Kathy Bauck, who was one of the largest USDA licensed dog brokers in the country, continues to feel the heat over a shocking Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS) documentary that has gone viral. As more people around the globe watch the disturbing images, her reputation as one of America's most inhumane puppy mill operators is rapidly spreading. The documentary follows the undercover employment of a CAPS investigator who compiled the evidence necessary for Bauck to be convicted of animal cruelty, the prosecution and conviction, and finally the termination of Bauck's USDA license.

Bauck Documentary

“How do these people get away with it for so long? Where were the authorities? What an awful awful woman,” commented a YouTube user identified as RescueHelpersUniteUK.

The undercover footage shows dogs that were sick, wounded, emaciated and often dead inside crowded cages. The investigator also caught Bauck practicing veterinary medicine despite being under a cease and desist order from the Minnesota State Veterinary Board for doing surgical procedures, such as Cesarean sections and spay and neuter, without a license. Her cruel and callous disregard for the well-being of the innocent creatures was evident in the way she violently picked up puppies by one leg, shoved pregnant and nursing mothers into a pesticide dip labeled just for swine and cattle, and left dogs to die agonizing deaths, sometimes over a period of days.

The compelling documentary sums up years of CAPS' hard work to stop the inhumane dog breeder. Since 1997, the small national nonprofit, whose focus is on the investigation of pet shops and puppy mills, investigated and fought to stop Pick of the Litter's owner from selling pets. Only after Bauck was convicted of animal cruelty in March 2009, based on evidence from CAPS' six-week undercover investigation, did the USDA requested the termination of her license in August 2009. A year later, after a several appeals, Bauck finally lost her license. Unfortunately, a termination is only good for two years, which means she can apply again although it is doubtful that the USDA will issue her another license.

“CAPS had done their own investigation - very detailed, very professional – and they had brought that information to the Sheriffs office because they believed there had been violations of the laws. The trial was a very intense and long process,” said Heather Brandborg, Otter Tail County Assistant Attorney, in the video. “She was sentenced to 90 days in jail, 70 days of that were suspended, and so she served a 20 day jail sentence and I believe a 500 dollar fine.”

"We decided that one way to sort of try to give them [USDA] a kick in the butt if you will, not literally but figuratively, was to file something called a petition for rule making," said Ed Green, Of Counsel at Crowell & Moring, a Washington, DC-based law firm that provides pro bono lobbying services to CAPS. "We know that got the department's attention because it was after that that the department energized to terminate her license."

This last video became CAPS' most popular to date. The comments keep pouring in to support the underdog contender that, after 14 years, is finally close to bringing down Bauck.* suspended, and so she served a 20 day jail sentence and I believe a 500 dollar fine.”

"We decided that one way to sort of try to give them [USDA] a kick in the butt if you will, not literally but figuratively, was to file something called a petition for rule making," said Ed Green, Of Counsel at Crowell & Moring, a Washington, DC-based law firm that provides pro bono “Keep up the GREAT work! These dogs NEED heroes like you CAPS,” commented Therese Davis on Vimeo. The tens of thousands of views in video sharing sites like CNN iReport, YouTube, and Vimeo are tangible proof that people out there crave the truth. The hits keep coming thanks to those who share the story on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. suspended, and so she served a 20 day jail sentence and I believe a 500 dollar fine.”

"We decided that one way to sort of try to give them [USDA] a kick in the butt if you will, not literally but figuratively, was to file something called a petition for rule making," said Ed Green, Of Counsel at Crowell & Moring, a Washington, DC-based law firm that provides pro bono CAPS, founded in 1992, has persisted year after year in exposing new generations to the horrors of pet shops and the puppy mills that supply them. Despite the long road and mild legal punishment, Bauck's case served as a huge step forward for them and animal lovers nationwide. suspended, and so she served a 20 day jail sentence and I believe a 500 dollar fine.”

"We decided that one way to sort of try to give them [USDA] a kick in the butt if you will, not literally but figuratively, was to file something called a petition for rule making," said Ed Green, Of Counsel at Crowell & Moring, a Washington, DC-based law firm that provides pro bono “I think [the Kathy Bauck trial] really brought to the forefront the atrocities that are taking place at these USDA licensed facilities and the failure of the USDA to enforce the Animal Welfare Act,” said CAPS President Deborah Howard in a clip from a WCVB (ABC Boston) report. suspended, and so she served a 20 day jail sentence and I believe a 500 dollar fine.”

