For immediate release:
On January 31st, 2023 , Henry Sommers, dog breeder and owner of Happy Puppys, in Cincinnati, Iowa was arrested at the Appanoose County Sheriff’s Office and charged with two counts of Animal Neglect with Serious Injury (Aggravated Misdemeanors); three counts of Animal Neglect with Injury (Serious Misdemeanors); and two counts of Animal Neglect without Injury (Simple Misdemeanors).
This comes after Bailing Out Benji, an Iowa based nonprofit organization, filed a complaint with the Appanoose County Sheriff and County Attorney on January 9th, 2023. Bailing Out Benji urged the department to press charges and immediately seize the animals in Sommers’ care due to his ongoing violations with the USDA. Many of the violations appeared to be in clear violation of Iowa’s animal cruelty code 717B.
You can view Sommers’ recent USDA violations, violations from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and fine from the USDA below.
Happy Puppys IDALS inspections 2022
Sommers USDA Penalty 10.14.2022
On January 11th, 2023, an investigation into Sommers was opened by the Appanoose County Sheriff. By Friday, January 13th, 2023 the 4 remaining dogs at the Sommer’s property were seized and taken to a local shelter for evaluation.
According to the Sheriff’s Office:
“During the investigation, officials observed two adult Yorkshire dogs and two Yorkshire puppies that were living in an unhealthy environment.
All four dogs were relinquished to a local animal shelter and later taken to an area Humane Society. The dogs were further examined by a licensed Veterinarian who determined that the animals were being neglected, and as a result of the neglect, the animals sustained injuries in violation of Iowa Code 717B.
During the investigation, officials learned that Sommers had previously relinquished other Yorkshire dogs that had sustained injuries as a result of neglect that required surgical procedures.”
Bailing Out Benji is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that is dedicated to ending puppy mill cruelty through research, education and advocacy. Our team provides transparency into puppy mills, puppy brokers and puppy stores by forensically auditing government health records and inspection records and making that information public. Our research is used from classrooms to policy rooms across the country in order to make necessary changes in the lives of countless animals protect consumers against this predatory industry.