News Stories

Stories/Series with a "★" are related to the puppy mill where Goldie (Golden Retriever #142), other dogs suffered and died

Featured Stories | Recent Stories
Recent Stories
Stock photo of a dog in a wire enclosure. (Photo via Canva)

State suggests that breeder cited for dog deaths downsize her business

State regulators are recommending that an Iowa breeder downsize her operation in the wake of several of her dogs dying due to the cold.

In December, a federal inspector from the U.S. Department of Agriculture visited a dog-breeding kennel, located in the Van Buren County town of Cantril. The business operates on property owned by Steve Kruse, one of Iowa’s larger dog breeders, but it is operating under a license held by Wuanita Swedlund.

The federal inspector reported that in November, a French bulldog named Bethany gave birth to four puppies, three of which were found dead within days. Swedlund allegedly indicated “the puppies must have gotten too cold and passed away,” the inspector reported.

Three other puppies, born to a rottweiler, were also found dead at the kennel, with Swedlund allegedly telling inspectors “they must have gotten too cold and died.”

In addition, a puppy born to Megan, a sheepdog, had to be euthanized after a dog in a nearby enclosure chewed through the wall into the puppy’s enclosure and tore the flesh from one leg, leaving the bone exposed. A short time later, a sheepdog puppy from the same litter was determined to be missing. “The licensee states they did find a single bone and assumed Megan ate her puppy,” the inspector reported.

A dog in a caged enclosure standing on floor grates with a lot of dog feces on the floor grates.

Iowa again leads the nation in puppy mill violations

Legislation on breeders stalls in the Iowa House

Iowa again leads the nation in the number of puppy mill violations, but so far this year the Iowa Legislature doesn’t appear ready to address the issue.

During the last quarter of 2023, Iowa breeders and kennels racked up 34 violations, more than any other state in the nation. Wisconsin placed second, with 33 violations, followed by Missouri with 26, Ohio with 19 and Indiana with 18.

Two of the Iowa breeders who were cited for violations are the subject of criminal referrals by the Iowa-based animal-welfare group Bailing Out Benji, the organization that compiles quarterly data on violators throughout the nation.

The organization’s founder, Mindi Callison, said Wednesday that Iowa lawmakers should consider legislation that would fix a major “loophole” in the standards required of Iowa’s dog breeders.

No image for this story
Bailing Out Benji: Facebook Post Monday, February 5, 2024 at 12:31 P.M.

2023 USDA Violations- Quarter 4

This morning we released our Quarterly USDA Violation Report detailing all of the dog and cat breeders and brokers who had violations during October 1, 2023, to December 31, 2023. Three of these facilities had violations so severe that our organization filed complaints with local authorities, numerous others have official USDA warnings and many sell directly to pet stores, brokers or through online websites.

You can read our report in full here: https://bailingoutbenji.com/2023-usda-q4/

image of two dog's paws against a chain linked fence

★ ASPCA questions state oversight of Iowa breeder after eight dogs die

Iowa-based advocates call for a criminal investigation

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is asking state and federal regulators for answers about an Iowa kennel where several dogs died recently due to cold weather.

In December, a federal inspector from the U.S. Department of Agriculture visited a dog-breeding kennel, located in the Van Buren County town of Cantril. The business operates on property owned by Steve Kruse, one of Iowa’s larger dog breeders, but it is operating under a license held by Wuanita Swedlund.

The federal inspector reported that in November, a French bulldog named Bethany gave birth to four puppies, three of which were found dead within days. Swedlund allegedly indicated “the puppies must have gotten too cold and passed away,” the inspector reported.

Three other puppies, born to a rottweiler, were also found dead at the kennel, with Swedlund allegedly telling inspectors “they must have gotten too cold and died,” the inspector reported.

Stock photo of a dog in a wire enclosure. (Photo via Canva)

Iowa breeder cited after six puppies die in cold weather

No fines or penalties are imposed against Van Buren County breeder

A southern Iowa dog breeder has been cited for multiple violations including the death of six puppies that were left in the cold.

No fines or penalties have been imposed in the case.

In December, a federal inspector from the U.S. Department of Agriculture visited a dog-breeding kennel in the Van Buren County town of Cantril. The business is located along Highway 2 on property owned by Steve Kruse, one of Iowa’s larger dog breeders, but it is operating under a license held by Wuanita Swedlund.

The inspector reported that on Nov. 24, 2023, a French bulldog named Bethany gave birth to four puppies. About one week later, three of the puppies were found dead, the inspector reported.

“The licensee stated they could feel a strong, cold draft at the front of the enclosure from a space in the front of Barn No. 1, and it was a cold day the day that they found the puppies deceased,” the inspector’s report states. “The licensee told the inspector the puppies must have gotten too cold and passed away.”

HUMANE SOCIETY LEGISLATIVE FUND logo

2023 Humane Scorecard

The Humane Society Legislative Fund publishes an annual Humane Scorecard of Congress to give you a snapshot of every federal legislator's record on animal protection issues. Take a look to see how your legislators preformed in the first half of the 118th Congress and also check out our 2023 year in review blog post.

It's important your legislators know that you care about their positions on animal protection issues and your efforts to engage them will produce even greater returns for animals in the future.

a dog in a kennel struggling to stand

USDA Green Lights More Than Two Decades of Animal Abuse at Alabama Research Facility

Dogs weak and starving with ribs visibly protruding.

Dogs so overweight they can barely move or stand.

Dogs with untreated wounds, masses, skin lesions and broken teeth.

Dogs to be used in research acquired under false pretenses.

Understaffed facilities and untrained staff performing animal care duties.

This is who the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) licenses and registers. Dogs are suffering right in front of the USDA’s eyes, and this powerful federal agency is doing nothing about it. The USDA is responsible for ensuring humane care at animal research facilities like Blue Ridge Kennel, but there is no humane care to be found.

Blue Ridge Kennel is a research laboratory in Wetumpka, Alabama, that conducts tests on dogs. It is registered and overseen by the USDA. In its own words, “Blue Ridge Kennel offers an array of feeding trials and research services for the pet food industry. We work with you closely to develop individualized testing programs that are specific to your product.” In the past two decades alone, Blue Ridge Kennel has been cited for over 80 chronic and serious violations of the Animal Welfare Act, including repeated instances of severely under- or overweight dogs, dogs with injuries from fights, unnoticed and untreated medical issues, dangerous housing environments, untrained and limited staff, and randomly sourced dogs (defined by the Animal Welfare Act as animals obtained from pounds or shelters, auction sales or from any person who did not breed and raise them on his or her premises).

Smiling dog being held in a person’s arms.

Better Laws for Animals—Check Out 2023’s Big Wins!

As the last 12 months flew by, ASPCA advocates throughout the country used their voices to protect farm animals, farmers, horses, companion animals and pet owners. As a result, 2023 was packed with major milestones, from the passage of stronger animal-protection laws to the defeat of bad measures that would have jeopardized the safety and well-being of animals.

Edward Van Doorn’s Squaw Creek Kennels in Barnes City was recently cited by the USDA for performing major surgery on animals without a veterinarian. (Photo courtesy of the Mahaska County Assessor’s Office). Photo of many dogs in elevated cages.

Dog breeder cited for performing ‘major surgery’ without a veterinarian

An Iowa dog breeder has been cited by federal officials for performing major surgery on puppies without a veterinarian and for falsifying animal-welfare documents.

Ed Van Doorn, the owner of Squaw Creek Kennels in Barnes City, about 75 miles east of Des Moines, was recently given an official warning by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service for violations uncovered during a November 2023 inspection.

According to the USDA, Squaw Creek Kennels gives buyers the option of having a puppy neutered before it is shipped, and Van Doorn allegedly acknowledged he performed most of the neutering operations at his kennel without any veterinary supervision.

KMBC 9 News and Weather logo

95 Labrador Retrievers rescued from unlicensed breeder in Phelps County, Missouri

The Humane Society of Missouri’s Animal Cruelty Task Force took the dogs from a notorious breeder that had 83 animals removed in 2019 and 2020

ST. LOUIS —Nearly 100 dogs have been rescued from one of the nation's most notorious unlicensed animal breeders based in Phelps County, Missouri.

According to the Humane Society of Missouri, the organization's Animal Cruelty Task Force saved 95 Labrador Retrievers from Sho-Me Labradors early on Tuesday morning.

Two men kneeling with a dog standing between them

2023: A winning year for dogs, cats and other companion animals

Many people experience their first connections with animals through relationships with dogs, cats or horses. Just as these bonds are powerful and pervasive, so must our advocacy be since companion animals face myriad injustices and difficulties in the U.S. and around the world. We’ve already detailed the incredible progress made against the dog and cat meat trades in 2023, but there is much more to say on other fronts. Here are just some of the ways we created a more humane world for companion animals in the past year:  

Stopping puppy and kitten mills

Each year, more people learn about the mistreatment suffered by dogs and cats at massive commercial breeding facilities, where dog and cat mothers and fathers are treated as little more than money-making machines. And each year, more people choose not to support this trade. We are heartened by how much happened in 2023 to bring this cruel industry to heel.

No image for this story

USDA, animal shelters aim to educate breeders in Iowa

WELLMAN, Iowa (KCRG) - Amber Talbot has seen first hand the impact puppy mills can have on animals, and communities in Iowa.

“Especially in our area we have a large number of breeding facilities,” said Talbot. “Many folks may be familiar with the incident that just happened this summer near Riverside in Johnson County, 131 dogs were removed. We as a local welfare organization want to do everything we can to make sure that those situations are preventable.”

Dogs in crates

At least 70 dogs rescued from Ohio puppy mill

LOVELAND, Ohio (WKRC) - A local charity is stepping up to rescue more than 70 dogs they said were being kept in deplorable conditions at an Ohio puppy mill.

"They called him and told him that they were coming to inspect," said Aaron Jones.

Tuesday, volunteers made the three-hour trek to pick up the dogs.

Local 12 was on hand when they arrived at the Loveland shelter. Some had matted fur and others were caked in feces.

Volunteers said they found the dogs living in unsheltered cages outdoors.

"They can only move so much when there's 20 of them inside of a 10-foot by 20-foot pen. When you've got 20 of them in there, they're all rubbing up against each other, rubbing up against the chain link," said Jones.

While the conditions were horrifying to rescuers, they apparently didn't concern the dogs' owner.

"He was more concerned about not making money off them anymore than he was concerned about the dogs," said Lisa Hammond.

Century Farm Puppies in Grundy Center is operated by Heath Myers and has been cited for numerous violations in 2023. The dog seen here (small tan dog being held in arms) was photographed at Century Farm Puppies by government inspectors in 2018. (Main photo (white house) courtesy of the Grundy County Assessor’s Office ; inset photo courtesy of Bailing Out Benji)

USDA issues citations and warnings to Iowa puppy mills

Some Iowa breeders cited for deaths and untreated injuries

Iowa’s puppy mills compiled one of the nation’s worst records of compliance with animal welfare regulations in the third quarter of 2023, newly disclosed records show.

For the months of July through September, the five states that compiled the highest number of animal-welfare violations committed by dog breeders and kennels were:

Virginia: 52 violations

Wisconsin: 51 violations

Ohio: 36 violations

Iowa: 28 violations

Arkansas: 17 violations

The data, culled from U.S. Department of Agriculture reports, was collected, analyzed and reported by the national animal-welfare organization Bailing Out Benji, which is based in Iowa. Just seven Iowa breeders were responsible for all of the violations cited in Iowa during the third quarter of the year.

White dog in cage

★ Two Years After the Rescue of 500 Puppy Mill Dogs, Has Anything Changed?

Two years ago, the ASPCA assisted the Animal Rescue League of Iowa with the rescue of more than 500 dogs living in terrible conditions at a federally licensed puppy mill.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) licensed a commercial breeding facility in Iowa operated by Daniel Gingerich despite documenting over 200 violations of the Animal Welfare Act. USDA inspectors documented dead dogs on the property, dogs with untreated injuries and illnesses, dogs with painful fur-matting, and dogs in cages that were too small. The USDA took no action to stop Gingerich for months, even as the number of violations continued to grow. They didn’t issue fines or utilize other enforcement options, choosing instead to use ineffective programs [PDF] to try to get Gingerich to comply. The USDA did not inform local law enforcement or confiscate the suffering dogs. Eventually, the U.S. Department of Justice used its authority to negotiate the surrender of more than 500 dogs.

