Iowa again ranks among the worst states for puppy mills


Iowa landed a spot as the second-worst state in the nation for puppy mills, according to an annual report released by the Humane Society of the United States.

In Iowa, 17 puppy breeding facilities were on the list. Many were repeats from previous years. Only Missouri, with 26 puppy mills listed, ranks higher.

The Horrible Hundred is a list of known and particularly problematic places and numbers for raising puppies and aims to give people an idea of ​​who to avoid. The Humane Society obtains information from available state kennel inspections, federal inspections conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture, and any records of fines or warnings at the state, federal, and/or County.

A puppy mill is a commercial dog breeding business that prioritizes breeding over animal welfare. They usually practice rapid breeding and keep dogs and puppies in poor neglected conditions.

Last year, Rep. Cindy Axne introduced legislation to crack down on puppy mills across the country.

The Iowa list has nine repeat offenders, with the worst being Henry Sommers/Happy Puppies in Cincinnati, Iowa. This year is the sixth time he has appeared on the list. He was cited for killing dogs by injecting them into the stomach. In previous reports, inspectors have noted injured dogs, unsanitary conditions and failures to provide adequate veterinary care.

Others made five appearances. These include Steve Kruse at Stonehenge Kennel in West Point. He worked with Daniel Gingerich, who faces criminal charges in Wayne County for animal neglect. Last year, Gingerich saw his business, Maple Hill Puppies, closed, his license suspended and was forced to hand over more than 500 dogs.

The other five-time offender is Helene Hamrick at Wolf Point Kennel in Ackworth. Its violations include contaminated food, keeping dogs in unsafe and dilapidated conditions, and failure to provide proper care.

Most violations include the filthy conditions the dogs live in, overcrowding, contaminated food, missing or non-existent medical records, and repeated issues with sick, injured, and/or dead dogs.

Others included on the list are:

  • Larry Albrecht/Coldwater Kennel, Greene*
  • Carolyn Anderson/Anderson Yorkies, Mason City*
  • Brian Felton, Centerville, Iowa
  • Menno Gingerich/Skyline Puppies, Albia, Iowa
  • Bruce Hooyer/JKLM Farm aka Shaggy Hill Farm, Sioux Center*
  • Jake Kruse/K&E Kennels Inc., Salem
  • Lavern Nolt/Twin Birch, Charles City
  • Ken and Rhonda Van Der Zwaag/Van Der Zwaag German Shepherds, Hull
  • Dennis and Donna Van Wyk/Prairie Lane Kennel, New Sharon*
  • Charles Vogl/SCW Frenchies, Atlantic*
  • Anita Wikstrom/Unforgettable Schnauzers, Ames*
  • Woody Wiley, Cantrile
  • Lloyd Yoder/Valleyview Premium Puppies, Riverside
  • Loren YoderRiverside*

*asterisks indicate repeat offenders.

Nikoel Hytrek
06/05/22

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