Georgia Criminal Defense Blog

Hundreds of Dogs Rescued and Breeder Arrested in Middle Georgia

Posted by Richard Lawson | Jan 07, 2019 | 0 Comments

A woman in Middle Georgia was arrested after over 450 dogs were rescued from two of her properties over the weekend. Belinda Powell, a German Shepherd breeder, has been accused of animal cruelty.

The majority of the dogs had serious injuries and all were found in terrible living conditions. An entire rescue operation was dedicated to saving the hundreds of dogs. Claudine Wilkins, the founder of Animal Law Source, reported, “We were walking in mud and feces up to our knees. It was so bad that the igloos that she had for the dogs were submerged in water. So there was no place for these dogs to stand in a dry spot.”

As a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, I will outline cruelty to dogs in today's post - if you are interested in donating to the cause - donations are currently being accepted through

Cruelty to Dogs in Georgia

The Georgia Code defines cruelty to dogs in Georgia in O.C.G.A. §4-8-5:

No person shall perform a cruel act on any dog; nor shall any person harm, maim, or kill any dog, or attempt to do so.

There are two exceptions to this law… First, people are allowed to harm, maim, or kill any dog to defend themselves, their property, or another from injury or damage being caused by the dog. And second, people are allowed to kill any dog causing injury or damage to any livestock, poultry, or pet animal.

Cruelty to dogs is classified as a misdemeanor in Georgia. This means that the maximum penalty can include up to $1,000 in fines and up to 12 months in jail.

Practice Note

Misdemeanor Punishments in Georgia are not to be taken lightly. Most Georgians are shocked to find out that a misdemeanor can be penalized by up to 12 months of jail time.

If you or a loved one has been arrested in Georgia, contact our offices as soon as possible. A Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney can help you with your case today by walking you through all of your options.

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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