Quotes from the breeder's USDA inspection report, "A total of 66 dogs at the facility were identified to be in need of veterinary care by a veterinarian licensed in the state of Iowa during the time of inspection. These veterinary care issues included chronic skin conditions, gingivitis, dehydration, an umbilical hernia, ear parasites and infections, chronic eye problems, abscesses of the scrotum, and various purulent discharges from the penis and anus as per the veterinarian... Food and animal waste from washdowns has been allowed to accumulate immediately adjacent to the outdoor runs of the main building. The pile is not less than five feet in diameter and not less than one foot at the highest point. In addition to the amount present, the accumulation is showing signs of degradation. Therefore, it is clear that this has been allowed to accumulate for some time... The main building had a strong odor. Some windows were open at the time of the inspection. However, they did not supply sufficient fresh air... The veterinarian present indicated that some of the Boston Terriers, due to their body structure, had abscesses and/or ulcerations from them constantly being on the mesh in use... The feet of these puppies were observed passing through the openings in the floor...The enclosures had 3 square feet of floor space when subtracting space taken by the food and water bowls. The enclosure contained three dogs. The minimum floor space required for these three dogs is approximately 17 square feet... The food receptacles for all outdoor housed dogs are excessively dirty... The dogs had not received water twice in a 24 hour period... The water bowls for all outdoor housed dogs are excessively dirty... All wash downs in the breeding rooms had excessive accumulation of animal and food waste... The outdoor washdowns were covered solid with animals and food waste... The facility owner refused (inspection). Refusal to allow inspection is a serious violation of the Animal Welfare Act."
Here are some links to articles about the case.
The USDA inspection report from the raid
The original plan called for any dogs pulled from the facility to reside at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The college offers a Veterinary Technician Training Program and had the kennel space necessary for this operation. Once the dogs arrived at the school, the college allegedly began receiving threatening phone calls that allegedly originated from the breeder of the dogs. The college suddenly recinded their offer to help. 66 dogs that were now in a safe place, were in need of a new safe place and fast. The authorities were in dire need of placement for the dogs that were being held as evidence.
The call went out for local rescues to step up to the plate in a game that they weren't even playing. The groups would be required to take these animals into their homes at their own expense. They would have to agree to keep these dogs for an undetermined amount of time. They would agree that the dogs did not belong to them, and they must obey any judgements made over the case. They knew they were taking a risk with their funds, and with their hearts.
Rescue volunteers from groups all over Iowa stepped up, never hesitated, and took in all 66 dogs. Not one dog had to go back to the breeder due to lack of a place to go. Rescuers took them to their own veterinarians to be evaluated and provided them with any medical care they required. Rescuers fostered the dogs in their homes, paid for food, toys and treats, and paid veterinary bills with their own funding. But in the end, their biggest expense was the toll it took on their heart.
Meet Miss Lily. She is just one of the 66 dogs. She wore a tag at the time of her liberation from the breeder. On that tag was a number, #104. There was no name on the tag. There was no spark in her eyes.
The edges of her ears were torn from her cagemates. She had open sores, scabs, and scars on her head, legs, and body. Her haircoat was sparce, to the point where you could see her skin through what should be a full coat. There was so much dander on her skin from it's dryness that it looks like she was playing in the snow. She had a permanent head tilt to the left, from an undiagnosed neurologic problem. In this condition, Lily's body was used to make puppies and turn a profit.
Lily's rescue group was Safe Haven of Iowa County. Her foster Mom was Rinthea. Lily was taken to the veterinarian and she was placed on antibiotics for 3 weeks for skin wounds and infections. Then she went home.
At her foster Mom's, she received a collar and a name tag. On that tag, was a name...her name. Lily learned to live in a house with people as part of a family. She began to learn housetraining. She began to learn what love means. Lily slept on cushions, and pillows, and soft cushy beds instead of a wire cage bottom for the first time. She met new dogs and discovered cats. Some of them would play with her, and some would not. She rolled on the soft carpet and in the grass. She felt hugs and received kisses. Lily learned her name.
As time was spent together, Lily's photos began to exude personality and love for life that was not there in the beginning. A spark now shined in her eyes. Rinthea's facebook posts of her time spent with Lily were passionate and powerful. But these days were also stressful.
The rescue volunteers waited anxiously to hear about the fate of the dogs. They were waiting on word from the courts as to the results of the investigation. Would charges be filed? Would the breeder lose is USDA license? How long would the dogs be held as evidence? What was going to happen, and when? Would they be relinquished permanently to the rescues and made available for adoption? Would the dogs go back to the breeder? Would they sit in limbo for months or even years waiting for the case to come to trial?
To be continued...
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