Further charges are expected involving the vast animal cruelty case in which more than 100 German shepherd dogs were rescued from two counties.
Angela Felinda Powell, 51, of Marlon Road in Ailey, was charged with animal cruelty after Candler County residents contacted the Candler County Sheriff’s Office about several adult German shepherds being kept at a Donnell Road location under what Sheriff John Miles called “deplorable” conditions.
But there could be more charges pending in Candler County, as well as in Montgomery County, where Powell reportedly kept possibly up to 400 dogs in a poor environment.
Miles had been aware of a large number of dogs being placed at the Donnell Road property and was “watching” the situation, he said.
Residents complained of barking, yelping and sounds of fighting, but on Jan. 2, when citizens showed proof of the vile conditions in which the dogs were living, Miles took immediate action in executing a search warrant. He said he was appalled at what he found.
There were “numerous dogs in pens in deplorable conditions,” he said. “Evidence of cruelty was discovered.”
Miles contacted the Atlanta Humane Society Animal Cruelty Unit for immediate help. Soon, an army of volunteers from six area county animal control agencies, over 20 animal rescue organizations, 15 individuals and a number of other agencies took action to find homes and humane care for 163 dogs. Three others were euthanized, and one escaped a rescue facility, Miles said.
“This is the worst incident of cruelty to animals in this county in recent memory,” he said. “These dogs were living in mud, urine and feces. I sincerely appreciate the effort that everyone involved put forth into investigating the case and getting these animals the care that they needed.”
The case was “a large undertaking for this office,” coming at the same time as another high-priority case in Candler County.
The dog cruelty case “is still very much an active investigation,” he said. “We fully anticipate more charges on Powell.”
Also involved in the rescue efforts were the Candler Industrial Authority, the Effingham County Sheriff’s Office, the Port Wentworth Police Department, the Georgia Animal Association, the Georgia Department of Agriculture and the Georgia Farm Center.
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.