Letter to | the Editor
To the Editor:
Each year the Humane Society of the United States compiles USDA inspection information on commercial dog breeders all over the country. They then determine the top 100 worst breeders from among them and produce a report they call The Horrible Hundred. Iowa dog breeders have been included on this list every year with the number growing most years. This year has seen the largest increase. Fifteen (15) USDA licensed commercial dog breeders (aka puppy mills) in Iowa are included raising us to the second worst state in the nation. Last year we were #4 with 11 breeders listed. Iowa is getting better at being worse when it comes to dog breeding.
I volunteer at the Pottawattamie County Animal shelter and was there in 2013 when the 19 Puppy Mill dogs were seized from a garage in Neola. I saw firsthand how these puppy millers treat dogs. Each dog had hernias, ear infections, and abscessed teeth. They were found with water bottles, used to feed hamsters, as their source of water and their food dishes did not contain food, only dried feces. I adopted a 10 year old Shih Tzu. She had a broken jaw, few teeth, and was gray in color (her actual color is mostly white). She was fearful of humans for about one and a half years after I got her. It took her that long to trust humans. She has recurrent abscesses on her splayed feet from living cages with wire floors. What saddened me the most about the situation was that at the end of a long court case the judge came to the conclusion that it would be a good thing to allow the miller to sell 4 of the dogs INTACT so he could pay his fines to the County. That is very wrong on so many levels and shows a great disregard for animal welfare.
Why does Iowa refuse to acknowledge that this is a problem?! Please! I am asking our legislators to address this problem! Iowa is number 2 in the nation for the number of USDA commercial dog breeding facilities. We need state oversight! Please Iowa, contact your legislators.
You can write, call, or see them in person at forums like the Legislative Coffees at Wilson Middle School on Saturday March 11, March 25 and April 8 at 9AM.
Please go to iafriends.org for more information on puppy mills in Iowa and ways that you can help!
Lee Ann Walker, Council Bluffs