Nearly 170 dogs were seized from a puppy mill in Northern Iowa because all of the dogs were living in deplorable conditions.

The ASPCA is assisting the Worth County Sheriff's office with evidence collection, transport and sheltering of nearly 170 dogs from an inhumane commercial breeding facility in Worth County.

A search warrant was executed Monday where investigators discovered hundreds of dogs living in overcrowded conditions and exhibiting signs of neglect with no access to clean water. Many of the dogs were found in dilapidated kennels in below freezing temperatures and minimal protection. A few cats were also found inside the building with signs of neglect.

“We have tried to work with the individual in addressing the growing concerns about the welfare of her animals over the past several months and unfortunately met resistance,” said Sheriff Dan Fank with the Worth County Sheriff’s Office. “This is a large-scale breeding operation involving many animals, and we asked the ASPCA and their affiliates for assistance in removing them from the property and ensuring that they get much-needed care and treatment as we continue our investigation.”

The investigation was set forward by the Worth County Sheriff's Office several months ago when local animal welfare groups became aware of the breeder's inability to properly care for the animals. The breeder was previously licensed through the USDA, despite failing to provide essential needs for the dogs.

“Many commercial breeding operations prioritize profit over the well-being of the animals, often producing puppies that suffer from health and behavioral problems,” added Tim Rickey, Vice President of ASPCA Field Investigations and Response. “Thanks to local animal welfare groups for raising their concerns and the Sheriff’s Office for taking swift action in launching an investigation, we were able to support the case by providing expertise and resources to remove these dogs from this heartbreaking situation.”

The ASPCA is transporting the animals from the property to a temporary shelter where they will receive daily care until custody is determined.

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