Sunday, September 20, 2009

91 dogs, cat, bird seized from Coweta home By Alexis Stevens The Atlanta Journal-Constitution The more than 90 dogs rescued from crowded conditions

By Alexis Stevens

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The more than 90 dogs rescued from crowded conditions at a Coweta County residence are undergoing veterinary check-ups and grooming this weekend in hopes of being adopted to loving homes.


This 5- to 6-week-old puppy is one of 15 puppies in the group.

Atlanta Humane Society President Carl Leveridge said the Australian shepherd rescues taken from Sue Ann Kelly range in age from nursing puppies to seniors. Many may be available for adoption starting Sunday or Monday, he said.

Kelly was allowed to keep four of her dogs, surrendering 91 of the other shepherds, along with a cat and a bird, to authorities Thursday.

“She was unwilling to surrender some animals,” said Miguel Abi-Hassan with the Atlanta Humane Society. “Those animals are going to stay on the property, but are going to be sterilized.”

Kelly was cited for having too many animals on her property. But if she has the four dogs remaining at her home sterilized within the next 30 days, the citations will be dismissed, officials said.


One-year-old Australian shepherds check out their temporary home.

A neighbor on Millard Farmer Road, in a rural area outside of Newnan, tipped local animal control officials about Kelly’s dogs.

“When he got there, he discovered that there were many dogs,” said Patricia Palmer, Coweta County spokeswoman.

The animal control officer got the state Department of Agriculture involved. Kelly didn’t have a license to breed dogs, and didn’t have adequate room for that many pets, officials said. Some of the animals were living under Kelly’s home, Abi-Hassan said.

The Coweta animal shelter doesn’t have room for that many animals either. That’s where Abi-Hassan’s team got involved.

The Humane Emergency Action Response Team (H.E.A.R.T) transported the dogs to its facility on Howell Mill Road for medical treatment. Four or five of the dogs are in critical condition, Abi-Hassan said. At least 40 will need very basic care, including having their teeth checked and hair brushed.

“Most of these animals have never seen a leash,” Abi-Hassan said.

However, Leveridge said the dogs have sweet, mild temperaments. He also noted around 40 of the dogs are considered to be miniature Australian shepherds.

In a separate case, the Atlanta Humane Society’s H.E.A.R.T. team is also on its way to rescuing 27 small-breed dogs from a puppy mill in Walker County, he said Friday.

Those interested in giving a new home to the dogs should call 404-875-5331 or visit to see the available pets.

- Staff writer Katie Leslie contributed to this report.