Goldie’s Act would require the USDA to uphold the law and protect animals in federally licensed facilities. We named this law in honor of a Golden Retriever who suffered and died at Gingerich’s facility under the USDA’s watch. On this two-year anniversary of the rescue of more than 500 puppy mill dogs, use this form to urge your member of Congress to support Goldie’s Act!

A small dog laying down facing forward wearing a black witch's pointed hat with a few small pumkins in the backgrounf

Frightening Tricks from the Puppy Mill Industry

Leaves are falling, there’s a chill in the air, and scary movies are playing on TV. It’s spooky season… but trouble lurks year-round for dogs in commercial breeding facilities. These facilities masquerade as something they’re not, deceiving well-intentioned families who just wanted to bring home a furry little friend. Be sure you don’t fall for these frightening puppy mill tricks:

Dog with a wound on its neck

It Happened Again: DOJ Forced to Take Action Against Another Commercial Breeder

Update October 9, 2023: The Virginia Attorney General's Office seized 110 cats and kittens from the Mikirtichev facility with the assistance of Chesterfield County Animal Services and the Humane Society of the United States.

For the second time in just over a year, the U.S. Department of Justice has been forced to step in because the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) continued to allow cruel breeders at a Virginia facility to break the law repeatedly.

Since 2017, Elena and Andrey Mikirtichev have been USDA-licensed commercial dog and cat breeders in North Chesterfield, Virginia—breeding hundreds of animals and selling them for thousands of dollars. Throughout this time, USDA inspectors continually documented horrific examples of animal cruelty at this breeding facility. Abuse included failure to provide veterinary care, denying animals access to adequate food and water, and housing animals in unclean and unsafe enclosures.

No image for this story

Thank you, Congressional Animal Protection Caucus co-chairs Earl Blumenauer, Vern Buchanan, Mike Quigley, Brian Fitzpatrick, Sharice Davids, Nicole Malliotakis & 60 other members of Congress for raising concern about the USDA's failures to enforce the Animal Welfare Act!

Read the letter

No image for this story

Seven states have already passed laws to stop the sale of puppies in pet stores! And last night, Louisville, KY became the 477th locality to do the same.

Find out how you can take action in your area humanesociety.org/advocateguide

No image for this story

Ban on Louisville pet stores selling cats and dogs from breeders is a 'huge win,' expert says

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville retail pet stores soon won't be able to continue selling dogs or cats unless they get them from somewhere else. Metro Council approved an ordinance Thursday night that bans such stores from selling dogs and cats, targeting those that operate as puppy or kitten mills.

A rescue team member comforts one of the dogs. (Animal Rescue League of Iowa photo)

Nearly 100 dogs are removed from deplorable conditions in Ogden

An already-crowded Animal Rescue League of Iowa is even shorter on space now after teams were dispatched to Boone County where nearly a hundred dogs had to be removed from what’s described as a puppy mill.

The ARL’s KC Routos says conditions at the property in Ogden were exceptionally poor and the smell was overpowering even before the buildings were entered. “There was excrement from the animals in their spaces and there were quite a few pregnant moms with their puppies as well,” Routos says. “Some of the dogs had matting and were incredibly thin as well, and some of the puppies were just days old, still nursing on their mothers.”

The ARL has been fighting capacity all summer long as there have been dogs coming in practically daily, so handling this large of a case is putting the Des Moines facility in a bind.

Dog with a wound on its neck

It Happened Again: DOJ Forced to Take Action Against Another Commercial Breeder

For the second time in just over a year, the U.S. Department of Justice has been forced to step in because the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) continued to allow cruel breeders at a Virginia facility to break the law repeatedly.

Since 2017, Elena and Andrey Mikirtichev have been USDA-licensed commercial dog and cat breeders in North Chesterfield, Virginia—breeding hundreds of animals and selling them for thousands of dollars. Throughout this time, USDA inspectors continually documented horrific examples of animal cruelty at this breeding facility. Abuse included failure to provide veterinary care, denying animals access to adequate food and water, and housing animals in unclean and unsafe enclosures.

No image for this story

Federal Court Agrees to Block USDA Licensed Dog and Cat Breeder from Operating

ASPCA calls for passage of Goldie’s Act as federal court intervenes once again to protect animals at another Virginia facility, one year after the Envigo case exposed USDA’s failures

NEW YORK, NY – A Federal Court in Virginia has issued a temporary restraining order against a USDA-licensed dog and cat breeding facility in North Chesterfield, Va., after agreeing with the Department of Justice that the animals held by the commercial breeder were in serious danger. In response to the court’s decision, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) issued the following statement:

“The Chesterfield case is the latest example of the USDA’s repeated failure to enforce the Animal Welfare Act, even when the conditions are extremely poor and animals are dying,” said Robert Hensley, Senior Counsel, ASPCA Legal Advocacy and Investigations. “Despite recording hundreds of violations for licensed dog dealers last year, the USDA has continuously failed to take any meaningful action against these problematic dealers, and we urge Congress to pass Goldie’s Act to fix the USDA’s broken system and ensure that animals in federally licensed facilities get the protections they deserve.”

Groomer Cameron Couch bends under a rescued doodle while grooming her at a donated building in Iowa City on Tuesday. The dog is among 131 that were removed from a puppy farm near Riverside in rural Johnson County last week. The volunteer groomers have typically only been able to groom two to four dogs because of how matted some of the animals’ hair is. (Savannah Blake/The Gazette)

Nine dogs dead since removal from Johnson County puppy farm

Rescue effort has required ‘all hands on deck’ at Iowa City shelter

Groomer Cameron Couch bends under a rescued doodle while grooming her at a donated building in Iowa City on Tuesday. The dog is among 131 that were removed from a puppy farm near Riverside in rural Johnson County last week. The volunteer groomers have typically only been able to groom two to four dogs because of how matted some of the animals’ hair is. (Savannah Blake/The Gazette)

IOWA CITY — When Michelle Boss, a hairstylist in Iowa City, read on social media about the 131 dogs that were removed from a puppy farm in rural Johnson County last week, she wanted to help.

“I was so appalled,” Boss said.

She donated money to Iowa City Animal Services, which took the dogs in, and she encouraged friends and family to do the same. But that wasn’t enough.

On Saturday, Boss volunteered to help groom the dogs. She spent three hours trimming badly matted and tangled hair on two large dogs. Boss was back Tuesday to continue the volunteer grooming work, and she wasn’t alone.

One of the 131 dogs seized from Sunset Valley Farm in Riverside is seen here shortly after being relocated to the Iowa City Animal Care and Adoption Center. (Photo courtesy of Iowa City Public Safety)

Seizure of 131 dogs from puppy mill prompts legislator to call for action

One of the 131 dogs seized from Sunset Valley Farm in Riverside is seen here shortly after being relocated to the Iowa City Animal Care and Adoption Center. (Photo courtesy of Iowa City Public Safety)

Last week’s seizure of 131 dogs at a rural Iowa breeding operation has prompted one state lawmaker to call for changes in the way the state oversees puppy mills, dog breeders and brokers.

Rep. Dave Jacoby, D-Coralville, wrote to Gov. Kim Reynolds this week asking for her cooperation in holding unscrupulous breeders accountable.

In his letter, Jacoby wrote, “It’s time for us to work together to fix this problem. I look forward to a strong and immediate bipartisan effort to end this wrong. It is as simple as inspection and enforcement. We need to stop unscrupulous puppy mill owners by strengthening the laws that govern commercial breeders, increase inspections, and penalize those who violate the law.”

Jacoby’s letter to the governor comes one week after the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship inspected Sunset Valley Farm, a commercial dog-breeding operation in the town of Riverside.

One of the 131 dogs seized from Sunset Valley Farm in Riverside is seen here with her puppies shortly after they were relocated to the Iowa City Animal Care and Adoption Center. (Photo courtesy of Iowa City Public Safety)An IDALS inspector reported finding 131 dogs on the property, many of which were found to be in distress. The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office removed the dogs from the property, although one of the dogs subsequently died, reportedly from heatstroke. The dogs are now in the custody of the Iowa City Animal Care and Adoption Center.

A dog surrendered from a breeding kennel in Iowa City are seen at the Iowa City Animal Care and Adoption Center on Friday, Aug. 25, 2023. Over 130 dogs were surrendered to animal shelters in the Iowa City area after unsafe conditions, specifically lack of heat regulations, made the breeding kennel unfit. Iowa City Animal Care and Adoption Center is currently holding around 60 of the dogs.

IC animal shelter treating half of 131 dogs surrendered to police in investigation

The dogs were being housed in an unsafe breeding kennel in Iowa City.

The Iowa City Animal Care and Adoption Center and other locations received 131 dogs Thursday following an investigation of a breeding kennel in Iowa City with unsafe living conditions.

Before coming to the center, the dogs were housed in a breeding kennel in Iowa City. Chris Whitmore, director of the center, said the breeding kennel surrendered all dogs and puppies, and the center is now working on triaging and vetting them. The incident is still under investigation by the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office.

Fox looking at you

After Years of USDA Inaction, Exotic Animal Dealer Finally Out of Business

The operator of Even Keel Exotics agreed to surrender his USDA license and over 100 animals after the Department of Justice sued him in Federal Court.

Zachery Keeler was an exotic animal dealer who sold thousands of hedgehogs, foxes, sugar gliders, prairie dogs, skunks and wild cats every year and hosted animal encounters and behind-the-scenes tours of his Michigan facility, Even Keel Exotics.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) had licensed the facility for over a decade and documented serious animal care and public safety issues for nearly as long. Yet, the USDA never took meaningful action to stop Keeler even when beginning last year he refused to let the agency onto his property for required inspections.

A corgi with an open ear wound found by a USDA inspector at a Wisconsin dog breeder. (Humane Society of Wisconsin)

More than two dozen Wisconsin dog breeders have been cited by feds this year

Wisconsin ranks No. 4 for the number of dog breeders in the state cited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for violations of health and safety rules so far this year, according to reports compiled by Bailing Out Benji, an Iowa-based animal welfare organization.

The reports cover the first six months of 2023. With 28 breeders cited for USDA violations, Wisconsin trails Ohio with 54, Iowa with 44 and Missouri with 36. The Wisconsin citations range from issues such as outdoor dog runs that have not been cleaned to one incident in which unclosed stove vents caused the temperature inside of a dog shelter to rise to 146 degrees, killing 26 puppies.

No image for this story

Louisville Metro Councilman introduces ordinance to prohibit sale of dogs, cats at pet stores

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The Louisville Metro Council is considering an ordinance that would ban the retail sale of cats and dogs in pet stores and outdoor spaces like flea markets and parking lots.

It would give pet stores one year to phase out the sale of pets before it is enacted and would not impact the adoption process at local shelters.

District 20 Councilman Stuart Benson introduced the ordinance.

"This ordinance was created as a result of my work with non-profits and animal advocates as well as constituents who have contacted my office regarding a variety of problems they have had with puppy mills as well as businesses that utilize them,” Benson said in a statement. “This ordinance is focused on improving the living conditions for animals sold within Metro pet stores and encouraging the adoption of rescued and otherwise abandoned dogs and cats. I appreciate the support this ordinance has already received and hope to have this ordinance passed by the Metro Council’s Safety Committee in the coming weeks"

Steve Kruse’s Stonehenge Kennels in West Point, Iowa, has been repeatedly cited for failure to provide adequate veterinary care, and the USDA recently suspended Kruse’s license. The two dogs pictured here were suffering from bleeding foot injuries and an eye disorder, according to federal inspectors. (Aerial photo courtesy of Bailing Out Benji. Inset photos taken by USDA inspectors courtesy of Bailing Out Benji.)

Iowa dog breeders cited for lack of veterinary care and other violations

Seventeen Iowa breeders cited in the second quarter of 2023

Seventeen Iowa dog breeders were cited for regulatory violations in the second quarter of 2023, with Iowa again ranking as one of the states with the highest number of violators.

