Editors note: This article has been updated as more information on this case has been made public.
Iowa currently has more than 400 active puppy mills with over 17,000 adult breeding dogs trapped. This one state exports tens of thousands of puppies and kittens annually to pet stores across the country, as well as online websites. Iowa was even the first to start the nationwide ‘puppy laundering scheme’, where puppy mills became licensed rescues to scam the public into thinking they were adopting. This is why Iowa is notoriously known as one of the worst puppy mill states in the nation.
One of those breeders is Daniel Gingerich of Maple Hill Puppies (42-A-1632) located in Seymour, Iowa. Gingerich has only been USDA licensed since 2019 and will forever be known as one of the worst licensed and inspected puppy mills in history.
As you can see from a 2021 USDA inspection, Gingerich had at least 530 dogs and puppies on his property. Unfortunately, the USDA doesn’t have a ‘magic number’ for how many employees licensed facilities need to have per number of animals, so we can’t tell you how many employees are at the facility caring for the animals daily.
What we can tell you is that Maple Hill Puppies had nearly 200 USDA violations so far in 2021. That number includes 25 ‘Direct’ violations and 3 ‘Critical’ violations, all pertaining to direct animal care.
The violations on some of Gingerich’s USDA inspections include:
-Dogs that are severely emaciated
-Dogs that are struggling to defecate and have severe diarrhea
-Dogs with green discharge in their eyes
-Dogs that are extremely matted
-Hiding dogs from the inspector at previous inspections
-Dead dogs on the property
-Dogs in severe heat distress
-Dogs left without water
Sadly, there are more failed inspection reports with even more violations from 2021 alone. You can view many of his 2021 inspection reports here: Daniel Gingerich 2021. We warn you. The records are heartbreaking to read.
In 2020, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed the Community and Pet Protection Act (HF737), which strengthened Iowa’s Animal Cruelty and Neglect Code. Sadly, it stopped short of making animal torture a first-offense felony. Under the new animal cruelty code in Iowa, Gingerich should face some hefty fines and even potentially jail time- if charges are ever brought forward.
In August 2021, Daniel Gingerich auctioned off hundreds of his animals at a puppy mill auction in Wheaton, Missouri. Several of those animals were injured and ill, including Eleanor, who suffered unimaginable pain when she received surgery from the breeder and not from a veterinarian.
In September 2021, Daniel Gingerich’s license was suspended for 21 days. By November 2021, Daniel Gingerich had been sued by the USDA and Department of Justice and had more than 500 animals rescued off of his property.
At this time, the County Sheriffs, County Attorneys, United States Department of Agriculture and Iowa Department of Agriculture have not pressed any formal cruelty or neglect charges on this breeder.
The Pet Store Connection:
What is even more heartbreaking is that this puppy mill supplied hundreds of puppies to more than 75 pet stores across the country. The pet stores claim that they do not source their animals from puppy mills and their customers are often not given any breeder name or paperwork until after they buy the puppy. Several of the pet stores even testified in 2020 and 2021 against humane ordinances that would require them to not source animals from puppy and kitten mills. All of the stores spoke out against state bills in both New York and Florida that would have prohibited them from partnering with animal mills for puppy and kitten sales.
Bailing Out Benji is known for our work researching the puppy mill industry and connecting these facilities to the pet stores and online websites they sell through. In order to do this, we file public records requests all over the country and make all of the information public, so the customer can do their research before they buy.
Through our research, we have been able to connect Daniel Gingerich’s breeding operation to more than a 75 pet stores across the country, mainly in Florida and New York, as well as through the website ‘PuppyFind’. These puppies have traveled anywhere from 18 to 25 hours in the back of transport vans just to be sold in glass cages in a pet store to unsuspecting customers.
Gingerich sold to the following pet stores in 2020 and 2021:
- Astoria Pets ( US Pets )- 3150 Steinway Street, Astoria, NY 11103
- Chews A Puppy- 11167 W Colonial Dr, Ocoee, FL 34761
- Epic Puppies- 9541 SW 40th St, Miami, FL 33165
- Glamorous Puppies- 8150 SW 8th St SUITE 123, Miami, FL 33144
- Heavenly Puppies- 301 N Federal Hwy, Boca Raton, FL 33432
- Hey Pets- 31-42 40th Rd, Flushing, NY 11354
- Honey Pets- 13678 W State Rd. Davie, Florida
- King of Pet Grooming and Puppy Sales- 14707 SW 42nd St Ste 403. Miami, FL 33185
- The Left Paw- 411 Jericho Turnpike, New Hyde Park, NY 11040
- LI Puppy Sales- 4011 Jericho Turnpike, New Hyde Park NY 11040
- Lil Rascals- 10035 Gulf Center Dr #105, Fort Myers, FL 33913
- Love My Puppy 1395 W Palmetto Park Rd Boca Raton, FL 33486
- Luxury Puppies- 8981 SW 40th St, Miami, FL 33165
- Luxury Puppy (Luxury Puppies 2 U)- 2081 Hempstead Turnpike, East Meadow, NY 11554
189 Merrick Rd, Amityville, NY 11701
- Nessy’s Puppies of Kendall- 8690 SW 137th Ct, Miami, FL 33183
- NYC Breeders- 1622 Hart Place, Brooklyn, New York 11224
- Petland Bradenton- 3530 53rd Ave W, Bradenton, FL 34210
- Pet Kingdom- 4650 S Cleveland Ave, Fort Myers, FL 33907
- Puppy Paradise- 2082 Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11234
- Puppy Secret- 11924 SW 8th St, Miami, FL 33184
- Puppies World of Miami- 9690 NW 41st, Miami, Florida
- Quality Doggies- 8335 SW 40th St, Miami FL
- Roberto’s Pet Shop- 18244 NW 41st Pl, Miami Gardens, FL 33055
- Shake-A-Paw- 285 S Broadway, Hicksville, NY 11801 , Atlantic Ave, Lynbrook, NY 11563
- Vanity Pups (AKA Happy Puppy Kennels, Inc)- 3813 Bell Blvd, Bayside, NY 11361
- Westchester Puppies and Kittens- 26 S Central Ave, Hartsdale, NY 10530
- Zoo-Rama 2566 E Tremont Ave, Bronx, NY 10461
As noted above, this breeding facility also sells puppies online through Puppyfind.com
This is why passing humane pet store ordinances on the local and state level are extremely crucial. Pet stores will always say that they don’t buy from puppy mills, but that is rarely- if ever- the truth. If this outrages you, please contact us about helping you get a humane ordinance passed in your city. It is up to all of us to shut off this puppy mill to pet store pipeline, in order to help save the parent dogs who are tapped behind in the breeding cages.
We will continue monitoring this situation and will keep our supporters updated on what is happening with this facility.
We are certain that Maple Hill Puppies will wind up on the HSUS Horrible Hundred Puppy Mill list in 2022.
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