Around the world there are many people fighting the very necessary fight against puppy farms and mills, and all those who profit from them. This is necessary, obviously, for the welfare of dogs, and also to stop the exploitation of people looking to buy a puppy. Once people learn the right way to go about buying a puppy, puppy mills will be out of business anyway, so education is an important part of putting a stop to this vile business.
In the US, CAPS (The Companion Animal Protection Society) does a marvelous job thwarting puppy farmers. CAPS came about because of one woman's determination. Deborah Howard was so upset by a dog she saw in a pet shop, that she set out to change the situation. CAPS is the only national nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting companions from cruelty and inhumane breeding practices in Pet Shops and Puppy Mills. Founded in 1992, CAPS actively addresses this issue through undercover investigations, consumer education through the media, legislative involvement, puppy mill dog rescues, consumer assistance and pet shop employee relations. CAPS has gained worldwide recognition for targeting puppy mill operations and converting pet shops to humane animal adoption centers. The Companion Animal Protection Society is based in the Boston, MA area. For more information please visit www.caps-web.org.
So much for those who say that one person can't make a difference! Here is the latest email I had from CAPS:
USDA Licensed National Dog Broker Found Guilty
Companion Animal Protection Society’s Undercover Investigation Convicts
National Dog Breeder & Broker Kathy Bauck in Minnesota
(Boston, MA) – An undercover investigation by the Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS) http://www.caps-web.org/ , the only national nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting companion animals from cruelty and inhumane breeding practices in pet shops and puppy mills, is pleased to announce that Kathy Bauck, the owner and operator of Pick of the Litter (aka Puppies on Wheels) in New York Mills, Minnesota, has been found guilty of four misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty and torture.
Ms. Bauck was one of the largest national USDA licensed dog brokers, distributing thousands of dogs to pet shops across the country and via the internet. Based on evidence compiled by CAPS, Ms. Bauck was found guilty by a jury for four misdemeanor counts of cruelty and torture at a trial that began on March 18th and ended on March 24th 2009.
While under a cease and desist order from the State Veterinary Board for the practice of veterinary medicine, including doing C-sections on her dogs, Ms. Bauck continued to practice vet medicine, which was documented by her employees. However, the state allowed her to plea bargain for just one charge for the practice of veterinary medicine and dropped the cruelty charge for killing a puppy by bashing it against a pole. While on parole and serving work release, she continued to commit cruelty that was documented by a CAPS undercover investigator. CAPS submitted the investigator’s hidden camera footage, photographs and reports to local authorities. This documentary evidence was the basis of the criminal case against Bauck.
At the time of the investigator’s employment, Ms. Bauck’s facility held 900 adult dogs and approximately 400 puppies. The undercover video shot by the CAPS investigator shows dogs that are sick, wounded, and emaciated. Dogs at her facility commonly became wounded through fights, even some of the small breed dogs.
CAPS has an online pet shop and internet puppy complaint form and over the years has received a number of complaints from consumers who purchased sick puppies that were bred or brokered by Bauck.
Ms. Bauck has been licensed by the USDA since 1983 and despite CAPS investigations since 1997, the USDA has failed to take action. The July
2008 USDA inspection report for Bauck had no violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). CAPS has been investigating the USDA’s failure to enforce the AWA since 1995 and has been lobbying members of Congress for
oversight hearings regarding USDA’s lax enforcement of the AWA. CAPS
returns to the Capitol in April to meet with USDA officials and members of Congress and will use the Bauck case as evidence of the USDA’s malfeasance.
At 9:18pm on Tuesday March 24, 2009 after reviewing all of the evidence by the CAPS investigator, the jury determined that Ms. Bauck was guilty of four misdemeanor counts. The sentencing hearing will be on April 24, 2009.