Between April 1, 2023, and June 30, 2023, the U.S. Department of Agriculture cited 17 Iowa breeders for violations of the federal regulations, according to data compiled and analyzed by the Iowa animal-welfare organization Bailing Out Benji.

No image for this story

2023 USDA Violations- Quarter 2

Bailing Out Benji is a national nonprofit organization that exists to provide transparency into the puppy mill industry.

Two dogs laying down side by side

Nothing Can Prepare You

Submitted by Kimberly B. and Denise L, Littleton, CO

My sister and I have been in animal rescue for almost 10 years. We have adopted four dogs and two cats and have worked around several rescue animals; however, Skylee, our seven-year-old Golden Retriever, is our first adopted puppy mill survivor. Nothing can prepare you for what you witness as a result of these poor animals being in that kind of environment.

Skylee has been with us just over eight months, and she is doing well. When she initially came to live with us, she had minimal social skills with people or other dogs. She came to us through a Golden Retriever rescue in Colorado, but before that, she was adopted twice and returned.

No image for this story

Gov. Kotek signs lifesaving animal protection measures into law in Oregon

Oregon Gov. Tina Kotek signed bills to stop the sale of puppy mill puppies and kittens in pet stores (HB 2915) and to end the sale of animal-tested cosmetics (HB 3213). Kotek also recently signed a package of housing bills that included funding for domestic violence and homeless shelters to better accommodate people with pets.

“Oregonians believe in a better world for animals. These measures mitigate suffering in puppy mills and animal testing laboratories, and help people keep their pets through challenging circumstances,” said Kelly Peterson, Oregon state director for the Humane Society of the United States. “We are eternally grateful to Rep. David Gomberg, Rep. Courtney Neron, and Sen. Deb Patterson for championing these bills and share in this celebration with our dedicated coalition partners and advocates throughout the state.”

HB 2915 stops any additional pet stores in the state from selling puppies or kittens and phases out these sales in existing stores. This bill will drive the local pet market in Oregon toward more humane sources like shelters, rescues and responsible breeders. Oregon is the seventh state to take a stand against the puppy-mill-to-pet-store pipeline, joining Washington, California, Illinois, New York, Maryland and Maine.

“With this bill, the entire West Coast is now closed off to pet stores that view puppies as mere products, bringing us closer to the day when cruel puppy mills have nowhere left to sell,” says Peterson.

An older brown and black shaggy dog with two brown black and white puppies

Extreme Heat Putting Puppy Mill Dogs in Dangerv

“Blistering Heat” “Soaring Heat Index” “Scorching Heat Wave”

It has been a record-breaking hot summer, especially in the Midwest, and many pet parents are taking special precautions to care for their dogs during extreme heat, such as keeping pets inside in the air conditioning, limiting outdoor time and making sure fresh water is always available.

But dogs in puppy mills can't escape the extreme temperatures.

Puppy mills are spread out all over the U.S., though they are most concentrated in Midwestern states—the same states that have dominated the headlines for dangerous temperatures.

Two dogs in a small cage facing the camera

US Congress has new chance to better protect animals with game-changing bill

In 2022, the HSUS was approached by the U.S. Department of Justice to remove nearly 4,000 beagles after alleged violations of the Animal Welfare Act at a breeding facility in Virginia. The Better CARE for Animals Act would strengthen the capabilities of the DOJ to take action in animal welfare matters. Meredith Lee/The HSUSx

This sensibility is at the heart of the Better Collaboration, Accountability, and Regulatory Enforcement (CARE) for Animals Act. Introduced by Sens. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and John Kennedy, R-La., and Reps. Guy Reschenthaler, R-Penn., and Mike Quigley, D-Ill., the bill would usher in a new era of enhanced interagency cooperation to fight cruelty and uphold the proper treatment of animals.

The bill is designed to strengthen the capabilities of the U.S. Department of Justice, which has played an important enforcement role in animal fighting cases over the years, and more recently in cases involving animal exhibitors and dealers. With greater authority the agency could do more.

Two dogs in a small cage with a wire floor

Iowa puppy mill operator sentenced to probation for animal neglect

An Appanoose County man accused of animal neglect in the operation of a puppy mill has been sentenced to two years of probation.

Henry Sommers, the 84-year-old owner of Happy Puppy on 141st Avenue in the town of Cincinnati, was arrested in February by the Appanoose County Sheriff’s Office. Sommers was charged with seven separate offenses: two counts of animal neglect resulting in serious injury or death, three counts of animal neglect resulting in injury, and two counts of animal neglect without injury.

The Appanoose County Attorney’s Office then negotiated a plea agreement that resulted in five of the seven charges being dismissed in return for a guilty plea on the two felony charges of animal neglect resulting in serious injury or death.

Sommers was recently sentenced to two years in prison, with that sentence suspended by the court. He was ordered to serve two years of probation and pay $1,710 in fines.

Howl to the Hill: Event Brings Advocates Together in Support of Goldie’s Act - standing together with the U.S. Capitol in the background

Featured Story:

★ Howl to the Hill: Event Brings Advocates Together in Support of Goldie’s Act

On July 20, 2023, actor Bellamy Young, animal advocates, puppy mill survivors and members of Congress joined us for “Howl to the Hill,” a rally on Capitol Hill. The event supported Goldie’s Act (H.R. 1788), legislation that would ensure the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) does its job to protect dogs in federally licensed puppy mills.

Currently, 250,000 dogs are languishing in USDA-licensed puppy mills. The USDA is turning a blind eye and failing to enforce the Animal Welfare Act, allowing dogs to suffer in cruel facilities.

Goldie’s Act is named after a Golden Retriever who lived in an abhorrent Iowa puppy mill operated by Daniel Gingerich. The USDA witnessed her decline for months yet failed to intervene. She died in that puppy mill. She didn’t even have a name until we learned about her fate.

Golden Retriever #142 known now as Goldie. An emaciated dog who suffered and died at a USDA-licensed Puppy Mill in Iowa standing behind bars drinking.

★ "Scandal" Actor Bellamy Young Joins Members of Congress and the ASPCA on Capitol Hill to Rally Support for Goldie’s Act to Protect Dogs in Puppy Mills

“Howl to the Hill” event shines a light on the USDA’s shameful pattern of inaction, with advocates calling on Congress to pass Goldie’s Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) hosted “Howl to the Hill” on Capitol Hill to rally support for Goldie’s Act (H.R. 1788), which would ensure the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) does its job to protect dogs in federally licensed puppy mills. Named in honor of a Golden Retriever who suffered and died at a USDA-licensed puppy mill in Iowa, Goldie’s Act would require the USDA to conduct more frequent and meaningful inspections, provide lifesaving intervention for suffering animals, impose penalties for violations, and communicate with local law enforcement to address cruelty and neglect.

Golden Retriever #142 known now as Goldie. An emaciated dog who suffered and died at a USDA-licensed Puppy Mill in Iowa.

★ Join Goldie’s Act Week of Action to Prevent Puppy Mill Cruelty!

Jump in and take action now!

Big news: there is an opportunity to pass groundbreaking federal legislation to protect dogs in puppy mills—and YOU can play a critical role in making that happen!

Goldie’s Act (H.R. 1788) is a federal bill named in honor of Goldie, a Golden Retriever who suffered without adequate fresh food, water or veterinary care in an Iowa puppy mill that was licensed and overseen by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). She lived and died in a dirty cage, never having experienced human kindness. Though her death could have been prevented, the USDA—the agency required to enforce the federal law that protects animals in puppy mills—turned a blind eye, even after witnessing her suffering.

Sadly, Goldie’s story is not unique. Dogs in American puppy mills continue to live and die in horrific conditions under the USDA’s watch.

Join us July 17-21, 2023, and call on Congress to pass Goldie’s Act, a bill that would require the USDA to uphold its duty to protect the thousands of dogs and puppies still living in cruel puppy mills. Help pass Goldie’s Act by taking one quick and easy action each day this week—we can make the greatest impact by working together.

puppies in a dirty cage

★ Puppy Mill Horror: 8 Shocking Times the USDA Failed Dogs

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) licenses businesses that breed and sell animals wholesale, and the agency is responsible for ensuring that these businesses provide humane care.

But that’s not what happens. The USDA isn’t doing its job.

The agency has a history of letting cruelty go unreported and unpunished. Here are eight examples of the USDA failing dogs; this information came from the agency’s own inspection reports. This is not an exhaustive list—there are countless examples of the USDA’s failure to do its job.

Warning: The following information and pictures are disturbing.

Woman holding dog

★ You’re Invited: Howl to the Hill!

Picture insert of a woman holding a dog in front of an illustrationin of the Capital with the messaging HOWL to the HILL DOG RALLY ON CAPITOL HILL, Thursday July 20, 2023 9:30 A.M. - 11:00 A.M. ET RSVP NOW!

Calling all dog-lovers and animal advocates! Join us this month in Washington, D.C., for an outdoor rally in support of Goldie’s Act, a federal bill that would require the USDA to do its job and protect dogs in puppy mills.

RSVP NOW

On Thursday, July 20, you and your pup are invited to show your solidarity with Goldie, a beautiful Golden Retriever who tragically suffered and died at a USDA-licensed puppy mill. The USDA watched for months as her condition continued to decline—and did nothing to save her. Goldie’s Act was named in her honor.

This event has a new date and time!

DATE: Thursday July 20, 2023
TIME: 9:30 A.M. - 11:00 A.M. ET
LOCATION: The U.S. Capitol, on the grass between Independence Ave. SE and First St. SE [MAP]

FOX 29 News Philadelphia

Watch: Dozens of dogs rescued from hot U-Haul truck

Body cam video shows over 30 dogs rescued from U-Haul truck

Harrowing body cam footage shows the moment officers rescued over 30 dogs from a U-Haul truck that was sitting in the Oklahoma City heat during one of the hottest months on record.

On June 5, Oklahoma City police were dispatched to a Walmart after some employees noticed a U-Haul truck that was parked in the middle of the parking lot, according to FOX 25.

Dogs in cages

American Kennel Club opposed 450+ bills designed to help dogs

Since 2008, the American Kennel Club has opposed more than 450 bills advancing various protections for dogs, including measures to regulate the treatment of dogs at massive breeding operations. The HSUS

New research conducted by our Stop Puppy Mills campaign reveals that the American Kennel Club, a purebred dog registry organization that used to call itself “the dog’s champion,” has opposed more than 450 bills that aimed to help pups since 2008. What’s more, its opposition has escalated, at the same time that dozens of AKC-linked breeders have appeared in our annual Horrible Hundred reports on problem puppy mills, and others have been charged with or convicted of animal cruelty.

Chained Calf

Alert: Dangerous Bill Could Wipe Out Animal-Protection Laws Across the Country

Following a huge loss before the Supreme Court, groups representing industrial animal agriculture have urged federal lawmakers to introduce the Ending Agricultural Trade Suppression (EATS) Act. Though the title of the bill sounds innocent, this legislation infringes on states’ rights, ignores the will of voters and threatens to erase state animal-protection laws ranging from bans on cruel farming practices to protections for dogs in puppy mills. A clear overreach of federal power, the EATS Act could eliminate existing laws and stop states from passing new laws, creating a disastrous race to the bottom for animal welfare.

This is the kitchen island on which a Wisconsin veterinarian allegedly performed surgery on animals, and the refrigerator where she allegedly stored veterinary medications, before her license was summarily suspended. (Photos from Wisconsin Veterinary Examining Board, courtesy of Bailing Out Benji)

Board: Vet who helped route dogs to Iowa performed kitchen-island surgeries

A veterinarian who facilitated the sale of hundreds of puppies to Iowa brokers and retailers has had her license suspended on an emergency basis after allegedly performing surgical procedures on her kitchen island.

The Wisconsin Veterinary Examining Board has summarily suspended the license of Dr. Darcy W. Overturf of Hillpoint, Wis., citing an urgent need to protect the public welfare. The board alleges Overturf admitted performing surgeries and other medical procedures on the kitchen island inside her home.

Investigators for the board also alleges Overturf improperly signed the various certificates of veterinary inspection that are needed for the transfer of dogs from and between breeders. Those documents, commonly called CVIs, are used to document the fact that the animals were physically examined by a veterinarian and can be sold to dealers in other states. Overturf is alleged to have admitted that she allowed the sellers for whom she worked to fill out significant portions of some of her CVIs.

