One by one, more than 500 dogs with matted fur, sunken eyes and protruding ribs were pulled from overcrowded stalls filled dirt, horse manure and feces, a rescue group said this week after federal judge barred an Iowa man from breeding and selling dogs.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture accused Daniel Gingerich of Seymour, Iowa, of violating the Animal Welfare Act at least 100 times in six months and of hiding sick dogs from inspectors, according to a Department of Justice complaint. 

The Justice Department said Gingerich failed to provide 514 dogs with “adequate veterinary care, nutritious food in a sufficient quantity, potable water and housing that is both safe and sanitary,” according to a September DOJ statement. 

On Tuesday, a federal judge permanently barred Gingerich from breeding and selling dogs and ordered him to hand over the dogs to the Animal Rescue League of Iowa for care, according to court documents. Gingerich has been a USDA licensed dog breeder since October 2019. 

Gingerich’s lawyer Michael Byrne did not respond immediately to our request for comment.

According to Sheriff Keith Davis, the Wayne County sheriff’s department is currently investigating all reports and civil citations over the coming weeks in order to build a prosecution case. He stated that no criminal charges had been filed. 

Davis stated, “We want him to be unable to do it again.”

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which has helped with rescue efforts, called the conditions “horrific” and said many dogs were untreated for painful injuries and illnesses, and many had matted fur and were in cages that were too small.

Last month, the ASPCA, the Animal Rescue League of Iowa and other agencies began sending the dogs to shelters. On Tuesday more than 200 dogs had already been rescued. The dogs that remain on Gingerich’s property are receiving daily care, the ASPCA said.

According to the Animal Rescue League of Iowa, this was the largest portion of the “massive operations”. It began on Facebook when rescue teams took “dog after pet dog” from overcrowded kennels and carried them all to clean crates where they could begin the next chapter of life.”.

In July, inspectors found “a number of dogs hidden in filthy horse stalls covered in a thick layer of dirt, horse manure and dog feces,” the DOJ complaint said. Two dogs were found dead and another died in the course of inspection.

In September, inspectors discovered a “severely emaciated” golden retriever and dogs with painful, untreated eye conditions, poor dental health, overgrown toenails and swollen legs.

DOJ also stated that the DOJ found multiple cases of distemper virus and parvovirus in dogs who were fed toxic, moldy food and not given water.

Dogs are cared for at an emergency shelter after being rescued from Daniel Gingerich, an Iowa breeder who was ordered by a U.S. District Court judge to surrender his dogs after the USDA said he had violated the Animal Welfare Act more than 100 times.

“Our hearts broke when we learned of the situation so many dogs are living through.” said Geoff Hall, president of Wayside Waifs, a Missouri-based animal protection organization helping rescue the dogs.

Some of the dogs in the shelter are already pregnant.

On its website, the ARL accepts donations for rescue and care.

Contact News Now Reporter Christine Fernando at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter at @christinetfern.


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