A Scott County animal control officer and veterinarian visited a hog farm west of Eldridge late last week to investigate an animal rights group's complaint of animal abuse.

Investigators were at Grandview Farms, owned by Tom and Joni Dittmer on Friday, Tom Dittmer and Pam Arndt, executive director of the Human Society of Scott County, said Monday. Tom Dittmer said investigators were on site for about five hours.

Last week, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals filed a complaint with the Scott County Sheriff and County Attorney that claims workers repeatedly bludgeoned pigs in the head with a steel-headed sledgehammer, beat pigs with metal gate rods, kicked pigs in the testicles, scraped pigs with sharp pliers, shot pigs in the head to kill them, fatally crushed piglets, deprived lame animals of food and water for up to four days and failed to treat sores, abscesses and infections.

The complaint is based on allegations from a former employee fired for misconduct who the Dittmers say is disgruntled because he was denied unemployment insurance.

Dittmer, who described the visit as "thorough," said he wasn't told how long the investigation might take, and Arndt said she didn't have a timeline for the investigation.

Grandview Farms produces more than 160,000 hogs a year and employs more than 30 people. The confinement operation has expanded twice in the past three years.

(9) comments

Xochitl
Xochitl

Is it your belief that the owner of the confinement is innocent of anything? It is a possibility, no question. I suspect, however, that there was some evidence presented in the form of video before any investigation was undertaken. Despite what you may want to believe, the Humane Society and the Sheriff would not spend 5 hours investigating solely on the word of one disgruntled ex employee. I suspect they had probable cause.

Ag-Lender

If the (ex-)employee took video of what was taking place within the operation without the owners knowledge, that now ex-employee may be charged with a felony.

Xochitl
Xochitl

wrong. It is not against the law to video record without permission. Think about it. If it were you couldn't show the crowds at a football game for example.

Ag-Lender

No - I am very much correct with my original statement. Read up on Iowa Law in regards to livestock operations and unauthorized recordings.

Yagotta B Kidding

Actually Yes, the owners are innocent (a little thing called innocent until proven guilty...read up on it sometime) and the only cause they had WAS the word of a convicted felon...again read up on it, both this story, the previous story and the actual complaint filed by PETA.

Xochitl
Xochitl

as I said, it is a possibility. The "innocent until proven guilty" is a legal proposition, it does not speak to actual innocence, as I suspect you know. I would like to read the PETA complaint, can you tell me where I can read it? Thanks.

Yagotta B Kidding

Yes, atlasshrugged, bacon does sound good right now!

atlasshrugged

MMMMM....bacon sounds good right now.....

Yagotta B Kidding

Hey QCTimes, why no mention of this “disgruntled employee’s” felony convictions?? Why do you name the owners of the farm but don’t put David Johnson Jr’s name in this article? Why no questions to PETA as to why they are getting into bed with dangerous felons and not the employer who graciously overlooked his past and gave him a job??? This kind of harassment by PETA, the so-called “Human Society of Scott County” and our Sheriff’s office is absolutely disgusting!

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