"We decided that one way to sort of try to give them [USDA] a kick in the butt if you will, not literally but figuratively, was to file something called a petition for rule making," said Ed Green, Of Counsel at Crowell & Moring, a Washington, DC-based law firm that provides pro bono * CAPS continues to investigate Bauck, who is still selling to pet shops in violation of the Animal Welfare Act. To learn more about Bauck and other CAPS investigations or to get involved in the nonprofit's public education and outreach programs, visit the CAPS website.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011 20:00

Iowa House File 589 Passes

All Iowans must contact their state senator to oppose HF 589 / SF 431!!!

The Iowa Legislature

Update: HF 589 / SF 431 has passed in the House and is now in the Senate.

When puppy mill operators know they can't win, they try to change the rules. That's precisely what they did in Iowa. A new bill, introduced by Rep. Annette Sweeney, provides unscrupulous breeders protections against undercover investigations.

Iowa House File 589 amends Iowa Code 717A, which relates to agricultural production including criminal penalties for animal facilities. The most troubling part of the bill pertains to the prohibition of producing, possessing, and/or distributing undercover video and/or audio recordings of activities within an animal facility.

The bill has some big name supporters like Monsanto, DuPont/Pioneer and several Iowa agricultural associations. While no big puppy mill facility in Iowa officially supported the bill, they will reap the benefits now that it passed. The final tally for the House vote was 66-22, with all the nays coming from democrats like Rep. Jim Lykam and Rep. Pat Murphy. The bill still needs to pass the Senate.

“The overwhelming majority of farmers and people that own breeding facilities and all that here in Iowa operate very reputable businesses and treat their animals well. That's how they make their money,” said Rep. Murphy. “But for that small percentage that has a problem with it, you've got to wonder what they want to hide.”

While livestock facilities are subject to state official inspections, companion animal mass breeders run their business with just occasional USDA surveillance. Without comprehensive legislation about the issue, even the federal government remains critically understaffed and powerless to handle the volume of work required to keep the industry in check in states like Iowa.

“Iowa is a relatively small state but ranks 3rd in the number of puppy mills, 2nd on the number of puppies sold, more than 74,000 a year and there's no state oversight of this booming industry,” said Emily Price in a special report for KCCI TV from Des Moines, Iowa.

In the absence of effective government processes, organizations like CAPS followed up on complaints and performed undercover investigations. In some cases, like Kathy Bauck, the evidence collected was crucial in stopping unlawful animal cruelty. Without undercover video and audio, these organizations would lose a critical weapon in the fight against mistreatment of innocent animals.

The website Iowa Voters for Companion Animals showcased in their website how CAPS gathered incriminating undercover footage from three separate Iowa locations. The graphic images represent a stark reminder of the necessity of such measures and the ineffectiveness of the overworked USDA inspectors.

For more information about puppy mills go to CAPS' website and for ways you can help fight HF 589 go to the Iowa Voters for Companion Animals website.

Bea's Beat

Blog with CAPS Spokesmodel Beatrice, a puppy mill survivor and vegan advocate.

Blog with Beatrice!

Deborah Howard

Deborah Howard

Learn more about Deborah Howard, president and founder of Companion Animal Protection Society.

Meet Deborah

CAPS Blog

Keep up-to-date about CAPS and read about issues affecting companion animals, especially those suffering in pet shops and puppy mills.

Visit CAPS Blog

Contact Us

Contact CAPS

Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS)
759 CJC Hwy., #332
Cohasset, MA 02025
p: 339-309-0272
501 (c)(3) Tax ID#: 58-2040413

Contact by Webform

Class Action Lawsuits

scales of justice

If you purchased a sick or dying puppy from Barkworks or Happiness is Pets, you may be able to join consumer class action lawsuits. The first step is to fill out the CAPS complaint form.

Read more about Happiness is Pets or Barkworks.

CAPS Complaint Form