Iowa county wants custody of animals taken from ‘puppy mill’

MANLY, Iowa (AP) — County officials in northern Iowa are trying to maintain custody of nine dogs and four cats that were taken from a commercial breeder accused of neglecting the animals.

The Des Moines Register reports that court records describe overcrowded and filthy conditions at the Manly, Iowa property. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is caring for the animals and calls the operation a "puppy mill."

Officials seized 154 Samoyeds and four cats from the property last month. In several visits to the property, a Worth County sheriff's deputy says he saw kennels covered with feces and mud and visibly skinny dogs with no water and little food.

The owner denies animal neglect allegations, but says she struggled to maintain the operation after her husband's 2017 death.