Nov 15, 2021 - News

Iowa puppy mill dogs end up at luxury pet stores

A female husky at a puppy mill

A female husky found at Daniel Gingerich's puppy mill. Photo via court documents

After Daniel Gingerich’s puppy mill was shut down earlier this month, more evidence continues to surface on the operation's unsavory practices.

Details: Hundreds of dogs that were raised in the "filthy" Iowa puppy farm ended up in upscale pet stores across the U.S. — possibly going for as much as $5,000, Iowa Capital Dispatch reports.

Why it matters: When we buy these boutique dogs, we reward a system that encourages bad breeders to continue pumping out puppies for profit.

State of play: Federal authorities shut down Gingerich's operation this year after the Department of Agriculture accused the Iowa breeder of violating the Animal Welfare Act more than 100 times.

  • Inspectors noted deplorable conditions at the Wayne County mill, including a golden retriever covered in feces and a poodle puppy so sick that it died in their arms.

Yes, but: Despite their treacherous beginnings, veterinary records tracking nearly 500 of Gingerich's dogs showed that many of them ended up at out-of-state pet stores, ICD reports.

  • These stores, which declined to talk, marketed themselves as "luxury" retailers with names like "Diamonds and Doggies," selling the dogs for thousands of dollars.

The big picture: Across the U.S., at least 300 cities and several states have passed laws trying to end or regulate the retail sale of pets.

  • In Iowa, legislators attempted the opposite. Senate Republicans proposed a law banning local municipalities from enforcing laws regulating zoos and pet stores. It didn't pass.

Go deeper: Iowa puppy-mill dogs were sold at ‘Luxury Puppies’ and other upscale retailers


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