CENTERVILLE — An Appanoose County dog breeder was arrested Tuesday and charged with multiple counts of animal abuse and neglected.
The Appanoose County Sheriff's Office reported they arrested Henry Sommers, owner of Happy Puppies in Cincinnati, Iowa, on Tuesday at 4:50 p.m. He has been charged with two counts of animal neglect with serious injury, an aggravated misdemeanor; three counts of animal neglect with injury, a series misdemeanor; and two counts of animal neglect without injury, a simple misdemeanor.
Sommers posted bond and was released from custody.
The sheriff's office begin its investigation on Jan. 11 after receiving a complaint of potential animal neglect. Records from the Department of Agriculture showed multiple violations of commercial breeder license regulations which contributed to some of the charges being filed, the sheriff's office said in a press release.
Sommers had been fined $12,600 by the USDA last year for multiple and repeated violations across inspections that occurred over three years. Among the allegations was that Sommers euthanized unwanted dogs by using unauthorized stomach injections and then leaving the animals alone to die.
During the sheriff's offices investigation, officials observed two adult Yorkshire dogs and two Yorkshire puppies were living in an unhealthy environment. Those dogs were taken to a local veterinarian for their injuries. Investigators also learned that Sommers had previously relinquished other injured dogs that required surgery.
The relinquished dogs are now being cared for by a humane society and veterinarian.
The sheriff's office says it is referring all reports to the USDA and Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship for review of Sommers' commercial dog breeder license.
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