After 300 German Shepherds were rescued from what appears to be an illegal breeding operation, volunteers started working on rehabilitating the dogs. One group that stepped up to the plate – the Gwinnett Jail Dogs Program, which has accepted two new Jail Dogs into its inmate rehabilitation program.
According to a Facebook post from Gwinnett Jail Dogs Program, police officers and other volunteers made the trip to Montgomery, near Savannah, and brought 30 dogs to the metro Atlanta area. Two of those dogs are now officially in the Jail Dog program.
“For now, we are giving (the dogs) time to decompress and enjoy being pampered and loved,” the group posted on Facebook.
Jail Dogs works to save dogs from Gwinnett County Animal Control and prepare them for adoption. The animals get prepped for adoption with full vet and medical care – along with love from inmates at Gwinnett County Detention Center. Up to 15 dogs can be housed at the jail at one time, and they are assigned to a primary inmate handler, according to the group’s website. The dogs sleep in their handler’s cell and trainers help teach the inmates how to take care of the dogs.
Over 400 dogs have been rescued, trained and adopted into new families since the program started in 2010. Officials said it not only saves dogs but benefits the inmates as well, to give them experiences in dog training and learning how to care for others.
The German Shepherds recovered from two locations in Montgomery and Candler counties will need extensive care. Officials say the dogs’ owner, Angela Powell, could be criminally charged for every animal found abused – which officials say is about 300 dogs.
"Beautiful dogs, loving dogs, that were living in the most horrific conditions," said Grace Hamlin, an animal advocate who works with W-Underdogs. She visited the site in Montgomery where over 165 of the dogs were held. "It's really heartbreaking, because she could have gotten away with it."
According to the Atlanta Humane Society, the "most medically in-need" dogs will be brought to their Alpharetta and West Midtown locations.
"All of the animals will be assessed and given a basic medical exam on-site, and we are working tirelessly to find safe and appropriate placement for all of the dogs," said Amanda Harris of the Atlanta Humane Society.