ASPCA Animal Rescue Member holding a dog in his arms.

ASPCA Assists in Rescue of Nearly 90 Dogs from Breeding Operation in Wisconsin

At the request of the Pepin County Sheriff’s Office, we are assisting with the rescue of nearly 90 dogs and puppies from a breeding operation in Wisconsin. When investigators arrived on the scene, they found dogs of varying breeds and sizes, including puppies and pregnant dogs living in unsanitary conditions. Two horses and five donkeys were also found on scene. Some of the animals had dirty hair coats and appeared to be suffering from untreated medical issues requiring immediate veterinary treatment.

a sugar glider

USDA Unbothered by Continued Denials for Access to Exotic Animal Facility, Leaving Animals and the Public in Danger

Under the federal Animal Welfare Act, animal breeders and dealers licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) are required to make their premises available for unannounced inspections, the purpose of which is to ensure animals are receiving at least the minimum standard of care required by law.

Although these are supposed to be surprise inspections, the USDA allows businesses to identify optimal hours for inspections. Despite this accommodation, upon an inspector’s arrival, licensees are often unavailable or tell the inspector it is not a good time. The USDA marks this as an “attempted inspection” and leaves without viewing the animals.

The USDA claims their inspection process ensures that licensed animal breeders and dealers follow the law. How can that be true if the USDA allows licensees to willfully and repeatedly refuse federal inspection of their premises?

Two dogs with bloddy paws in a cage standing on floor grates

5 Wisconsin puppy breeders or dealers make ‘Horrible Hundred’ new list

The list contains 100 puppy mills that are considered the worst of the worst.

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The Humane Society for the United States releases an annual “Horrible Hundred” list, documenting problem puppy breeders and dealers across the U.S. Five entries from Wisconsin made the grim list, putting the state in unfortunate company.

“A puppy mill is a commercial dog breeding kennel where the dogs are treated like agriculture commodities rather than pets; they’re treated like breeding machines. And so you’re going to have just rows and rows of cages of dogs that are just being bred every heat cycle until their bodies wear out,” said the Humane Society’s John Goodwin.

Goodwin is the senior director for the organization’s Stop Puppy Mills campaign. He says the places and breeders on the list are there due to horrible sanitation conditions, overcrowding, and untreated medical issues/injuries. Five places or breeders are listed in Wisconsin out of the hundred on the list. The data is compiled by tracking state and federal citations and violations.

small dog with an eye condition being held.

6 Kansas puppy mills included in humane society's 'Horrible Hundred' report

Inspectors found more than 125 ill or injured dogs at Steve Kruse’s Stonehenge Kennel between 2015 and 2023. (USDA/ 2022)

The Humane Society of the United States has released its annual report highlighting 100 problem puppy mills.

Kansas tied for the fifth-most, with six puppy mills in the 2023 "Horrible Hundred" report. There were seven in the 2022 report and the 2021 report.

The HSUS said in a release that Kansas puppy mills appeared in its report for keeping dogs in dirty, small cages with piles of feces.

"At one facility, the breeder [Mary Moore] admitted to tossing dead puppies into a field," the release said. "The same facility also had 264 dogs and none of the adult dogs had had regularly scheduled veterinary examinations since 2021."

HSUS says undercover investigation reveals Wichita Petland stores are buying from puppy mills in 'horrible conditions'

No image for this story

HSUS's annual report documenting 100 of the country's known puppy mills (PDF) has been released for 2023.

Uncovering national puppy mills

The Humane Society of the United States is reporting on problem puppy mills, including some dealers (re-sellers) and transporters. The Horrible Hundred report is a list of known, problematic puppy breeding and/or puppy brokering facilities.

It is not a list of all puppy mills, nor is it a list of the worst puppy mills in the country, but rather a list of dog breeders to avoid.

Two dogs sitting facing forward looking sad

Animal Rescue League of Iowa helps remove 34 dogs from Missouri breeding operation

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Animal Rescue teams from Iowa and Missouri say they removed 34 dogs from a northern Missouri breeding operation this week.

In a press release on Thursday, the Animal Rescue League of Iowa said it worked with Wayside Waifs in Kansas City.

The operation voluntarily surrendered American Eskimo, Golden Retriever, and Labrador Retriever dogs of all ages.

The dogs will need vaccinations, spay/neuter surgeries, and some will even need eye and dental surgeries before they will be ready for adoption, the ARL said.

“These dogs are arriving at a time when animal shelters across the country are seeing a record high number of dogs in their care and the ARL and Wayside Waifs are no exception,” said Tom Colvin, ARL CEO.

KCCI News Des Moines, Iowa logo

Report: Iowa ranks near the top in this 'Horrible Hundred' list

DES MOINES, Iowa —A new report shows Iowa has the second-highest number of puppy mills in the country.

The Humane Society just published its annual "Horrible Hundred" list. Thirteen Iowa dog breeders appear on this year's list. Ohio also has 13.

In a photo taken by a state inspector, a dog stands looking away from the camera, her tail pointing down. At first glance, this image may seem like a sweet photo because of the boxer’s soft brown eyes and emotional expression. But farther up in the frame, the dog’s body tells a different story. Her ribs jut out; her hip bones and spinal column are starkly visible. And just beside her emaciated body is a pile of five tiny puppies sleeping next to an empty bowl.

Revealed: 100 reprehensible US puppy mills in Horrible Hundred report

In a photo taken by a state inspector, a dog stands looking away from the camera, her tail pointing down. At first glance, this image may seem like a sweet photo because of the boxer’s soft brown eyes and emotional expression. But farther up in the frame, the dog’s body tells a different story. Her ribs jut out; her hip bones and spinal column are starkly visible. And just beside her emaciated body is a pile of five tiny puppies sleeping next to an empty bowl.

Protect dogs from cruel puppy mills!

A Missouri Department of Agriculture inspector documented this boxer, whose name is Lindy Lou, at a breeding facility that is still licensed, not only by the state, but by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The owner, Ellen Roberts (Rocky Top K-9s), is listed in our Horrible Hundred report for the eighth time. Lindy Lou was not confiscated; the inspectors required the owner to have her treated by a veterinarian within two days of the inspection. Despite inspectors finding many ailing dogs in her kennel over the span of a decade, it appears Roberts has faced no serious repercussions, and her “business” is still operating.

text logo of FOX43

Pennsylvania has 8 puppy breeders, dealers in annual Humane Society 'Horrible Hundred' report

Of the eight Pennsylvania kennels listed in the report, six are from central Pennsylvania, including four from Lancaster County, the Humane Society said.

LANCASTER, Pa. — Pennsylvania ranks among the worst states cited in the Humane Society's annual "Horrible Hundred" report, which lists 100 problem puppy breeders and dealers across the U.S.

No image for this story

National report shows Iowa has second most puppy mills in the country

IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - A recent study lists Iowa second only to Missouri for the number of puppy mills in the country. The research done by the Humane Society U.S. is called ‘The Horrible Hundred’ because it shows the horrors that typically come with puppy mills and animal breeders.

The Humane Society says 240 puppy mills on its list have been shut down nationwide over the past few years. This year, the study put 13 Iowa dog breeders on the list. That’s the same number as Ohio.

Iowa’s high ranking is discerning for many humane societies and animal shelters across the state.

“Our animal welfare laws are pretty sub par. We’ve got a lot of work to do. I know the HSUS Iowa is working really hard to make changes to our laws and ordinances here, but unfortunately they’re just really far behind where we should be,” said Iowa City Animal Services Officer, Devon Strief.

Two dogs with bloddy paws in a cage standing on floor grates

Iowa tied for second most problematic dog breeders in annual Horrible Hundred report

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Iowa is among the states with the most problematic dog breeders, according to an annual report.

The Humane Society released its “Horrible Hundred” report, which lists problematic puppy breeders and dealers across the country to raise awareness and encourage buyers to choose adoption or buying only from carefully-screened breeders.

Iowa and Ohio are tied with 13 dealers making the list. That comes in second only to Missouri, which has the most, with 31. Missouri has had the most problematic dealers for 11 years in a row.

a beagle in a crate

USDA Message Sounds Good, but Will Its Practices Follow Suit?

In late April 2023, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), the USDA agency responsible for oversight of animal businesses and farm animal health, released its five-year strategic plan [PDF] for 2023-2027. The ASPCA submitted comments on its draft proposal, urging the agency to keep animal welfare front and center in its animal programs and to steer its failed Animal Welfare Act enforcement program back on track.

text logo of lehighvalleylive.com

Declawing, pet shop sales ban adopted in Easton. It’s now 2nd Lehigh Valley city to do so.

Easton City Council gave final approval to a new ordinance that bans the sell of dogs, cats and rabbits by pet shops within the city.

And because every squeak matters, a last-minute amendment to the law will ban the selling of guinea pigs also, the council said.

Guinea pigs are considered one of the country’s most popular pets, according to reports.

“This decision puts the city on the cutting edge of a national movement and sends a direct message to puppy mills across the country,” Easton resident and volunteer with the Lehigh Valley Humane Society Stephanie Gallagher said.

Representative Josh Harder logo

Rep. Josh Harder Joins Effort to Protect Dogs From Abusive Breeders

The Humane Society estimates 10,000 puppy mills are currently operating in the U.S.

WASHINGTON – Today, Representative Josh Harder (CA-9) co-sponsored bipartisan legislation to stop breeders from mistreating dogs and puppies by bolstering federal standards for commercial dog breeders. This legislation comes after dozens of puppy mills across the country have been shut down because of horrific neglect and inhumane treatment, including the heartbreaking story of an Iowa puppy mill where 199 dogs were killed in a single day. Right here in the Central Valley last year, 150 dogs were rescued from a puppy mill in Modesto.

news 12 Connecticut logo

★ Sen. Blumenthal proposes 2 bills against animal abuse

Sen. Richard Blumenthal proposed laws against animal abuse at the Dog Star Rescue in Bloomfield Monday.

If approved, the Better Care for Animals Act will strengthen the U.S Department of Justice's enforcements under the Animal Welfare Act.

A second law, the Goldie's Act, will ensure that the U.S. Department of Agriculture will enforce laws intended to protect dogs in puppy mills.

Wolf Point Kennel, located in the Warren County town of Ackworth, was cited for six regulatory violations in March. The dogs pictured here were photographed during a 2021 inspection of the business. (Main photo via Google Earth; inset photos by U.S. Department of Agriculture inspectors of two small dogs, courtesy of Bailing Out Benji)

Puppy mill update: Iowa still leads the nation in both violators and citations

Iowa continues to lead the nation in the number of regulatory violations committed by puppy mills.

During the first quarter of 2023, federal inspectors cited the nation’s licensed dog breeders for 303 violations. Of those, 107 were committed by Iowa breeders.

The 107 violations were committed by 26 different Iowa breeders, which means Iowa also leads the nation in the number of puppy mills that were cited by regulators during the first three months of 2023. The No. 2 state, Missouri, had 31% fewer puppy mills cited for violations than did Iowa.

a tan puppy pressing its face through the grates of its kennel

★ 199 Dogs Were Killed at Iowa Puppy Mill in ONE Day

Update May 1, 2023: Despite Kruse’s history of Animal Welfare Act violations and that he appears to have unlawfully auctioned off a dog during his suspension under another breeder’s name, there is no record of the USDA inspecting Kruse's dogs after issuing a 21-day suspension. The suspension has now lifted, and Steve Kruse continues to be licensed under the USDA to broker dogs without any restriction.

Update April 10, 2023: The USDA temporarily suspended Steve Kruse’s license for 21 days at the end of March 2023. Despite the suspension and a recent inspection documenting numerous dogs suffering from painful, untreated health conditions, there are no reports showing that any dogs have been removed from Kruse’s care.

While the suspension is a victory, the dogs at Kruse’s facility still remain in danger with Kruse’s history of abhorrent violations of the law. Goldie’s Act continues to be vital in the fight against puppy mills. Sign our form today to tell Congress to support Goldie’s Act!

