Case Closed in Cherokee County Puppy Mill Bust

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One of the puppy mill dogs, who gave birth shortly after their rescue. (Photo: Cherokee Tribune)

Joy and Guerry Wise, the couple who owned and operated a massive puppy mill in Cherokee County, GA have now pled guilty to 25 counts of animal cruelty as part of a plea deal.

They'll be on probation for the next 25 years, and were required to pay $1,305 each in court fines.

The Wises must not be involved with anyone who breeds and sells animals, and must get rid of all the cages and equipment that they used to operate their massive puppy mill operation.

Additionally, they must take down all the websites associated with their business, and cannot possess more than three dogs, all of which much be spayed or neutered. The Fourth Amendments rights to their property have been waived, and they will be subject to an inspection in March of next year.

Here I am rescuing one of the puppies that had just been born at the puppy mill.

Here I am rescuing one of the puppies that had just been born at the puppy mill.

I feel honored to have been part of the team that took down this operation and gave these dogs their first taste of freedom. The Cherokee County Marshal's Office and the Cherokee County Animal Shelter were determined to get these dogs out of the hellish conditions they were living in. It was apparent that most of the dogs had little to no human contact, as they just froze when they were picked up, unsure of what was happening or how to react.

While I do wish that the Wises had a harsher sentence, I believe that as long as their activities are closely monitored, they will not be able to subject any more innocent lives to their greedy undertakings.

This puppy mill was busted because of a complaint received by a person who bought one of the Wises' puppies and felt that there was something suspicious going on. While sometimes we may feel helpless in putting an end to this type of cruelty, there are proactive ways you can help put an end to puppy mills:

  • Never purchase a puppy from a pet store or the Internet
  • Adopt your next pet!
  • Don't shop at pet stores that sell puppies
  • Educate family and friends about puppy mills and the dangers of purchasing a puppy online or at a pet store
  • Get involved! Know the laws in your area, and work with your local legislation to pass stricter laws regarding animal welfare
  • If you or someone you know has bought a puppy from a pet store or online that has shown signs of illness or neglect, you can file a complaint with the AKC, with animal control, or the Better Business Bureau. More info here. 

It's my hope that with stronger laws and more public awareness about puppy mills, more dogs can be rescued from these miserable conditions.


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Positively Expert: Victoria Stilwell

Victoria Stilwell is a world-renowned dog trainer best known as the star of the internationally acclaimed TV series, It’s Me or the Dog. A bestselling author, Stilwell frequently appears in the media as a pet expert and is widely recognized and respected as a leader in the field of animal behavior.


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