regain custody of the animals, but after her arrest, a settlement agreement was made with the county for her to surrender all animals over to the shelter.

Linda Lullie of Ball Ground said the story about the kennel touched her and she followed up with the shelter on social media to find out when the dogs would be available to adopt.

“When the story first broke about the kennel, it kind of touched me. We had a rescue dog for a long time until it passed away two years ago. We thought it was a good time to get another for our daughter, so we decided to just head to the event,” Lullie said.

Lullie joined the event line at about 5 a.m. Saturday, spending about seven hours waiting before she took home her dachshund puppy, Luca.

“We knew to go early because it was going to be kind of like Black Friday. We finally were finished and back in the car around 12:45 p.m. It was a long day, but worth it to have a really sweet puppy,” Lullie said.

Garcia said Saturday’s event went well despite the long lines and hot weather.

“I enjoyed it all, from the first adoption by the young lady who had camped out the night before, to the last adoption processed at nearly midnight. Everyone was happy with their new pet and said it was worth the wait,” Garcia said. “It was a very positive day for shelter staff, the Marshal’s Office and volunteers as well to see these dogs go to good homes.”

Lisa Whatley, from Dallas in Paulding County, said she joined the line at 5 a.m. Saturday and finally got in to see the puppies at about 11:30 a.m.

“I always look for shelter dogs, but they rarely have small dogs. We were looking for a dog for my father, who recently lost his dog. When I woke up at 4:15 a.m. that morning and checked the shelter’s Facebook page and the line was already forming, we got in the car,” Whatley said. “When we got in to finally see the puppies around 11:30 a.m. There were only about 12 puppies left.”

Whatley adopted a female dachshund puppy and named her Heidi. Although she waited in line for more than 6 hours, Whatley said overall, the event was well-organized with friendly staff members willing to help.

“I thought it went really well. I would’ve liked to have been given a ticket with number on it because people in line wanted to go get breakfast or even use the bathroom,” Whatley said. “We also saw some people line jump and handing out a ticket would’ve helped. But people in line and the staff were really nice. We have such a great dog and we’re so happy with her.”

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Rhett Writer
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August 27, 2014
That is great! I would say that it was a most successful event. Thanks to all who made it possible.
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