It was not very long ago that we shared the horrific story of 26-year-old former puppy mill owner Daniel Gingerich, who played a part in the abuse, mistreatment, and neglect of hundreds of dogs across his multiple midwest properties.
But despite the seizure of 514 dogs, including many that were sick, dying, or emaciated, he has somehow negotiated an extremely minimal sentence.
Last year, when investigators visited Gingerich’s breeding operation, they were shocked to witness the atrocious treatment of hundreds of animals. Videos from the visit show deeply disturbing images of investigators walking by cage after cage of emaciated, neglected, and abused animals. Dogs were being bred in filthy cages strewn with waste and had bowls of dirty, unchanged water.
Animals raised in commercial breeding facilities are thought to be “protected against harm” because the USDA conducts inspections that can confirm compliance with the Animal Welfare Act. But within just six months, Daniel Gingrich had amassed more than 120 violations.
The cruelty, neglect, and torture those animals suffered is difficult to fathom. How could someone treat innocent dogs like this? Especially someone legally and morally entrusted with their protection and care.
After the authorities inspected his operation, he was granted permission to sell hundreds of these poor pups at auction. Luckily for some, they were rescued before they were sold to another puppy mill or before they were simply left to die.
One of these dogs, now named “Eleanor,” was lucky enough to be saved. But what they found when they had to rush her to the emergency vet was deeply disturbing. Not only did Eleanor have a severe case of pyometra (infected uterus), but she had been inhumanely sewn-up with fishing line, presumably after a makeshift C-section.
Gingrich Faces Sentencing
Gingrich initially faced six aggravated and serious misdemeanor charges that carried a potential maximum jail time of eight years. But he has now been offered a plea deal. He pleaded guilty to two counts, one of animal neglect with serious injury or death and one of animal neglect with serious injury.
According to the plea agreement, Gingerich will spend two years on probation but only 30 days in jail. His probation fees are a mere $300.
According to court records, the first charge of animal neglect with serious injury or death refers to “Goldie,” an emaciated Golden Retriever who has now become the main furry face for protecting puppy mill dogs.
“If passed, Goldie’s Act would require inspectors to take welfare conditions seriously and help animals who are visibly suffering. It also would require meaningful penalties for violations, and conditions involving cruelty and neglect would be shared with local law enforcement,” says the ASPCA.
It may be too late for sweet Goldie, who suffered for so long and then had to be euthanized due to the severity of her neglect. But other dogs can be spared the same fate if we intervene now.
Animal Advocacy Groups Are Assembling
Animal advocacy groups have already begun rallying support for legislation that would make repercussions for criminals like Daniel Gingerich much more severe. They also hope that their actions urge lawmakers to pass “Goldie’s Act.”
But they need your help. Stay away from buying puppies online or in pet stores, and if the breeder refuses to show you the puppy’s parents, it’s likely they came from a puppy mill.
We’re counting on people like you to spread awareness and help end puppy mills once and for all.