Newly released federal court records show that Wayne County’s dog breeder Daniel Gingerich, now facing state and federal sanctions, has yet to comply with a court order requiring him to disclose the whereabouts of all animals under his control.
The files also show that federal officials rejected Gingerich’s proposal to settle the matter out of court.
On September 28, US District Court judge Stephanie Rose issued an order that Gingerich and anyone working for him should provide the US Department of Justice with a “list of all places where they have dogs for breeding or breeding.” Are intended for breeding, submit “sale” as well as a complete inventory of all his animals with details of breed, sex, age and unique identification number of each animal.
Justice Department attorneys told the court today, October 6th, that Gingerich had “not yet been served” on the case, but that they were “making immediate plans.”
Court records indicate that it took federal agencies some time to locate Gingerich’s residence because he moved to Hillsboro, Ohio, to his sister’s home without notifying the U.S. Department of Agriculture as required. But when DOJ officials contacted the sister, they were told that Gingerich lived there but was attending his dog breeding establishment somewhere in Iowa.
Gingerich does business in Iowa as Maple Hill Puppies. The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship fined Gingerich $ 20,000 and suspended his Iowa license for 60 days. This lawsuit coincides with the federal civil court lawsuit in which Rose recently approved the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s motion for an injunction against Gingerich for numerous violations of federal animal welfare law.
State and federal measures are based on the USDA inspectors’ findings that Gingerich has repeatedly failed to meet minimum standards for caring for several hundred dogs under his control. In the past two years, he has been cited for more than 100 animal welfare violations.
No criminal complaint was filed in the case.
Federal data shows that Gingerich operated kennels or breeding facilities in 10 different locations across Iowa, including Redding, Lamoni, Seymour, and Cantril.
Gingerich’s main base of operations appears, according to court records, to be in Seymour, where he lived before moving to Ohio. While it’s not clear how many dogs Gingerich now owns, records suggest he had at least 1,000 dogs and puppies on hand this year.
Court records show that on October 1, after Judge Rose issued her order, a US Justice Department attorney called Gingerich in Ohio by phone. During that call, Gingerich expressed his interest in resolving the USDA’s civil lawsuit, which is separate from the administrative sanctions now being pursued by the USDA and Iowa regulators.
According to court documents, the DOJ’s attorney told Gingerich that the agency had an opportunity to request mediation through the court, but she also indicated that the Justice Department is currently unwilling to consider such a move.
In a letter to Gingerich this week, the DOJ attorney stated that given unspecified comments regarding the court’s request to identify the locations of its dog breeding facilities and to provide a full inventory of his animals, mediation is currently not an option.
“We believe that it is necessary to first obtain from you the documents required by the court injunction before we are ready to seek mediation,” DOJ senior attorney Mary Hollingsworth told Gingerich in one Letter.
Federal court records indicate that Gingerich’s kennel at 3125 Davis Road in Seymour is administered by a man named Joe Miller, who lives there with his wife, Barbara.
According to state records, inspectors counted 675 dogs on Gingerich’s two Seymour properties during visits last summer. Dogs showed signs of heat stress and gasped and drooled, with some housed in a barn where the heat index was measured at 112 degrees.
Dead dogs were found in both locations – some in the grass, outside, and some in kennels that were kept indoors. Gingerich is said to have hidden some of his dogs in an old horse stable on one of the lots. When the inspectors entered the barn, they found 27 dogs in “excessively dirty horse stables” with no water in their enclosures.
After these visits, the USDA gave Gingerich special permission to start selling his dogs. According to state records, 53 dogs were given to another breeder and about 250 dogs were brought up for auction at a facility in Missouri.