Not all dog breeders are created equal. The title “breeder” has been cast in an incredibly negative light, and there is certainly a huge push for “adopt don’t shop,” but there is also a huge difference between a person who occasionally raises healthy, tested, loved, vetted and stable dogs and someone who churns out puppies purely for cash.
Daniel Gingerich of Iowa appears to be the latter.
Last year, the USDA filed an indictment against Gingerich. On Friday, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that Gingerich was relinquishing his dogs.
“In a consent decree entered on Nov. 2 by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa, Daniel Gingerich, an Iowa dog breeder, has agreed to revocation of his Animal Welfare Act (AWA) dealer license, a permanent prohibition on engaging in any activity that requires an AWA license, and the surrender of more than 500 dogs and puppies to the Animal Rescue League of Iowa,” the DOJ’s statement read.
“Gingerich had amassed over 100 citations by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) inspectors in only six months for violations of the AWA, including for the failure to provide an emaciated golden retriever veterinary care, failure to provide potable water and feeding dogs moldy food and food contaminated with wood chips.
“Gingerich was also cited for failing to follow an appropriate vaccine regime, which resulted in outbreaks of Parvovirus and distemper, both highly contagious but easily preventable diseases.”
While many are relieved that the operation was shut down, that means hundreds of dogs in questionable condition will need medical care, supplies, food and new homes.
Gingerich owned several properties and agreed to turn over more than 500 animals to the Animal Rescue League of Iowa, which is working to send the dogs out to several other shelters scattered over the Midwest.
According to the Bailing Out Benji Facebook group, which works to bring an end to puppy mills and has been keeping people informed about this case, the dog breeds include “Australian Shepherds, Cocker Spaniels, Poodles, Teddy Bears, Corgis, Bichons, Pomskies, Labradoodles, Goldendoodles, Lhasa Apsos, Pomeranians, Beagles, Wheaton Terriers, Samoyeds, Huskies, Chows, Golden Retrievers, Pekingese and so many more ‘designer mixes’ of the breeds listed above.”
The group also said it took a monumental effort to move all the dogs to a staging area so they could be identified and assessed before being moved on to the shelters.
“All of the dogs were first brought to the Wayne County Fairgrounds in Corydon, Iowa where they were checked by a veterinarian,” a post read. “This documentation is crucial in case there are animal cruelty, neglect or torture charges pressed. This massive effort was led by the ASPCA and the Animal Rescue League of Iowa.
“Once the animals were checked out, other area shelter partners of the ARL and ASPCA stepped in to help transport the dogs to their facilities. These places include: Wayside Waifs, Wisconsin Humane Society, Animal Rescue Corps, and Cedar Bend Humane Society, Inc. From here, it will be up to each organization to provide vetting for the animals and then find adoptive homes for these puppy mill survivors, who will need a lot of love and patience.”
While the case didn’t close fast enough in the opinion of many rescuers, at least the dogs are in better, more caring hands now.