ASPCA Provides Ongoing Care, Sheltering for Dogs Seized from Iowa Puppy Mill

A second ASPCA emergency animal transport arrives to transport some of the over 170 dogs in the mill.

The ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) continues to support the Worth County Sheriff’s Office by providing daily care and sheltering for a total of 160 animals seized Monday from an inhumane commercial breeding facility near the north-central border of Iowa and Minnesota. Over the next couple days, ASPCA veterinary and behavior experts will be conducting medical exams to assess each individual animal, as well as implement behavior enrichment protocols such as providing socialization, treats and toys.

“We received many inquiries from people expressing interest in adopting these animals and we ask for their patience as these animals are considered evidence in an active case,” said Sheriff Dan Fank with the Worth County Sheriff’s Office. “Charges are still pending, and we will provide an update as we continue our investigation.”

“Our priority is to get these animals much-needed medical care and treatment and continue to support the Worth County Sheriff’s Office with their case,” said Tim Rickey, Vice President of ASPCA Field Investigations and Response. “We appreciate the overwhelming support from the public and plan to help the Sheriff’s Office seek suitable placement options once disposition is determined and give animal lovers an opportunity to give these animals loving homes.”

On Monday, the ASPCA removed animals from the property and transported them to an undisclosed temporary shelter where they will receive ongoing care and treatment until custody is determined by the court. Many of the dogs were found living in overcrowded conditions in below freezing temperatures and exhibiting signs of neglect. The investigation was set into motion by the Sheriff’s Office several months ago when local animal welfare groups became aware of the breeder’s inability to properly care for her animals and alerted local authorities to investigate the matter. Animal neglect charges are pending based on evidence collected by ASPCA experts in support of the investigation.

The following agencies are supporting the ASPCA in the field and with its sheltering operation: Animal Rescue League of Iowa; Companion Animal Practices North America; Dubuque Regional Humane Society; Humane Society of North Iowa; Humane Society of Scott County; Nebraska Humane Society; Veterinary Centers of America (VCA); and Wichita Animal Action League.

The ASPCA has rescued countless dogs from puppy mills across the nation and has been active in promoting legislation at both the state and federal levels to strengthen regulations and improve oversight of the standards of care of dogs in commercial breeding facilities. Dogs at these facilities are often kept in crowded, unsanitary conditions without adequate access to veterinary care, food, water, or socialization. The ASPCA’s Barred From Love campaign urges the public to speak out against cruel breeding and also encourages dog lovers to adopt from a local shelter or rescue group or learn how to identify a responsible breeder.