Breeder: Lindy and Kevin Aschinger
Address: 1321 380 Street
City, State Zip: Westside, IA 51467
Year: 2015
USDA License: 42-A-0446
Date of CAPS Investigation: 04/17/15
CAPS investigation: 04/17/15; kennel visited at 12:44

Weather at time of investigation: 75 degrees Fahrenheit and mostly sunny.

Breeds: West Highland Terriers, Yorkshire Terriers, American Eskimos, Beagles, Cairn Terriers, Chihuahuas, Chinese Crested, Cocker Spaniels, Dachshunds, Labrador Retrievers, Lhasa Apsos, Papillons, Poodles, Pugs, Rat Terriers, Shiba Inus, Huskies

Approximate number of dogs observed at time of investigation: 140 dogs, 40 puppies

Northern Kennel Buildings
Four kennel buildings were on the northern end of the property. Two of the buildings had five elevated indoor/outdoor cages on each of two sides. Another building had ten indoor/outdoor cages on each of two sides, and the fourth building had about ten indoor/outdoor cages on one side. Each cage held two to four dogs of various small breeds, except for the building with five cages per side, which housed larger-breed dogs. Only one dog was in an outdoor run when I observed the building, and the animal was an adult husky that approached me with her shoulders below her hips, her front legs bowed, and her steps slow (Sec 2.40 Attending Veterinarian and Adequate Veterinary Care (a) Adequate vet care). The larger dog runs of one building had wire floorings that extended about four feet from the wall of the building; plastic mesh flooring was in place beyond that point. The Aschingers’ daughter, who was showing me the property, said that the dog doesn’t like the wire runs and normally stays on cement. The outdoor cages had wooden and metal frames with wire walls and thick-gauge, coated floorings. Most of the outdoor cages had feces mashed into and covering the surfaces of their floorings (Sec 3.11 Cleaning, Sanitization, Housekeeping, and Pest Control (a) Cleaning of primary enclosures).

Whelping Barn
A fully enclosed whelping barn was located at the center of the property, with about 16 whelping cages, containing nursing mothers and puppies or pregnant mothers, inside the facility. The enclosures were constructed of plastic walls and floorings and hardwire doors. They contained self-feeders, water dishes, and heating lamps. Shredded paper covered the floorings. Two rows of four cages were on one side, all fully enclosed with nursing mothers and puppies. On the other side of the barn had eight indoor enclosures with doggie-doors for accessing outdoor elevated wire cages.

Southern Dog Runs
The southern end of the property had pens for larger dogs. There were about 20 concrete runs, each holding two to three Labradors or Cocker Spaniels. The runs had concrete floorings and thick-gauge wire walls. There were dog houses in each pen, though several were lacking windbreaks (Sec 3.4 Outdoor housing facilities (b) Shelter from the elements (3) wind breaks) and were not large enough to accommodate all of the dogs in the pen (3.6 Primary enclosures (c) Additional requirements for dogs (1) (i) Space). Metal self-feeders were attached to the wire walls, and metal water dishes were on the floorings. The water dishes contained brown water (3.11 Cleaning, sanitization, housekeeping, and pest control (b) (2) Sanitization of food and water receptacles), and two water dishes in a Labrador pen were completely empty. A thin layer of straw and dirt was on the floorings, which also had several days’ worth of feces scattered across them in clumps. What appeared to be washed-out feces was covering the floorings and built up amongst clumps of straw where the wire walls met the floorings (Sec 3.11 Cleaning, Sanitization, Housekeeping, and Pest Control (a) Cleaning of primary enclosures).

One pen contained a golden Cocker Spaniel and a brown and white Cocker Spaniel. The left eye of the brown and white Cocker had a swollen and reddened bottom eyelid and crusty green mucus surrounding the eye. I pointed the condition out to the Aschinger’s daughter, who claimed the dog was being treated by a vet; however, she did not explain what the condition was or what treatment was being given (Sec 2.40 Attending Veterinarian and Adequate Veterinary Care (a) Adequate veterinary care).

I spoke to Lindy Aschinger (Caucasian female, about 50 years old, 5’6”, 140 lbs., with shoulder-length blonde hair, glasses, and who said she has a neck injury) and Kevin Aschinger (Caucasian male, about 60 years old, 5’8”, 275 lbs., balding with short grey hair and glasses). Kevin said they are selling most of their breeding stock and look to become “hobby breeders” who will continue selling to pet stores.

Statements and evidence contradicting a claim by Blue Ribbon Puppies, Manorville, NY:
The Aschingers discussed their breeding business at length, saying they have bred dogs for more than 40 years for profit. Their customer, Blue Ribbon Puppies (Manorville, NY), claims it buys puppies from foster families. The Aschingers’ business, with facilities holding well over 100 whelping mothers and puppies, is a commercial dog breeding operation and is not a fostering facility.