February 24, 2023: Public records released last week by the USDA show 199 dogs were transferred to a puppy mill operated by Steve Kruse, and soon after, they were all euthanized by his veterinarian in a single day.

Steve Kruse is no stranger to the puppy mill industry. Over the past 30 years, he has built a massive business breeding and brokering dogs. Despite a long and troubled history of animal care violations [PDF], U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) continues to unquestioningly issue Kruse licenses to keep and sell dogs.

Steve Kruse’s Stone henge Kennels in West Point, Iowa, has been repeatedly cited for failure to provide adequate veterinary care, and the USDA recently suspended Kruse’s license. The two dogs pictured here were suffering from bleeding foot injuries and an eye disorder, according to federal inspectors. (Aerial photo courtesy of Bailing Out Benji. Inset photo taken by USDA inspectors of one dog courtesy of Bailing Out Benji.)

Animal-welfare group calls for criminal charges against Lee County puppy mill

Animal welfare advocates are asking Lee County officials to consider filing criminal charges against one of Iowa’s largest dog breeders.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture suspended the breeder’s license of Steve Kruse, whose Stonehenge Kennels is located at 2345 Highway 16 in West Point.

In its notice to Kruse, the USDA said the 21-day suspension was based on the agency’s conclusion he had willfully violated Animal Welfare Act regulations and was failing to meet the minimum standards for licensing.

Steve Kruse’s Stone henge Kennels in West Point, Iowa, has been repeatedly cited for failure to provide adequate veterinary care, and the USDA recently suspended Kruse’s license. The two dogs pictured here were suffering from bleeding foot injuries and an eye disorder, according to federal inspectors. (Aerial photo courtesy of Bailing Out Benji. Inset photos taken by USDA inspectors courtesy of Bailing Out Benji.)

USDA suspends license of major Iowa dog breeder with a history of violations

Owner once threw a bag of dead puppies at an inspector

Steve Kruse, whose Stonehenge Kennels is located at 2345 Highway 16 in West Point, was notified March 30 that the U.S. Department of Agriculture was suspending his license for 21 days. In its notice to Kruse, the USDA said it was taking the action because the agency had reason to believe he had willfully violated Animal Welfare Act regulations and was failing to “meet the minimum standards for animals.”

A dog in a small cage

New progress in fight against puppy mills shows caring about companion animals is a nonpartisan issue

A dog at a massive breeding operation in Missouri, where federal inspectors found thin nursing mother dogs and a limping dog with an open sore, and state inspectors found ramshackle cages, bloody diarrhea and several instances where dogs weren’t given the minimum required space, among other issues. Missouri Department of Agriculture

In a country where political tempers often run hot, agreement can seem incredibly rare. But, regardless of party affiliation, a consensus is emerging that our companion animals should be treated with basic decency—and this is not how kitten and puppy mills treat dogs and cats.

a tan puppy pressing its face through the grates of its kennel

★ 199 Dogs Were Killed at Iowa Puppy Mill in ONE Day

Update May 1, 2023: Despite Kruse’s history of Animal Welfare Act violations and that he appears to have unlawfully auctioned off a dog during his suspension under another breeder’s name, there is no record of the USDA inspecting Kruse's dogs after issuing a 21-day suspension. The suspension has now lifted, and Steve Kruse continues to be licensed under the USDA to broker dogs without any restriction.

Update April 10, 2023: The USDA temporarily suspended Steve Kruse’s license for 21 days at the end of March 2023. Despite the suspension and a recent inspection documenting numerous dogs suffering from painful, untreated health conditions, there are no reports showing that any dogs have been removed from Kruse’s care.

While the suspension is a victory, the dogs at Kruse’s facility still remain in danger with Kruse’s history of abhorrent violations of the law. Goldie’s Act continues to be vital in the fight against puppy mills. Sign our form today to tell Congress to support Goldie’s Act!

February 24, 2023: Public records released last week by the USDA show 199 dogs were transferred to a puppy mill operated by Steve Kruse, and soon after, they were all euthanized by his veterinarian in a single day.

Steve Kruse is no stranger to the puppy mill industry. Over the past 30 years, he has built a massive business breeding and brokering dogs. Despite a long and troubled history of animal care violations [PDF], U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) continues to unquestioningly issue Kruse licenses to keep and sell dogs.

a beagle behind a wire grate

★ USDA Scandal Fallout: ASPCA Sends Letter to USDA & Congress; Senior USDA Official Resigns

On March 16, 2023, the ASPCA sent an open letter to Secretary Tom Vilsack of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and members of Congress to take immediate action to protect dogs from government-sanctioned cruelty following an appalling USDA cover-up of the Envigo case.

One of the dogs housed at a facility run by Daniel Gingerich of Seymour. (Photo from U.S. District Court exhibits)

★ D.C. Dispatch: Lawmakers bark at puppy mills, Biden energy policies

Iowa’s congressional delegation was doggedly pursuing legislation this week ranging from anti-animal cruelty proposals and restrictions on veterinary drugs to bills promoting fossil fuel production and ethanol.

Nunn joins support of dog protection bills

Rep. Zach Nunn joined with a bipartisan group of House members to support Goldie’s Act and the Puppy Protection Act, bills that aim to protect dogs from puppy mills and cruel living conditions.

Iowa dog breeders had the worst record in the nation for violations in 2022.

Golden Retriever #142 known now as Goldie. An emaciated dog who suffered and died at a USDA-licensed Puppy Mill in Iowa.

★ Puppy Mill Bill, Named After Iowa Dog, Could Become Federal Law

Protections for Iowa dogs could become federal law, if two bills reintroduced by Rep. Zach Nunn (R-Iowa 3) pass.

Nunn, three other Republicans and two Democrats, reintroduced former Rep. Cindy Axne’s (D) bipartisan bill, nicknamed Goldie’s Act.

The bill would crack down on loopholes for enforcing the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) and strengthen requirements for US Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspections.

The bill would crack down on loopholes for enforcing the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) and strengthen requirements for US Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspections.

“Dogs are family members, and they deserve the best defense from people who would do them harm,” Nunn said in a press release. “These bipartisan bills are important to ensure better protection for dogs and to hold individuals accountable for cruel behavior.”

In memory of Iowa dog

Goldie’s Act was named in memory of one of the dogs abused at the Wayne County puppy mill owned by Daniel Gingerich. Goldie, a golden retriever, was extremely malnourished, but her condition was never officially reported or noted as a violation of the AWA.

Golden Retriever #142 known now as Goldie. An emaciated dog who suffered and died at a USDA-licensed Puppy Mill in Iowa.

★ Goldie’s Act Is Back: Urge Congress to Pass It!

Last Friday, U.S. Representatives Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY), Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Mike Quigley (D-IL), Chris Smith (R-NJ), and Zach Nunn (R-IA) took a stand against the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) failure to protect animals at puppy mills by reintroducing Goldie’s Act, a federal bill to strengthen the USDA’s enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act. Recent high-profile cases reveal the USDA’s total failure to protect animals in federally licensed facilities, as the law requires. Goldie’s Act is urgently needed to ensure that the USDA is fulfilling its legal obligation of protecting animals in commercial facilities by documenting violations, helping animals who are visibly suffering and sharing information with local law enforcement.

Cision PR Newswire: news distribution, targeting and monitoring home

★ ASPCA Commends Federal Lawmakers for Introducing Goldie's Act to Protect Dogs in Puppy Mills

Goldie's Act would ensure the USDA does its job to protect dogs in federally licensed puppy mills

WASHINGTON, March 29, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) commends U.S. Reps. Nicole Malliotakis (R-N.Y.), Mike Quigley (D-Ill.),Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.), Chris Smith (R-N.J.), and Zach Nunn (R-IA) for introducing Goldie's Act (H.R. 1788), a federal bill that will ensure the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) does its job to protect dogs in federally licensed, commercial dog breeding facilities, also known as puppy mills. This must-pass legislation is desperately needed to right the USDA's abject failure at enforcing the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), which has led to untold animal suffering.

Puppy Protection Act brings hope for dogs languishing in puppy mills

Puppy Protection Act brings hope for dogs languishing in puppy mills

In West Point, Iowa, a large-scale, commercial breeding facility called the Stonehenge Kennel contains more than 800 dogs. Here, since 2015, more than 100 dogs have been found sick or injured; some had open lesions and could barely walk. As recently as December 2022, the U.S. Department of Agriculture found multiple dogs there suffering from visible hair loss, crusty or dirty eyes and ears, swellings on their legs, paws, abdomens and several other painful issues. Violations like this have been documented at the massive facility again and again for over a decade. The Stonehenge Kennel has violated the USDA’s regulations frequently enough to land in our annual Horrible Hundred report five times.

a beagle and her puppies in a small cage

Mass USDA Corruption and Cover-Up Exposed Through Envigo Case

On March 9, 2023, the global news agency Reuters published shocking, new details about the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) mismanagement of a 2022 case involving Envigo, a mass-breeding company with multiple locations that supplies dogs for research and experimentation. They found:

  • USDA inspectors were directed to delete content from their reports.
  • The USDA denied additional personnel to support inspections.
  • The USDA team leader supervising the investigation published a 107-page inspection report detailing Envigo’s violations. Managers ordered the report to be edited down to 22 pages, and later the team leader was removed without explanation.
Country Village Animal Clinic - William McClintock

★ Veterinary board imposes no public discipline in Gingerich puppy mill case

Newly disclosed records indicate 199 surrendered dogs were euthanized in one day

The state board that oversees Iowa’s veterinarians will be taking no public disciplinary action against the veterinarian connected with the Daniel Gingerich puppy mill case.

Puppy in a cage

New Documentation of Florida Pet Stores Selling Cruelly Bred Puppies

In September 2022, two Miami pet stores—Glamorous Puppies and Puppies Secret—received Yorkshire Terrier puppies from one of the most notorious commercial dog dealers in the country, according to newly received documentation from the State of Iowa.

Animal Victory logo of an illustration with the words Animal Victory and a bird with a heart in front of it's beak with the wording below the bird Sign a Petition. Save an Animal.

Estimated 200 Dogs Found In Filthy Conditions At Puppy Mill When Police Investigated A Murder

Stephens County, Oklahoma – An estimated 200 dogs were discovered at a Stephens County, Oklahoma, residence when police went to the home in mid-February to investigate a murder. Evidence at the home led Stephen’s County Sheriff’s Office deputies to arrest 49-year-old Karen Jean Prichard on suspicion of second-degree murder, and dismal conditions at her Marlow property prompted further investigation resulting in 113 counts of cruelty to animals.

Golden Retriever #142 known now as Goldie. An emaciated dog who suffered and died at a USDA-licensed Puppy Mill in Iowa.

★ Goldie’s Act: Federal Legislation to Protect Dogs in Puppy Mills

Goldie’s Act was named after Golden Retriever #142, who was a victim of one of the most egregious puppy mill cases we have seen to date. She lived without clean food and water, space to play, and love. She didn’t even have a name until we gave her one when we learned about her and the heartbreaking way she died.

Golden Retriever #142 known now as Goldie. An emaciated dog who suffered and died at a USDA-licensed Puppy Mill in Iowa.

★ CONGRESS: Include #GoldiesAct in the Farm Bill to protect 250k+ innocent dogs suffering in federally licensed facilities! Read ASPCA’s letter here:

Puppy in a cage

★ 199 Dogs Were Killed at Iowa Puppy Mill in ONE Day

Public records released last week by the USDA show 199 dogs were transferred to a puppy mill operated by Steve Kruse and euthanized by his veterinarian just days later.

Steve Kruse is no stranger to the puppy mill industry. Over the past 30 years, he has built a massive business breeding and brokering dogs. Despite a long and troubled history of animal care violations [PDF], U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) continues to unquestioningly issue Kruse licenses to keep and sell dogs.

One breeder who operated a puppy mill under this arrangement with Kruse is the notorious Daniel Gingerich. A portion of Gingerich’s commercial breeding business was on a property owned by Kruse. Records show Kruse transferred hundreds of dogs to Gingerich, and when the USDA inspected Gingerich’s facility on that property in July 2021, they had more than enough evidence to confiscate the dogs and revoke Gingerich’s license for violations of the Animal Welfare Act. Instead, the USDA agreed for the dogs to be returned to Kruse, even though he had years of documented violations of his own.

