Iowa dog breeder, serving jail time in four-day increments, still owes $60,000 in fines

Posted at 3:06 PM, May 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-01 16:06:02-04

Former Wayne County puppy mill operator Daniel Gingerich is serving his 30-day jail sentence in four-day increments in Ohio and has yet to pay his court fees or the $60,000 in administrative penalties that were imposed last year.

Earlier this year, Gingerich was charged by the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office with four counts of animal neglect resulting in injury, plus two counts of animal neglect resulting in serious injury or death.

In March, a week before he was scheduled to be arraigned, four of the six counts were dismissed pursuant to a plea agreement with the Wayne County Attorney’s Office. As part of that deal, Gingerich pleaded guilty to one count each of animal neglect resulting in injury and animal neglect resulting in serious injury or death.

He was fined $430 and ordered to spend 30 days in jail on the first charge beginning no later than April 4. On the second, more serious charge, he was fined $855 and ordered to serve two years of probation. Both fines were waived by the court. At the same time, Gingerich was also ordered to pay $293 in court costs and fees, which remained unpaid as of Wednesday.

The sentence, handed down on March 21, requires Gingerich to serve his entire sentence no later than July 4.

Gingerich, who now lives in Highland County, Ohio, initially reported to that county’s jail where he was turned away because the county doesn’t have a contract with Iowa that provides for reimbursement for the cost of housing Iowa offenders.

“He showed up here to serve his time,” said Lt. Keith Brown of the Highland County Jail, “but he has not served any time here at all. He was in our lobby for a good hour and a half while I explained things to him.”

Gingerich then contacted Wayne County Sheriff Keith Davis in Iowa, who says he explained to Gingerich the burden was on him to find a jail to serve his sentence. “He had called a couple of counties out there and finally I said to him, ‘I’ve got a jail right here, and it’s not my job to find you another place to stay,’” Davis said.

Gingerich then reported to the Gallia County Jail in Ohio, about 95 miles from his home in Hillsboro. Over three separate stays of three to four days each, he has served 12 days of his sentence. His first day in jail was April 11, according to jail officials. That was one week after the court-imposed deadline for him to begin serving his sentence.

In a separate, administrative matter, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship last year imposed two fines totaling $60,000 against Gingerich, based on more than 100 alleged violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act.

IDALS officials say Gingerich has yet to pay anything toward either of those fines. An administrative hearing on Gingerich’s appeal of one of the fines, for $40,000, is currently scheduled for late May. The other fine, for $20,000, was not appealed.

The most serious of the criminal charges against Gingerich were tied to allegations that in April 2021, Gingerich failed to provide adequate and proper veterinary care to an adult golden retriever that was severely emaciated, which resulted in the dog being euthanized, and with the alleged neglect of a golden-doodle puppy that died due to complications related to parvovirus.

The lesser charges were tied the sale of 13 dogs, five of which were later shown to have medical issues. One of the dogs died and four others had serious respiratory issues, including pneumonia.

Last September, federal authorities took Gingerich, the owner of Seymour’s Maple Hill Puppies, to civil court in an effort to shut down his rural Iowa dog-breeding operation. That effort culminated with Gingerich surrendering more than 500 dogs to the Animal Rescue League of Iowa and agreeing to never again participate in a licensed business covered by the federal Animal Welfare Act.

Iowa Capital Dispatch is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Iowa Capital Dispatch maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Kathie Obradovich for questions: Follow Iowa Capital Dispatch on Facebook and Twitter.

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