Consumer fraud complaint lodged against Iowa puppy breeder


National animal welfare organization Bailing Out Benji says an Iowa breeder is part of a puppy-laundering scheme and is asking the state’s attorney general’s office to investigate.

Iowa Capital Dispatch reports the Iowa based organization says it has collected USDA records related to the dogs and puppies owned by Steve Kruse, the operator of Stonehenge Kennels in West Point.

Kruse has been cited for numerous USDA violations, a warning and license suspension.

Bailing Out Benji claims Kruse has been working around those disciplinary actions that prohibit him from routing puppies to states that prohibit their pet stores from getting animals from breeders with violations.

Kruse allegedly is transferring pregnant female dogs to business associates in Iowa, who in turn sell the puppies to retailers, then return the mothers to Kruse for additional breeding.

Bailing Out Benji founder Mindi Callison said her organization has received complaints about an associate of Kruse’s that is reportedly involved in the deception. The dogs being sold by that associate have reportedly suffered from health issues including worms and pneumonia.

The website reports Kruse is one of Iowa’s most prolific dog breeders, housing up to 700 dogs at Stonehenge Kennels. Over the years, inspectors have cited Stonehenge for numerous issues.  In December 2015, Kruse received a 21-day USDA suspension after he reportedly threw a bag containing two dead puppies at a USDA inspector.