The license of an Iowa dog breeder has been suspended, and it's not the first time. Why does he keep getting chance after chance, at the expense of animals?

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At the end of March, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) again suspended the license of a southeast Iowa breeder. According to Allie Bradshaw of A Friend of Jack Rescue in Denver, Colorado, 718 dogs were removed from an Iowa breeder recently. Bradshaw says the dogs have been taken to both shelters and rescues across the U.S. with the Denver rescue taking in 76 of them on Thursday and Friday of this week. They've found foster homes for 75 of them.

According to Iowa Capital Dispatch, Stonehenge Kennels in West Point, Iowa had 718 dogs during a USDA inspection in March. The kennel, owned by Steve Kruse, had dogs suffering from injuries or that were ill during an inspection last month. The suspension handed down by the USDA "was based on the agency’s conclusion he had willfully violated Animal Welfare Act regulations and was failing to meet the minimum standards for licensing."

Stonehenge Kennels also had their license suspended in 2015 and has ongoing violations over the years, including four different times in 2022. The video below is from a 2021 inspection.

What's more, The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) says in late February of this year, 199 dogs were "transferred to a puppy mill operated by Steve Kruse, and soon after, they were all euthanized by his veterinarian in a single day." They report it happened "despite an inspection only four days earlier, at which time, no widespread disease concerns among the population were documented."

Despite everything you've read, Kruse's 2015 and 2023 license suspensions have covered a total of six weeks.

If all of this weren't disturbing enough, the ASPCA says, "We learned though public records requests that Kruse owns and operates multiple commercial dog breeding facilities in Iowa, and the USDA allows those facilities to be licensed under other breeder’s names."

Twice last year, The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals sent formal complaints to the USDA about their handling of Kruse and the breeding locations tied to him.

Last week, Mindi Callison, the founder of an Iowa non-profit called on authorities to step in. Her organization, Bailing Out Benji, describes itself as "A humane education organization dedicated to raising awareness about animal issues, including puppy".

Callison has asked Lee County Sheriff Stacy Weber and County Attorney Ross Braden to consider charges against Kruse. In her request, she said the photos and reports from inspections conducted at the business provide a "strong case for animal neglect and cruelty charges."

Isn't it time for kennels with long histories of violations to be out of business for good? These dogs can't save themselves, it's up to others to do it. The more voices that demand action, the greater the chance it will be taken.

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