Graphic Content Warning: Disturbing New Videos of Dogs in a USDA-Licensed Breeding Facility
Update February 23, 2022:
The Wayne County Sheriff's Office is pursuing criminal charges against Daniel Gingerich following the rescue of more than 500 dogs and puppies living in horrific condition under his care. One count of animal neglect against Gingerich relates to Goldie the Golden Retriever, who died on the property after enduring prolonged and extreme suffering.
Newly released videos show the cruelty at one United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)-licensed puppy mill in Iowa.
The USDA doesn’t require much in exchange for a commercial dog-breeding license. Breeders need to adhere to very minimal standards of care–dogs need access to clean water, dogs must see a veterinarian when they are sick or injured, dog cages need to be at least six inches larger than the dogs’ bodies, and the property must be available for inspection (which typically happens only once a year).
In October 2019, the USDA approved a commercial breeding license for Daniel Gingerich. The license allowed Gingerich to breed and sell dogs wholesale to pet shops and brokers across the country.
When the USDA visited Gingerich’s facility for an inspection in March 2020, October 2020, and again in December 2020, they were denied access. Inspectors weren’t able to get on the property until mid-2021—17 months after he was issued a license. By then, the number of dogs on just one of Gingerich’s properties had swelled to over 300, and state and federal agencies had received tips that more dogs were being hidden on other unlicensed properties across the state of Iowa.
The USDA has the authority to revoke a license for hiding dogs and evading inspections, but the agency didn’t act. Inspection reports document the horrific conditions at Gingerich’s facilities in beginning in April 2021 and throughout most last year, until he was finally pressured into surrendering his dogs in November.
For six months, the USDA did little more than document atrocities: dead, dying and sick dogs whose puppies were sold and trucked to pet stores around the country.
While demanding the USDA take action, the ASPCA repeatedly made public records requests to the USDA for photos, videos, records and emails, but much of the requested information was missing from their responses or key information was blacked out.
The USDA finally released video from Gingerich’s breeding facility recorded by their inspectors during inspections. The videos are graphic and disturbing, but we believe it is critical that they are made public. We hope they serve as a wakeup call to lawmakers to pass Goldie’s Act, important legislation named after the dog shown here.
USDA inspection videos of Daniel Gingerich’s facility that we obtained through public records requests can be viewed here.