Federal Government Gets Court Order Against Iowa Dog Breeder
For the first time, the U.S. Government has gotten a court order against an Animal Welfare Act licensed breeder. That breeder is from southern Iowa.
In federal court this week, a temporary restraining order was placed against Daniel Gingerich, who has a dog breeding business in rural Seymour, Iowa. The order was put in place based on, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, "claims that he is placing the health of hundreds of dogs in serious danger in violation of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA)." The dog above is one of those alleged to be owned by Gingerich.
At the request of the Justice Department, U.S. District Court Judge Stephanie M. Rose granted the temporary restraining order and made a number of orders. They include:
- Gingerich, and any of his business associates and employees, must identify all locations of dogs intended for breeding or sale and have a licensed veterinarian complete a physical examination “from head to tail” of every dog.
- Timely provide veterinary records of those exams and other necessary veterinary care to the Justice Department.
- Gingerich must immediately stop breeding, euthanizing, or disposing of any dogs in any way without the consent of the Department of Justice or an order from the court.
The U.S. Department of Justice alleges that Gingerich is not providing "adequate veterinary care, nutritious food in a sufficient quantity, potable water and housing that is both safe and sanitary (for the dogs)."
A complaint shows that Gingerich isn't allowing oversight by inspectors from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. The Justice Department alleges inspectors haven't gotten access to breeding locations and dogs have been hidden from inspection. The complaint also claims multiple litters of unvaccinated puppies ended up with outbreaks of both parvovirus and distemper.
Gingerich has been breeding dogs since October of 2019. The Justice Department says that in the last six months, he has violated the Animal Welfare Act at least 100 times at both approved and unapproved facilities in the state of Iowa.
After the U.S. Department of Agriculture said they believed Gingerich was putting the dogs in serious health danger, the court agreed. The U.S. Department of Justice described the dogs' medical care as “shockingly inadequate” and food and water were “no better.”
Todd Kim, Assistant Attorney General of the Department of Justice's Environment and Natural Resources Division says,
This case shows that there will be consequences for breeders who violate the obligations of their breeding license and endanger the lives and health of the animals in their care. The Animal Welfare Act exists to protect these animals, and the Department of Justice will vigorously enforce this law and hold to account those who violate it.