USDA files lawsuit against Daniel Gingerich

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Mindi Callison,

Daniel Gingerich's puppy mill. Photo taken by Bailing Out Benji and cannot be used without permission.


In August 2021, Bailing Out Benji first reported that Daniel Gingerich of Seymour, Iowa had received more than 89 federal violations that included dead and dying dogs at his breeding facility, “Maple Hill Puppies”. Gingerich is licensed by the USDA (42-A-1632) and is registered with the State of Iowa ( IA-11571).

Within weeks, the number of violations Gingerich received skyrocketed to more than 120, which were documented by the USDA inspector.

While these violations were ongoing, Gingerich sold puppies to private customers and more than 30 pet stores across the country. During the weeks that passed, no charges were pressed against Gingerich, although many of his violations broke Iowa’s animal cruelty and neglect code.

With a temporary 21 day suspension looming, no animals were confiscated by the State of Iowa or the USDA. Instead, Gingerich was allowed to auction off the majority of his dogs at an auction house in Missouri. One of the dogs who was purchased by a rescue at the dog auction had been documented to have had a home-surgery performed by Gingerich wherein her uterus was removed, artificially inseminated and sewed back up with fishing line- resulting in severe pyometra and infection. 

Bailing Out Benji is forever grateful for Havaheart Rescue and their willingness to come forward with this story and file complaints on behalf of Eleanor. 

Eleanor, Havaheart Rescue

USDA Lawsuit

This week, as Gingerich’s 21 day suspension was nearing its end, the USDA announced a federal lawsuit against Daniel Gingerich for his numerous violations, in what appears to be the first step to revoke his license permanently.

This 67 page complaint details Gingerich’s numerous violations. You can view the full document here: Daniel Gingerich USDA Complaint


According to the complaint: 

“The gravity of the violations alleged in this complaint is great. They include the failure and/or refusal to provide access to APHIS inspectors for the purpose of conducting inspections to determine compliance with the Act, the Regulations, and the standards issued under the Act (9 C.F.R. Part 3) (Standards), repeated failures to: maintain records or forms that fully and correctly disclose the acquisition and disposition of animals; identify dogs and puppies; handle animals carefully; provide adequate veterinary care to animals, resulting in harm and death to those animals; and to provide adequate food, water, shelter, housing and sanitary living conditions to animals, resulting in harm to those animals.”

The USDA goes on to say that Gingerich “has not shown good faith” and refuses to provide the address for the additional illegal facilities he owns. It was noted that Gingerich was hiding dogs on at least 5 properties spread across Iowa. At this time, Bailing Out Benji has reason to believe that there are still animals on Gingerich’s numerous properties and those animals are in danger. 

“We are very grateful for the USDA and the measures they seem to be taking to permanently revoke Daniel Gingerich’s license,” Mindi Callison of Bailing Out Benji said, “ However, we are very saddened that the Wayne County Sheriff and the State of Iowa have neglected to press animal cruelty or neglect charges against this person for their crimes against the animals. There could very well be animals still suffering on his various properties and our state needs to take action to rescue them and provide them with the care they deserve.”

Iowa’s animal cruelty and neglect code was updated in 2020 through HF737, The Community Pet and Protection Act. This law stopped short of making animal torture a first offense felony. Iowa is currently the only state in the nation where animal torture isn’t a first offense felony.

With the USDA stating that Gingerich’s refusal of veterinary care and adequate food, water, shelter, housing and sanitary conditions resulted in the ‘harm and death to those animals’, we firmly believe that charges need to be filed and our nonprofit will continue fighting to make sure that happens. 

We will continue monitoring this situation and will keep the public updated on what is happening with this facility.

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