Public records obtained from the USDA last week revealed that just a few days after the dogs were transferred back to Kruse, 199 were “euthanized” by his veterinarian [PDF].

Puppies in cage

★ Puppy Mill Update: A New Trend for Dog Breeders and Dealers?

On February 14, 2023, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service published its annual summary of the enforcement actions taken against those who aren’t in compliance with the Animal Welfare Act (AWA)—the only federal law protecting dogs in commercial breeding and dealing facilities.

White dog in bed

A Long Road Ahead for a Former Puppy Mill Dog

My newly adopted doggie, Minnie, is a Toy Poodle who spent the first four years of her life in a filthy cage, covered in fleas, ear mites, and matted fur full of her own feces. She was forced to have litter after litter.

Sad looking senior Golden Retriever on a leash laying down outside on cement.

‘So-called puppy mills’ numbers continue to soar in Ohio, animal rescue groups say

HOLMES COUNTY, Ohio (WJW) – The FOX 8 I-Team has found the number of high volume dog breeders registering with the state soaring.

Hundreds of large volume dog breeders are now in Ohio, the numbers confirmed this month by the Commercial Dog Breeding Advisory Board.

In 2018, there were 290 high volume dog breeders licensed in Ohio. In 2019, 418. Now there are over 600 large volume dog breeders in the state.

A few dogs standing on metal grate flooring behind bars

Iowa dog breeders responsible for 36% of all violations in the U.S. last year

Iowa’s dog breeders had the worst record of compliance with federal regulations in 2022, accounting for 36% of all violations cited nationally.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture cited dog and cat breeders and brokers for 795 violations in 2022, a total that excludes citations for “missed” inspections resulting from USDA officials not gaining access to the operations.

A dog in a dirty kennel

Dog Breeder Arrested in Iowa

Earlier this week, a dog breeder in Iowa was arrested by the Appanoose County Sheriff. Henry Sommers, a USDA-licensed breeder until he voluntarily cancelled his license in mid-January, has been charged with two counts of animal neglect with serious injury, three counts of animal neglect with injury and two counts of animal neglect without injury.

For over a decade, and while he was licensed by the USDA, Henry Sommers bred puppies to be sold in pet stores across the country, and he has been harming dogs for just as long.

Two dogs in a small cage with a wire floor

Rural Iowa dog breeder charged with seven counts of animal neglect

County law enforcement officials say they are investigating a rural Iowa dog breeder who is being sanctioned by federal regulators.

Henry Sommers, the owner of Happy Puppy on 141st Avenue in the town of Cincinnati, was arrested Tuesday by the Appanoose County Sheriff’s Office. Sommers, whose business has a long history of regulatory violations, was recently fined $12,600 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a string of violations over the past six years.

Rescued breeder dog lived a full, loving life after she was saved

Rescued breeder dog lived a full, loving life after she was saved

Fighting the big fights for animals means that we are constantly working at an enormous scale to change thousands and thousands of lives—from securing the passage of animal protection laws and filing lawsuits on behalf of animals to conducting investigations and rescuing animals from crisis situations. But today I want to focus on one of those lives in remembrance: a poodle named B.B., who passed away in the loving arms of her adopter earlier this month.

Small dog sitting facing straight aheady.

★ Lolly’s Journey from Terrified Puppy Mill Victim to Confident Helper Dog

In November 2021, at the request of the U.S. Department of Justice and the Animal Rescue League of Iowa, the ASPCA assisted in removing, transporting and sheltering more than 500 dogs and puppies in the care of a USDA-licensed breeder in Seymour, Iowa. The animals were surrendered after the USDA documented over 190 violations of the Animal Welfare Act.

Small dog in a crate looking at you

★ Congress must work across the aisle to end egregious animal abuse by commercial breeders

For years now, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has displayed an unacceptable pattern of insufficient enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), leading to serious harm imposed upon innocent animals. Specifically, those provisions which require commercial breeders to be licensed and provide care for the dogs at their facilities have gone alarmingly unenforced and ignored

Take the case of breeder, Daniel Gingerich, and Golden Retriever #142, who was later named Goldie by the animal protection community. When federal inspectors at the USDA first found Goldie, she was so emaciated that her ribcage and hipbones protruded. The state of the facility was horrific: the dogs were surrounded by excrement and vermin and lacked access to food and water. Despite these conditions, the USDA took no enforcement action and as a result, Goldie died on Gingerich’s property.

a small poorly groomed, unhealthy looking dog in a cage with a wire floor and dirty carpet

★ USDA Awards Employees for Disastrous Puppy Mill Case

Update: January 11, 2023

We analyzed the USDA’s inspections, documented violations, and enforcement actions for the 2022 fiscal year, and it is clear the agency is still failing at its job to protect dogs in puppy mills. The USDA documented over 800 violations of the Animal Welfare Act by licensed dog breeders (puppy mills) and puppy brokers–collectively referred to as "dog dealers"–last year.

Dog in a crate on a shelf in an enclosure.

Sheriff launches investigation of Iowa dog breeder

The owner of a rural Iowa dog-breeding business was arrested Tuesday and charged with seven counts of animal neglect.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has fined Henry R. Sommers, who runs the Happy Puppy dog-breeding operation on 141st Avenue in the Appanoose County town of Cincinnati, $12,600. The fine stems from numerous citations for regulatory violations over the past six years.

★ WATCH: Org Urges Congress to Crackdown on Puppy Mills & Inhumane Conditions for Animals

Following the tragic death of a golden retriever at an Iowa puppy mill in 2021, the ASPCA and the Animal Rescue League of Iowa teamed up to save 500 puppies. Now, these orgs are urging Congress to pass legislation that would help animals who are living in inhumane conditions.

Two dogs in a small cage with a wire floor

USDA fines Iowa dog breeder with long history of violations

A rural Iowa breeder who euthanized unwanted dogs with unauthorized stomach injections and then left the animals alone to die has been fined $12,600 by the federal government.

Henry R. Sommers, who runs the Happy Puppy dog-breeding operation on 141st Avenue in the Appanoose County town of Cincinnati, has been cited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for numerous violations over the past six years.

a small poorly groomed, unhealthy looking dog in a cage with a wire floor and dirty carpet

★ USDA Awards Employees for Disastrous Puppy Mill Case

We have obtained documents showing that the USDA’s Animal Care Division gave cash awards to 17 staff members who were involved with the notorious 2021 Gingerich puppy mill case in Iowa. The documents redacted the specific dollar amounts of the awards, which recognize exceptional performance or achievements by USDA staff, but based on agency guidelines, the awards likely total tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars. Given the USDA’s mishandling of that case over the course of many months, and its lack of action to intervene to save the dogs—or even to revoke Gingerich’s license to breed—this is a staggering, outrageous development.

black silhouette of a dog jump of a tan back ground with a green butterfly next to it with the text: The Puppy Mill Pipeline into NY will be shut down

A Major Victory for Dogs, Cats, and Rabbits in New York

After passing the New York Legislature by large bipartisan majorities, the New York Puppy Mill Pipeline Bill has been signed into law by Governor Kathy Hochul, ending the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in New York State's pet stores.

Edie Falco with two dogs

Celebrities and Citizens Are Urging NY’s Governor to Sign Puppy Mill Pipeline Bill into Law

After successfully making it through the New York State Legislature, the fate of the Puppy Mill Pipeline Bill is in Governor Hochul’s hands. The groundbreaking legislation that would end the retail sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in New York pet stores only needs the Governor’s signature to become law.

The puppy mill pipeline is a cruel industry that puts profit over the well-being of the animals. Puppies sold in pet stores come from commercial breeding operations, also known as puppy mills, where breeding dogs are often kept in crowded cages, forced to produce litter after litter with little to no veterinary care, adequate shelter or socialization. Their puppies are trucked into New York from all over the country, where they are sold in pet stores.

Two dogs in a small cage with a wire floor

New Overwhelming Documentation of New York Pet Stores Selling Cruelly Bred Puppies

Two New York pet stores–Teacup Pup and Astoria Pets in Queens–were recently shipped puppies from one of the most notorious puppy suppliers in the country, and we have the documentation from the state of Iowa showing the transactions.

This latest information adds to the mountain of evidence that demonstrates why New York must do more to protect animals. Governor Hochul must act swiftly to sign the Puppy Mill Pipeline Bill and stop cruel, out-of-state commercial breeders from profiting in New York.

Two dogs in a small cage with a wire floor

Iowa dog breeders continue to lead the nation in violations

Iowa continues to lead the nation in puppy mills sanctioned by the federal government, with far more violations cited in Iowa this year than any other state.

There have been at least 623 documented violations across the country to date this year, with Iowa operators responsible for 42%, or 267, of the total. The states that are next on the list are Missouri, with 75 violations; Wisconsin, with 59 violations; and Indiana, with 29 violations.

National data on violations is collected and analyzed by Bailing Out Benji, an Iowa-based animal-welfare organization that uses U.S. Department of Agriculture records to track regulatory compliance of breeders and kennels.

three puppies

★ One year later: Dogs recovering after large scale rescue in Iowa

It has been one year since the ASPCA assisted the Animal Rescue League of Iowa with the rescue of more than 500 dogs living in horrific conditions at a USDA-licensed Iowa puppy mill operated by Daniel Gingerich. Though Gingerich had a long, documented history of animal welfare violations, in November 2021, he surrendered the dogs, but only after the U.S. Department of Justice filed a complaint, and a federal restraining order was issued against him.

To give an inside look at our efforts to help dogs in cruel puppy mills and ensure the USDA is enforcing the Animal Welfare Act, one year later, we’ve asked ASPCA experts to reflect their role in the rescue, rehabilitation and legal work surrounding this case.

small dog facing up

★ Lolly makes remarkable recovery one year after largest dog rescue in Iowa

Today (Nov. 1) marks a year of recovery for hundreds of dogs rescued from an Iowa puppy mill. KCCI was there as the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Animal Rescue League conducted the largest dog rescue in state history at the Gingerich Farm in Wayne County.

dog laying in from of U.S. flag

Get Out and Vote

Animals are counting on You.

★ Gingerich rescue: 1 year of freedom

One year ago the ARL conducted the biggest puppy mill rescue in our nearly 100-year history. More than 500 dogs had been living in horrendous conditions at the hands of former Iowa breeder Daniel Gingerich, who is now permanently banned from breeding and selling dogs anywhere in the country.

The massive rescue operation spanned multiple days at multiple properties, but dog after dog, puppy after puppy, our team carried them all to safety. They finally got the medical care and behavioral care they needed, the love they had been missing for so long, and the caring homes they had always deserved.

One year later, watch the video above to see how your support changed these 500+ dogs’ lives and watch until the end for a special update on Doree, the dog who could not even stand at the time of her rescue!

a puppy at a puppy mill

★ USDA Fails Dogs Yet Again, Allowing Breeders to Break the Law

October 6, 2022: In response to this enforcement disaster, 49 members of Congress, in two separate letters, expressed concern about the USDA’s failure to enforce the Animal Welfare Act.

Small dog with overgrown nails.

★ State agency slashes fine against convicted puppy-mill operator

In an effort to "conserve staff time and resources," Iowa regulators have slashed the penalty imposed on one of the state’s most notorious puppy mill operators.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship has cut the fine it imposed last October against former dog breeder Daniel Gingerich, reducing it from $40,000 to $10,000.

Puppy in a cage.

★ Nonprofit raises concerns that Iowa regulators are facilitating ‘puppy laundering’

State and federal regulators don’t track where breeders are shipping animals

An Iowa state agency is charging a nonprofit group $225 to offset the expense of searching for puppy-mill records the agency now admits it doesn’t maintain.

Dogs in cages

★ Iowa continues to lead the nation in puppy-mill violators

Iowa continues to lead the nation in puppy mills sanctioned by the federal government and is expanding its lead over other states.

During the second quarter of 2022, a total of 23 Iowa breeders and brokers were cited for regulatory violations by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Missouri came in a distant second place for the number of violators, at 13.

a puppy in a dirty kennel at a puppy mill

What Happens When the Federal Government Finds Dogs Living Like This?

