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26 dogs removed from north Forsyth mobile home available for adoption Saturday


The Forsyth County Animal shelter is at 4065 County Way, off Ga. 400 in north Forsyth. The shelter is open for adoptions from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Adoption fees are $85 per animal. For more information, call (678) 965-7185 or visit or


* Related content: Man charged with animal cruelty after 30 dogs found in home.

NORTH FORSYTH — Twenty-six dogs rescued last month from what were described as deplorable conditions at a mobile home in north Forsyth will be available for adoption beginning Saturday at the Forsyth County Animal Shelter.

The dogs, 12 puppies and 14 adults, are small and “just a mix of all kinds,” said Jeanie Curphey, shelter manager. There are five female and seven male puppies. Of the adults, eight are girls and six are boys.

“They have some Chihuahua features and then they have some Jack Russell [terrier] features,” Curphey said. “Some of them even seem to have some Corgi features. It’s just a mix of all kinds of dogs.”

Citing the conditions of the home where the dogs were found, Curphey said some of the adults will require extra patience, though they have made strides at the shelter.

“Everything is a new experience to them,” Curphey said. “Going outside is a new experience, being around a lot of people ... obviously, they don’t mind other dogs, because they live around other dogs, so that’s not an issue.”

She said the puppies, which are about 3 months old, were less impacted by their environment and behave normally.

Not all of those rescued are available yet for adoption, including two who are still timid and a female that recently had puppies.

All of the dogs have been spayed or neutered and have received their rabies vaccinations and will be microchipped upon adoption.

A court order on March 24 enabled the shelter to begin the process of preparing the animals for adoption, according to a county news release.

The dogs have been housed and cared for at the animal shelter since February, when they were removed from a single-wide trailer on Franklin Goldmine Road.

The man in whose home the dogs were found, 59-year-old Billy Ray Shirley has been charged with 30 counts of animal cruelty by the Forsyth County Sheriff’s animal control unit.

The charges stemmed from a call the sheriff’s office received Feb. 3 from an area hospital, whose staff was concerned about remarks Shirley made.

Shirley had arrived at the hospital “with complaints of stomach pains. Staff documented that he was covered in feces,” according to an incident report.

The hospital staff who called the sheriff’s office said there were “even dead cockroaches stuck in the feces.”

Shirley apparently explained he had more than 20 dogs in his home — though he was unsure exactly how many — and wanted to “find new homes for them.”

He said his backyard was missing a gate, so he could not let them out.

Executing a search warrant at the home, deputies initially found 27 Jack Russell terriers, one of which was dead. About 10-12 thought to be 5 weeks old were found on a bed.

Trash, broken furniture and feces could be seen in the yard and inside the home, according to the report.

Three more dogs were found the next day during a second search.

Epifanio Rodriguez, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office, said it was rewarding to see the dogs’ turnaround.

“These animals came out of a deplorable situation,” he said. “And now that we see them, they look healthy, they look good, they’re in a situation now [where] they’re able to be adopted out to families that are willing to take care of them.”

Curphey said those wanting to adopt must come to the shelter and talk to a worker who can find the right pet for them.

“Even though they’re all from the same situation, they don’t all act the same,” she said. “They have different personalities. Some will be better with kids.”