Massive effort to save 500+ dogs from Iowa Puppy Mill

By on November 10, 2021
Daniel Gingerich puppy mill surrender

If you have been at all interested in advocacy for puppies and parents in commercial dog breeding facilities, you’ve likely read or heard the name Daniel Gingerich. His puppy mill, Maple Hill Farms, has been pumping out puppies and kitties for years, and his pet store customer base reaches across the country. For a bit of background on Gingerich and the current state of his sad operation, click here. Any number of things you can read at the link just mentioned are horrifying, but here are a couple of facts that tell the story:

His mill has been inspected by the USDA nearly 20 times since 2019, and in all but four cases, he’s been in violation of the very forgiving standards. A couple of the inspections included critical violations. Those violations include dead dogs on the premises, severely malnourished animals, etc… You get the picture.

A recent round of inspections produced enough for authorities to file a lawsuit against Daniel Gingerich of Maple Hill Puppies as he’d incurred over 190 animal welfare violations in 2021. He’s since agreed to surrender over 500 animals to rescuers and a permanent breeding ban.

The work of local and national puppy mill advocates leads to big news like this periodically, and we’re thankful. This is a victory for them and the animals, but there’s still much work to do. As long as people continue to buy dogs from pet stores, there will be demand for commercially-bred dogs from the mills. Education, awareness, and advocacy are keys to continuing progress. For more on what you can do, check out Bailing Out Benji’s website here, and never forget to adopt when you are looking for a new companion animal.

To the rescue effort.

News and needs are ever-evolving in this case, so we’ve been relying on the folks with their boots on the ground. Below, find a recent Facebook message from our friends at Bailing Out Benji. If you’re able to help and are interested in advocating for puppy mill pups, Benji is a wonderful place to send support.

Many of you have asked how it is even possible to rescue more than 500 dogs at one time from a puppy mill. That answer is teamwork! It started off by creating a base where the animals could immediately get checked out by a veterinarian and identified. All of the dogs were first brought to the Wayne County Fairgrounds in Corydon, Iowa where they were checked by a veterinarian. 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. Many of you have asked what kinds of breeds were surrendered by Daniel Gingerich. Based on the list we received of the more than 500 dogs surrendered recently here are some of the most common breeds: 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. In order to stay updated on their adoption status and to donate, please follow the animal organizations above. As far as the status of Daniel Gingerich’s puppy mill: His license will officially be revoked by the USDA and he is permanently barred from doing ‘AWA regulated activities’ which includes selling puppies to pet stores or ‘sight unseen’ through websites. This does not prevent him from obtaining a state license to breed in Ohio or other states he might move to. As always our research team at Bailing Out Benji will be keeping an eye on as many sale documents as we can to determine whether or not he goes against the USDA and the Department of Justice. At this time, the Wayne County Sheriff (Iowa) has not pressed animal cruelty, neglect or torture charges. In a recent interview Sheriff Keith Davis says criminal charges are coming, although he didn’t say what they would be or when. For those of you who have been following our efforts since August, we cannot thank you enough. We have been working so hard to make sure this case stayed very public and, because of that, these animals were able to be rescued and not sold at a puppy mill auction. Most of the time, puppy mill owners are allowed to sell off their dogs to recoup for legal fees or for their own profit because the animals are considered property. Because of all of YOU and your help getting this case out there, the dogs who suffered at the hands of Daniel Gingerich are forever free.

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