This Bulldog puppy was living in filth and pacing in circles in his enclosure at a federally licensed puppy-breeding facility in Iowa. The facility’s licensee told an inspector from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that the puppy had an open wound on his neck when he was one week old. He also said that he sewed it up himself with a needle and thread and that he did not seek medical care for the puppy.

Golden Retriever #142 known now as Goldie. An emaciated dog who suffered and died at a USDA-licensed Puppy Mill in Iowa.

★ Honoring Goldie on No Pet Store Puppies Day

Thursday, July 21, 2022, is No Pet Store Puppies Day, a day to remind pet-lovers everywhere that puppies in sold pet stores very likely come from puppy mills (even if the pet store tells you that’s not true!).

dog looking through bars

★ Banned dog breeder’s father cited for unlicensed breeding facility in Ohio

The father of Daniel Gingerich, a former Iowa puppy mill operator sentenced to jail and fined $60,000 for animal-welfare violations, has been cited for operating an unlicensed dog-breeding operation in Ohio.

Last year, federal officials pursued civil charges against Daniel Gingerich for dozens of regulatory violations at his dog breeding operation, Maple Hill Puppies, in Wayne County. That effort culminated with Daniel Gingerich surrendering more than 500 dogs to the Animal Rescue League of Iowa and agreeing to never again participate in a licensed business covered by the federal Animal Welfare Act.

a white dog looking at the camera being held by a woman in purple t-shirt

U.S. House Passes FY2023 Spending Package, Including Critical Resources for Animals

The votes are in-the U.S. House of Representatives just passed a broad spending package to fund various federal agencies for Fiscal Year 2023. The federal budget operates on fiscal years that run from October 1 to September 30, so this FY2023 bill will take effect later this year.

a puppy at a puppy mill

★ USDA Fails Dogs Yet Again, Allowing Breeders to Break the Law

October 6, 2022: In response to this enforcement disaster, 49 members of Congress, in two separate letters, expressed concern about the USDA’s failure to enforce the Animal Welfare Act. In one letter [PDF], members of Congress requested answers from the USDA about their decision to renew Envigo’s license despite evidence of flagrant violations of the law, while the other letter [PDF] urged the USDA to reform its enforcement program to address and prevent ongoing abuse of animals.

July 10, 2022: The Department of Justice and Envigo reached a settlement on July 15, 2022. As expected, Envigo can no longer operate at the Cumberland, Virginia, facility, and all dogs remaining at the location will be transferred to animal shelters.

Unfortunately, Envigo will not be subject to any further civil action, they will pay no fines and the settlement does not prevent Envigo from continuing to operate other locations. In fact, the USDA just renewed Envigo’s license for another year.

July 8, 2022: In 2021, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) asked a federal court to intervene and protect hundreds of dogs who were being held in a commercial breeding facility in Iowa. More than 500 dogs were later removed from the facility run by USDA-licensee Daniel Gingerich.

two horses in a field at sunset

2023 Budget Predicts Progress for Animals

Great news for animals! This week, the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee introduced a draft of its bill to fund the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for fiscal year 2023. We are thrilled to share that it contains several ASPCA-supported measures that will help improve the lives of animals for years to come.

Happy dog

Big Win: New York Passes Bill to End the Retail Sale of Dogs, Cats and Rabbits in Pet Stores!

Today, the New York State Legislature passed the Puppy Mill Pipeline Bill, groundbreaking legislation that will end the retail sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in New York pet stores.

Group of dogs one drinking dirty water

17 Iowa dog breeders are ranked among the worst in the nation

Issues include frozen water, wood shavings in food, untreated injuries and lethal injections

An Iowa dog breeder who admitted killing some of his unwanted dogs with stomach injections and then leaving them alone in their cages to die is among the Iowans listed in the Humane Society of the United States’ annual list of the nation’s 100 worst dog breeders (PDF).

an ASPCA responder carrying a rescued dog

★ Iowa Puppy Mill Update: The USDA Is Keeping It in the Family

Six months ago this week, the ASPCA, along with Animal Rescue League of Iowa, removed over 500 dogs from a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)-licensed dog breeding facility belonging to Daniel Gingerich. We are happy to share that almost all of those dogs are now in loving homes, while a few others are still receiving necessary medical and behavioral care.

Golden Retriever # 142 now know as Goldie standing behind bars drinking water with another dog in the background.

★ New ASPCA Research Shows Large Bipartisan Majority of Americans Support Federal Legislation to End Puppy Mills

In honor of National Animal Advocacy Day (April 30), actors Eric McCormack and Edie Falco join the ASPCA to support Goldie’s Act, federal legislation that will protect dogs in puppy mills

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) released new data from a national poll conducted by Lake Research Partners that revealed 77 percent of Americans support federal legislation that would end puppy mills. Additionally, 71 percent of Americans support federal legislation that would require the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to increase enforcement of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) with support extending across political party, age, gender and regardless of whether the respondent lived in a rural or urban setting.

Goldie sketch

★ Prevent Puppy Mill Cruelty-Join Goldie’s Act Week of Action!

In a USDA-licensed dog-breeding facility in Iowa, a young Golden Retriever suffered without fresh food, water or veterinary care. She lived and died in a dirty cage, and she never experienced a safe, loving home. She was even denied a name: the breeder who owned her merely referred to her as Golden Retriever #142. We named her Goldie, and this week is for her.

★ [Warning: Graphic Content] Fight Puppy Mill Cruelty: Urge Congress to Pass Goldie’s Act

Commercial dog breeders, also known as puppy mills, are supposed to meet certain care standards-and it's the USDA's job to make sure that they do. But the USDA has neglected its duties for far too long, leading to tragic outcomes for dogs like Goldie. To prevent future suffering, we must pass Goldie's Act: aspca.org/goldiesact

ASPCA Award

ASPCA Award Honors Six Remarkable Individuals for Protecting Dogs in Puppy Mills

Each year, the ASPCA honors animal welfare professionals, members of law enforcement and public officials for their exceptional efforts to tackle animal cruelty across the country. Earlier this week, six remarkable individuals were celebrated with the 2022 ASPCA Champion for Animals Award.

Golden Retriever #142 known now as Goldie. An emaciated dog who suffered and died at a USDA-licensed Puppy Mill in Iowa.

★ Horrific Cruelty by USDA Licensed Breeder

Each year, the ASPCA honors animal welfare professionals, members of law enforcement and public officials for their exceptional efforts to tackle animal cruelty across the country. Earlier this week, six remarkable individuals were celebrated with the 2022 ASPCA Champion for Animals Award. From New York to Iowa, these Champions worked relentlessly toward a shared goal: protect dogs in puppy mills.

Huskie and Horse

★ Congress Budgets for Measures to Protect Animals

Update March 15, 2022- After passing the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate, President Biden signed the federal omnibus Appropriations Bill for the 2022 fiscal year into law. Here’s what you need to know, and how this bill will impact critical animal welfare initiatives.

What is an Omnibus Appropriations Bill?

An omnibus is a fancy word for a giant annual spending bill that outlines funding for all the departments and agencies of the federal government. It includes funding decisions addressing everything from defense spending to healthcare, tax provisions to cybersecurity, and, yes, animal welfare!

When the Appropriations Bill was released by House and Senate negotiators this week, our team jumped to work to review the elements of the bill that we influenced and compile a summary for you.

Here are the key animal welfare takeaways:

Shut Down the Puppy Mill Pipeline

Attention, New York: 5 Days and 5 Ways YOU Can Help Shut Down the Puppy Mill Pipeline

New York State has the chance to make history by passing the NY Puppy Mill Pipeline Bill (A.4283/S.1130). This important legislation will strike a major blow to the cruel and deceptive puppy mill industry by ending the retail sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in New York pet stores.

Toy the pug

Life-Long Health Issues for Pug Rescued from Puppy Mill

We adopted our dog Toy from a Pug rescue group when she was five years old. She was one of 26 Pugs rescued on Independence Day in 2016. Toy lived in a wire cage and was bred time and time again, and she did not receive any veterinary care.

KCCI News Des Moines, Iowa logo

★ KCCI Investigates: Where puppy mill breeder sold dogs before USDA stepped in

The puppy at the pet store may not have come from where you think it did.

In the months leading up to the U.S. Department of Agriculture shutting down a puppy mill in rural Seymour, Iowa, records show Daniel Gingerich sold more than 500 dogs to pet stores in at least 10 different states.

Goldie when she was found

★ 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.

two puppies being held by a woman in a striped shirt

Find Puppy Love This Valentine’s Day Without Supporting Puppy Mills

Puppy love is real.

Sadly, so is cruel breeding. Dogs in puppy mills live without love–they’re bred for profit and kept in tiny cages, all to keep the inhumane puppy industry in business.

woman with brown hair wearing a cloth mask petting a white Pitbull

You Helped the ASPCA Improve Laws for Animals in 2021—Here’s What We Accomplished Together

For more than a century, the ASPCA has worked hard to create, promote, enact and enforce stronger animal-protection laws. Advocating for animals continued to keep us busy last year! Throughout 2021, the ASPCA’s dedicated members and supporters answered our calls for action, and together we made a real difference for animals.

Dogs in cages

★ The Connection Between Florida Pet Stores and a Horrific Puppy Mill

In November, the ASPCA assisted with the rescue of more than 500 hundred dogs from a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)-licensed commercial dog breeding facility in Iowa. The breeding facility was owned by Daniel Gingerich and was licensed by the USDA in 2019, but the agency didn’t inspect his facility until 2021. When the USDA finally inspected the facility, they found many animals suffering: dogs hidden from inspectors, ongoing disease outbreaks like parvovirus and distemper, heat distress, lack of water and food, dead and dying dogs–over 200 violations of the Animal Welfare Act in total. Dogs were sick and dying on the USDA’s watch.

Group of five dogs in a cage.

Florida Bill Threatens to Protect Puppy Mills and Puppy-Selling Pet Stores

Prompted by a groundswell of community interest in shutting down the cruel puppy mill pipeline, cities and counties across the country have adopted local laws to end the sale of dogs and cats in stores. Profitable and successful pet stores in the U.S. do not sell dogs and cats, and people are taking notice–selling pets in stores relies on an unsustainable, inhumane network of commercial breeding operations.

a black and white dog in cage

New York Attorney General Files Lawsuit Against Pet Stores

Today, the ASPCA joined the New York Attorney General Letitia James at a press conference announcing a lawsuit against Shake A Paw®, a retail pet shop that sells puppies, for unlawfully and deceptively selling sick puppies to unsuspecting consumers at its two Long Island locations. The lawsuit claims Shake A Paw falsely advertised sick pets as healthy, fabricated health certificates, failed to disclose animals’ medical conditions, misrepresented puppies’ breeds and refused to reimburse consumers for veterinary bills.

★ Rep. Axne introduces legislation to strengthen enforcement of Animal Welfare Act

U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne is pushing Goldie's Act, a bill that requires more frequent USDA inspections, cooperation between local and federal law enforcement and harsher penalties for owners who don't properly care for the dogs.

White dog with no eyes

A Badly Bred Pet Store Puppy and His Unbelievable Disease Progression

Submitted by Kimberly W., Las Vegas, NV

I purchased Trevor not knowing about the problems with buying puppies from pet stores. Trevor is a Basset Hound, and he is five years old now. I bought him in 2016, and I paid around $3,000 for him.

Golden Retriever #142 known now as Goldie. An emaciated dog who suffered and died at a USDA-licensed Puppy Mill in Iowa.

★ ASPCA Commends Federal Lawmakers for Introducing "Goldie’s Act" to Protect Dogs in Puppy Mills

New bill seeks to amend the Animal Welfare Act after more than 500 dogs were rescued from a USDA licensed dog breeding facility in Iowa.

WASHINGTON, DC – The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today commends U.S. Reps. Cindy Axne (D-Iowa), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), Mike Quigley (D-Ill.), Nicole Malliotakis (R-N.Y.), Susan Wild (D-Pa.) and Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.) for introducing Goldie’s Act, a federal bill to amend the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), which is intended to protect dogs in puppy mills. This legislation is a needed response to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) abject failure to enforce the AWA and consistent pattern of abdicating its duties, which has led to untold animal suffering. The bill will require more frequent and meaningful inspections, confiscation of dogs who are suffering, imposition of deterring monetary penalties against licensees who violate the law and require the USDA to share information with law enforcement agencies.

