Public Safety

Samoyed dogs seized from Iowa 'puppy mill' placed with shelters, rescue groups

Some dogs will be up for adoption in near future

Officials executed a search warrant Monday, Nov. 12, 2018, on a puppy mill in Worth County. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said many of the dogs were kept in dirty and crowded conditions. (Photo supplied by ASPCA)
Officials executed a search warrant Monday, Nov. 12, 2018, on a puppy mill in Worth County. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said many of the dogs were kept in dirty and crowded conditions. (Photo supplied by ASPCA)

Some of the roughly 160 Samoyeds seized last week from a breeder in Worth County are being placed with shelters and rescue groups in the Midwest. However, this does not mean the dogs are ready for adoption just yet, an ASPCA spokesperson said.

The remaining dogs will stay at an undisclosed temporary shelter where veterinary forensic and behavior experts will continue to complete their assessments in support of the investigation led by the Worth County Sheriff’s Office.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said some dogs have been placed with the Cedar Bend Humane Society in Waterloo, the Humane Society of North Iowa in Mason City, the Nebraska Humane Society in Omaha and the Wichita Animal Action League in Wichita, Kansas. At the shelters, they will be evaluated and eventually be available for adoption.

“We are incredibly grateful for our response partners who are supporting our rescue operation by sending volunteers to care for these animals, as well as taking in animals to give them a second chance,” said Jessica Rushin, senior manager of ASPCA Partnerships. “Our responders have been working around the clock to care for these dogs, and we look forward to seeing them move on to the next stage where they will have an opportunity to be adopted into safe and loving homes.”

The dogs were seized on Nov. 12 from a property in rural Manly in north-central Iowa after the owner allegedly failed to correct what were deemed to be “appalling conditions,” authorities said.

Worth County sheriff’s deputies executed a search warrant that morning and workers examined the dogs and transported them to a temporary shelter to receive care.

The dogs were discovered “living in appalling and overcrowded conditions and exhibiting signs of neglect with no access to clean water,” the sheriff’s office and the ASPCA said last week in a news release. “Many of the dogs were found in filthy, dilapidated kennels in below-freezing temperatures with minimal protection from the elements.”

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The monthslong investigation was set in motion by the Worth County Sheriff’s Office after local animal welfare groups alerted authorities to the dogs’ living conditions, which the ASPCA has called a “puppy mill.” Animal neglect charges are pending based on evidence collected by ASPCA in support of the case, the ASPCA said.

l Comments: (319) 398-8238; kat.russell@thegazette.com

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