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Infamous Puppy Mill Breeder Finally Turns Himself In

Written by: Molly Weinfurter
Molly Weinfurter is a writer for iHeartDogs, and she’s passionate about helping animals in need. She volunteers for Bailing Out Benji and a local dog rescue.Read more
| Published on February 25, 2022

26-year-old Daniel Gingerich got away with running a horrific puppy mill for years. He ran “Maple Hill Puppies” in Iowa, selling hundreds of dogs to 10 different states. A few months ago, Gingerich’s USDA license was revoked, and over 500 dogs were rescued from the premises. However, he didn’t face any criminal charges until now.

Gingerich, who now resides in Ohio, turned himself in. He could face a maximum jail time of eight years, but no amount of punishment will bring back the many dogs who died in his care. So, dog lovers need to keep fighting to end puppy mills once and for all!

Daniel Gingerich charged

Gingerich Faces Charges

In his last six months of operating a puppy mill, Gingerich had over 120 violations of the Animal Welfare Act. Those violations ultimately led to the rescue of more than 500 dogs. After turning himself in, he was released on a $1,000 bond, but he faces six charges for animal neglect.

His first count of “animal neglect with serious injury or death” refers to a Golden Retriever who suffered and died on the property. She never received proper medical care, so she eventually had to be euthanized due to severe emaciation. Another dog, a Goldendoodle, had to be put down for issues related to untreated parvovirus.

Golden Retriever from Puppy Mill

“USDA and IDALS records indicate that there were incomplete vaccination records as well as improperly stored vaccines that contributed to this result, including improper ventilation providing adequate fresh air supply,” the criminal complaint states.

The other counts of neglect involved dogs who suffered from respiratory issues, one of which died. While the charges only focused on six dogs, hundreds, possibly thousands, of dogs suffered because of this man. He should never be allowed to care for another dog ever again.

Caring for puppy mill survivor

Puppy Mills Still Exist

Animal Rescue League of Iowa has done an amazing job caring for and rehabilitating the dogs from Gingerich’s puppy mill. Many of them have already gone off to forever homes where they’ll never have to suffer again. However, this mass rescue was only the beginning of ending puppy mills.

While many rescue dog parents are very aware of the puppy mill industry, most new dog parents know nothing about it. Spreading the word is one of the easiest ways to prevent people from accidentally supporting puppy mills. If the pet stores selling puppies close down, it will be much harder for puppy mills to operate.

Puppy mill dog getting adopted

“What is even more heartbreaking is that this puppy mill supplied hundreds of puppies to more than 75 pet stores across the country. The pet stores claim that they do not source their animals from puppy mills, and their customers are often not given any breeder name or paperwork until after they buy the puppy,” wrote Bailing out Benji, an organization that educates about puppy mills.

To do your part, encourage others never to buy puppies from pet stores or online shops. If a breeder doesn’t let you see the dog’s parents, the puppies are likely from a puppy mill. Ending Gingerich’s puppy mill saved thousands of dogs from future suffering, but we need to keep spreading the word until all puppy mills shut down.

Puppy mill survivors adoption

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