170 dogs, all Samoyeds, were seized by the Worth County Sheriff's Office from a puppy mill in in Worth County, near the north-central border of Iowa and Minnesota. The ASPCA is helping the sheriff with evidence collection, transport and sheltering of the dogs. In addition, the Scott County Humane Society is one of many agencies helping the ASPCA in the field and with their sheltering operation.

Several months ago local animal welfare groups alerted the sheriff to the breeder's inability to properly care for her animals and the Worth County Sheriff began an investigation culminating in the execution of a search warrant on November 12.

Sheriff Dan Frank says, “This is a large-scale breeding operation involving many animals, and we asked the ASPCA and their affiliates for assistance in removing them from the property and ensuring that they get much-needed care and treatment as we continue our investigation.” He went on to be quoted in the ASPCA's news release that his office tried to work with the breeder on growing concerns over her animals welfare but was met with resistance.

The lesson is, if you're going to buy a dog from a breeder do your home work before you agree to buy one. The ASPCA says many commercial breeding operations put profit over the well being of animals which can cause health and behavioral problems in puppies. Nobody looking to bring a dog into their life needs that.

I think a better answer is to work with a shelter or a rescue organization to find your new four legged friend. Anyone involved in a shelter has a deep love for animals. In many cases by the time an animal has been vetted for adoption, there's a volunteer who knows a lot about that animal's behavior, temperament and quirks. In other words, rescue groups and shelters can do a good job at matching up adopters with a dog that works for their life style.

Adoption and rescue groups aren't just limited to mutts at the humane society either. Many rescue groups are dedicated to specific dog breeds, so you may not have to go through a breeder if you're looking for a specific dog breed. In addition there's many different groups you can adopt from here in the Quad Cities.

Here's what is in store for the animals while they are being looked after by the ASPCA. "The ASPCA is transporting the animals from the property to a temporary shelter where they will receive ongoing daily care until custody is determined by the court. Once medical exams are conducted, behavior experts with the ASPCA Anti Cruelty Behavior team will be evaluating each dog and implementing enrichment protocols at the temporary shelter."