SEYMOUR, Iowa — More than 500 dogs and puppies have been taken away from an Iowa breeder after the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) requested federal and local agencies rescue them from "horrific conditions" in October.
The animals were in the care of a U.S. Department of Agriculture licensed breeder named Daniel Gingerich in Seymour, a town in southern Iowa.
The USDA documented more than 190 violations of the Animal Welfare Act over a period of months. Some of those violations included dead dogs, dogs with untreated injuries and illnesses, like parvo and distemper; dogs with painful fur matting, dogs in too small of cages and moldy food. The full complaint against Gingerich details more of the violations and includes pictures.
The Animal Rescue League of Iowa (ARL) and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals started the mission on Oct. 13, according to the DOJ.
ARL Director of Animal Services Joe Stafford said Thursday that more needs to be done by elected officials to decrease the number of dogs left in conditions like this.
"This state needs to do more, and the federal government needs to do more, these 514 animals will not have to live a life of servitude. But there are tens and tens of thousands of animals that unfortunately remain in conditions similar to this," Stafford said.
Those interested in donating to the ARL to support the care for these animals can do so here. The ARL's Venmo account is @ARL-Iowa.
If you're interested in adopting one of the rescues, keep an eye out on the ARL's adoption page of its website. Some of the dogs will need to stay at the shelter for a few weeks, but some are ready for adoption now, including three huskies: Veda, Willow and Freya, the ARL said in a Facebook post Thursday.
WATCH | Tom Colvin with the ARL-Iowa describes the incredible effort of rescuing over 500 dogs