Justice Department Secures Surrender of Over 500 Dogs from Iowa Dog Breeder and a Permanent Prohibition on Dealing in Animals
In a consent decree entered on Nov. 2 by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa, Daniel Gingerich, an Iowa dog breeder, has agreed to revocation of his Animal Welfare Act (AWA) dealer license, a permanent prohibition on engaging in any activity that requires an AWA license, and the surrender of more than 500 dogs and puppies to the Animal Rescue League of Iowa.
In September, the United States filed suit against Gingerich, alleging that he was placing the health of his dogs in serious danger in violation of the AWA. Gingerich had amassed over 100 citations by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) inspectors in only six months for violations of the AWA, including for the failure to provide an emaciated golden retriever veterinary care, failure to provide potable water and feeding dogs moldy food and food contaminated with wood chips. Gingerich was also cited for failing to follow an appropriate vaccine regime, which resulted in outbreaks of Parvovirus and distemper, both highly contagious but easily preventable diseases.
Under the consent decree, Gingerich was required to identify and surrender all of his dogs at his USDA-licensed and unlicensed facilities. Those dogs have now been transferred to the Animal Rescue League of Iowa, which is partnering with Wayside Waifs, Wisconsin Humane Society, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and other organizations to provide the dogs the care they need. Gingerich also agreed to permanently refrain from any activity requiring an AWA license. USDA simultaneously negotiated the permanent revocation of Gingerich’s AWA license.
“This case demonstrates the department’s commitment to ensuring that those placing the health of their animals in serious danger are swiftly held accountable, and that these animals receive the humane care they are legally owed,” said Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD). “We will continue to partner with USDA to vigorously enforce these animal welfare laws in the future.”
“The resolution of this case highlights the important partnership between county, state and federal governments in animal welfare cases,” said Deputy Administrator Dr. Betty Goldentyer, of USDA APHIS’ Animal Care Program. “We are grateful to everyone who assisted us in providing for the welfare of the dogs at this facility, and we will continue to work diligently to ensure the welfare of animals under the Animal Welfare Act.”
This settlement is the result of inspection and investigation by USDA and prosecution by Senior Trial Attorney Mary Hollingsworth and Trial Attorney Shampa Panda of ENRD’s Wildlife and Marine Resources Section, with the assistance of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.