Golden Retriever # 142 now know as Goldie standing behind bars drinking water with another dog in the background.
Rep. Axne - December 2, 2021 Press Release

★ Rep. Axne Responds to Wayne County Puppy Mill Scandal with New Legislation to Force Stronger Enforcement of Animal Welfare Act

New bipartisan bill named in memory of Goldie, one of 500 dogs kept in abhorrent conditions at Iowa puppy mill that had a documented history of violations

Yesterday, Rep. Cindy Axne (IA-03) introduced new bipartisan legislation to close enforcement loopholes in the Animal Welfare Act. This is in response to the recent closure of a Iowa puppy mill in Wayne County that amassed nearly 200 violations of the law before being shut down by a court order.

Golden Retriever #142 known now as Goldie. An emaciated dog who suffered and died at a USDA-licensed Puppy Mill in Iowa.

★ Axne introduces bill in response to Gingerich puppy mill abuses

The U.S. Department of Agriculture would be required to report and impose penalties when dog breeders violate the Animal Welfare Act under a new bill proposed by Rep. Cindy Axne.

The bill is named "Goldie’s Act," after a golden retriever who died under the care of Iowa puppy mill owner Daniel Gingerich, who operated in Iowa for two years and amassed over 100 violations of the Animal Welfare Act.

KCCI News - Des Moines, Iowa - Posted on YouTube December 1, 2021

★ 'Goldie's Bill' aims to strengthen Animal Welfare Act, improve conditions in breeding facilities

Dog facing you

10 Incredible Things You Helped Make Possible for Animals

You are truly a lifesaver! Without your continued support for animals in need, we would not have been able to accomplish all that we did in 2021. Animal lovers like you are the reason so many vulnerable animals get second chances throughout the year. And while you may not be able to witness firsthand all the incredible outcomes your support creates, everything we do would be impossible without you by our side. You have helped changed so many lives for the better!

small dog in a cage

★ The Connection Between a Cruel Iowa Puppy Mill and New York Pet Stores

The ASPCA recently assisted with the rescue of more than 500 dogs from a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) licensed commercial dog breeding facility in Iowa. Daniel Gingerich was licensed by the USDA in 2019, but the agency didn’t inspect his facility until 2021. When the USDA finally inspected the facility, they found many animals suffering, dogs hidden from inspectors, ongoing disease outbreaks like parvovirus and distemper, heat distress, lack of water and food, dead and dying dogs–over 190 violations in total. Dogs were sick and dying under the USDA’s watch.

White dog

Court Upholds Maryland Law That Shut Down the Puppy Mill Pipeline

Across the U.S., puppy-selling pet stores and commercial pet breeders have failed to convince courts to undo laws fighting puppy mill cruelty.

a rescued golden retriever puppy

★ New Photos: Update on 500+ Dogs Surrendered by USDA-Licensed Breeder

Last week we announced that more than 500 dogs living in horrific conditions at a USDA-licensed breeding facility were surrendered by breeder Daniel Gingerich, who supplied puppies to pet stores in multiple states.

She Could Barely Lift Her Head

★ She Could Barely Lift Her Head

For her entire 4 years of life, she churned out puppies for Daniel Gingerich, a commercial breeder with a long history of animal cruelty. And now that she could no longer even stand, she had been discarded, left to suffer alone. She was one of 500+ dogs the ARL recently assisted in rescuing.

Over 500 Dogs Are Now Safe — Now They Need You

★ Over 500 Dogs Are Now Safe - Now They Need You

The ARL Mobile Rescue Team has arrived back in Des Moines after a multi-day rescue operation to remove more than 500 dogs from a commercial breeder at six locations in Iowa. The dogs were saved from horrific conditions at the hands of Daniel Gingerich, who has been accused of 190 violations of the Animal Welfare Act. The operation to save these dogs began weeks ago, and while they are finally safe, the hardest part is still ahead. Now they need YOU.

two dogs on leashes

★ ARL evacuates over 500 dogs from Iowa puppy mills

The Animal Rescue League of Iowa and other organizations have rescued over 500 dogs from Iowa puppy mill owner Daniel Gingerich. ARL officials said it was their largest rescue and the dogs are being treated and prepared for adoption.

“All dogs are now safe, are being brought to health, and have been given a second chance at life,” said Tom Colvin, CEO of the Animal Rescue League.

dogs in a muddy outdoor pen

★ USDA Licensed Breeder in Iowa Surrenders More than 500 Dogs Living in Horrific Conditions

Animal Rescue League of Iowa, in coordination with the ASPCA, requested to assist with animal removal, transport and sheltering

Animal Rescue Corps, Bissell Pet Foundation, First Medical Inc., Hills Foundation, Iowa State University, IVMA, RedRover, Wayside Waifs and Wisconsin Humane Society also providing assistance with transport and daily care for the animals

SEYMOUR, IOWA-At the request of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the Animal Rescue League of Iowa (ARL), in coordination with the ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®), is assisting with the removal, transport, and sheltering of more than 500 dogs and puppies currently in the care of a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) licensed breeder in Seymour, Iowa. Daniel Gingerich agreed to surrender all of the animals in his care after the USDA documented more than 190 violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA).

Animal rescue

★ Iowa dog breeder gives up 514 dogs, will soon face criminal charges

SEYMOUR, IOWA - As volunteers and workers from the ASPCA and Animal Rescue League of Iowa work to take hundreds of dogs from his rural Iowa properties, Daniel Gingerich has agreed to permanently stop selling, breeding or brokering dogs. Wayne County Sheriff Keith Davis says Gingerich will soon face criminal charges.

White dog

Former Puppy Mill Dog Still Has Challenges

Submitted by Barbara and Charlie S., California

On November 12, 2018, the ASPCA was called in to assist with evidence collection, transport and sheltering of 160 dogs from a breeding facility in Worth County, Iowa. Upon arriving at the scene, investigators discovered the dogs, all Samoyeds, living in frigid, overcrowded conditions without food. In addition, their water was frozen, leaving them without drinking water.

a dog with her puppies

Drug-Resistant Bacterial Infections Linked to Pet Store Puppies

Researchers have been tracking a drug-resistant bacteria transmitted from pet store puppies to humans–Campylobacter jejuni. Findings are outlined in a recent report published in JAMA Network Open.

Puppies in cage

★ One Example of Shocking Cruelty at a USDA-Licensed Dog Breeding Facility

Update: On September 24, 2021, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) filed an administrative complaint to revoke Daniel Gingerich’s license to operate his commercial breeding facility. This came after more than 100 recorded violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) and multiple dogs dying under Gingerich’s watch.

Golden Retriever #142 known now as Goldie. An emaciated dog who suffered and died at a USDA-licensed Puppy Mill in Iowa.

★ Citing 'shocking' actions of Iowa dog breeder, judge issues restraining order

A federal judge has issued a temporary restraining order against an Iowa dog breeder described by regulators as one of the nation’s biggest repeat violators.

U.S. District Court Judge Stephanie Rose issued the order this week, just one day after the U.S. Department of Agriculture brought suit against Daniel Gingerich, formerly of Seymour, for numerous violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act.

ASPCA petition delivery

Puppy Mill Petition Results: You Spoke, and We Delivered!

Yesterday we delivered the results of our recent petition to the White House, urging President Biden to direct the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) do its job and protect dogs in puppy mills. This call to action comes to President Biden as the USDA has struggled to adequately respond to one of the most egregious examples of puppy mill cruelty we’ve ever seen. The delivery included a selection of personal puppy mill stories submitted by ASPCA supporters and over 130,000 signatures.

Man holding dog

This National Dog Day, We’re Celebrating Dogs and Their Advocates

Happy National Dog Day! As we celebrate pups everywhere, we would also like to highlight the work of the advocates who are building a more humane world for dogs.

dogs in a kennel

U.S. Senate Committee Advances Wins for Animals in Federal Spending Bill

This week, the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations advanced provisions to protect animals in the Agriculture Appropriations bill-a huge annual bill that funds the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and other federal agencies. This bill outlines protective measures that could benefit dogs in puppy mills, horses and farmed animals.

a bulldog in a cage

New Audit Shines Spotlight on USDA’s Failure to Protect Dogs in Commercial Breeding Facilities

In a series of audits since 1992, the USDA’s internal investigators, the Office of Inspector General (OIG), has consistently identified major deficiencies in the USDA’s oversight of dog dealers, resulting in the grossly inhumane treatment of dogs in commercial breeding facilities (commonly referred to as puppy mills).

black cat in a pink blanket being held by a rescuer

We're Reminding the USDA to Protect Animals Before Disaster Strikes

As a leader in disaster response, the ASPCA helps animals across the country affected by wildfires, tornados, winter weather and other disasters. We witness firsthand the devastating effects of failing to include animals in disaster planning.

wild horses

U.S. House Passes FY2022 Appropriations Package with Advancements for Animals

Update-July 29, 2021: Today, the U.S. House passed its federal funding package-and included important advancements for animals! That means the animal protection measures described below have advanced through one chamber of Congress-increasing the odds they will be signed into law. Thank you to the advocates who supported these important initiatives by contacting their federal lawmakers.

This week, the U.S. House Committee on Appropriations advanced important measures to protect animals in two government funding bills. The committee reported separate Fiscal Year 2022 Appropriations bills to fund the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Interior Department—both bills contain crucial protections for animals and increased funding for important programs.

The House Agriculture Appropriations bill includes significant animal-protection measures such as...

a spaniel

Victory: Another Florida County Shuts Down Puppy Mill Pipeline

Florida’s Orange County, home to the city of Orlando, has joined more than 70 other Florida jurisdictions in ending the sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits in retail pet stores. These laws-nearly 400 nationwide!-are big wins because they can eliminate a critical outlet for cruel puppy mills.

Dog in cage

★ We’re Taking the USDA to Court for Sleeping on the Job While Animals Suffer

Friday, June 11, 2021, the ASPCA filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for failure to enforce the Animal Welfare Act-a federal law passed more than 50 years ago to ensure the humane treatment and care of commercially bred dogs.

Illustration of puppy mill pipeline.

Calling All New Yorkers: Join Our Week of Action to Help Puppy Mill Dogs!

Take me to the daily action list!

In the next few weeks, New York State has the chance to make history and strike a major blow to the cruel and deceptive puppy mill industry by passing the Puppy Mill Pipeline Bill.

Dog with crusty eye

Shocking Cruelty at Licensed Puppy Mills Provokes No Response from the USDA

In March 2021, a dog-dealer based in West Point, Iowa, was inspected by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). During the inspection, USDA inspectors found sick and injured dogs [PDF]—including a Bulldog who could not bear weight on her leg, a Samoyed with a swollen eye that leaked discharge down the side of her face, and a Boston Terrier who was so emaciated that her backbone, ribs and hip bones were visible. In total, there were 691 dogs at the facility that day.

Dog in cage

USDA Congressional Budget Hearing Raises Animal Welfare Concerns and Offers Hope for Reforms

  • On Wednesday, April 14, U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack testified virtually before the Congressional subcommittee that determines funding levels for the USDA, including funding for important animal welfare programs.
  • Members of Congress raised pressing animal welfare concerns—including enforcement issues regarding the Animal Welfare Act, the timeline for progress on animal welfare improvements under the National Organic Program and the need to reform conventional agriculture, including harmful factory farming.
  • The ASPCA thanks the representatives who spoke out on these issues, including Appropriations Chair Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME).
  • We hope that Secretary Vilsack and the Biden administration will take these concerns seriously and take swift action to make needed reforms to animal welfare programs run by the USDA.

It’s too late to save Goldie, but we can prevent other dogs from meeting her fate

Please Support Goldie's Act -  H.R.1788 (link to house.gov)

Goldie's Act Illustration of a dog's head reaching over bars
Goldie's Act Illustration courtesy of the ASPCA's Support Goldie’s Act to Protect Dogs in Puppy Mills

Connect with us

Get Goldie’s Act trending by sharing on your social media accounts. Be sure to use the hashtag #GoldiesAct and follow @GoldiesAct for updates along the way!