Iowa puppy mill owner Daniel Gingerich has been hurting dogs for many years, but his horrific actions have finally come to an end. Gingerich ran a business called Maple Hill Puppies, which sold dogs through several puppy mills in the state. In the past two years, Gingerich was accused of 190 violations of the Animal Welfare Act.
The Animal Rescue League of Iowa (ARL) saved over 500 dogs from deplorable conditions. Most of them are traumatized, weak, and malnourished. Some dogs were even found dead on the properties. Finally, officials are getting involved to ensure that Gingerich never treats animals this way again.
Hundreds of Dogs Head to Better Lives
Animal rescuers were horrified as they entered the puppy mills to rescue the dogs one by one. Dogs of all ages had matted fur, protruding ribs, and sunken eyes. They were kept in overcrowded horse stalls that were covered in dirt, feces, and horse manure.
Many of the dogs had severe health conditions that had been left untreated. Gingerich had offered them moldy food and contaminated water. Most of them weren’t vaccinated against contagious canine viruses, such as parvovirus and distemper. There were dogs with eye infections, overgrown nails, swollen legs, and rotting teeth. It was one of the worst situations animal advocates had ever seen.
“These are animals that are forced to live a life of servitude,” ARL Animal Services Director Joe Stafford said. “So for those animals, they will require medical and psychological rehabilitation to be taught how to be pets.”
The rescue took in both adult dogs and puppies. Many of the full-grown dogs are pregnant or have newborn puppies. So, the rescue is working hard to make sure all the dogs are healthy and cared for. Once they’re in good shape, they’ll be put up for adoption.
USDA Bans Dog Breeder
Gingerich’s puppy mills were licensed by the USDA. However, an inspection in July revealed many ill dogs hidden in horse stalls. The inspector found two dead dogs, and another dog died while they were there. Since then, officials have taken action as rescue groups rush to bring all the dogs to safety.
A federal judge banned Gingerich from breeding and selling dogs in the future. It’s unclear if there will be further punishments, but animal advocates believe Gingerich is taking this situation too lightly. Gingerich admits what he did, but shows no sympathy.
“OK, so I owe a lot of money on these dogs,” Gingerich told the court. “I bit off more than I can chew … It’s nobody’s fault but my own.”
These dogs have never felt the loving touch of a human before, so adjusting to their forever families will be a rough transition. They need to find adopters who will be gentle, patient, and loving with them. Right now, the rescue is in desperate need of support, so please consider donating to the Animal Rescue League of Iowa to help fund the care of these sweet, innocent dogs.