Cloyce and Carol Heddins, owners of "Maggic Pets," operated a kennel so squalid that Dillon Steen, a former employee of Maggic Pets , says "I’ll never get those images out of my head of everything I saw out there." Steen describes Maggic Pets in decidedly unmagic terms: "If you went and voiced anything about concerns about eye colds or this one's limping it didn't matter as long as that dog could still breed that's all that mattered [. . .] Puppies would go to start dying and rather than them being taken to the vet they'd be thrown in an empty dog food bag and thrown in the back of a truck and just let lay there until they died."
A citizen activist who witnessed these abuses took the case to the Humane Society, who called the Heddins' puppy mill one of the worst cases they had ever seen in North Texas.
On July 17th, a Montague county judge ruled against the Heddins and ordered that their nearly 500 dogs be given into the care of the Humane Society of North Texas. The testimonies of veteranarians, investigators from the Humane Society, and of Montague County Sheriff Paul Cunningham all contributed to the judge's decision, who did not find the Heddins' argument that evidence obtained from a search warrant was invalid convincing. Moreover, the Heddins were ordered to pay $40,000 to HSNT for the treatment and care of the dogs, though many were ill enough that the sum is not likely to be enough to cover costs. Prosecutors in the case have requested that the dogs remain in the care of HSNT while they pursue criminal charges.
No fair punishment for Kathy BauckThe former owner of Pick of the Litter (aka Dogs on Wheels), Kathy Bauck, was convicted of 4 misdemeanor charges (3 of torture and 1 of animal cruelty) in March. Those following the case were expecting the judge to be tough on the notorious puppy mill owner, especially after all the evidence and the undercover videos. However, last month Judge Waldemar Senyk handed down a sentence that seemed unfair to many.
According to court documents, Bauck will serve 20 days in jail, pay a $500 fine, contribute 80 hours of community service, and spend one year under probation. Regardless of the legal procedures, she will continue being the brains behind the Minnesota puppy mill, which is now conveniently run by her family. Because she'll be on work release, Bauck will spend nights in jail but will be able to oversee kennel operations on weekdays.
The USDA licensed dog broker (surprisingly since 1983) has eluded the full extent of the law on previous occasions. CAPS has exposed the cruelty behind her kennels multiple times, but lax laws have allowed her to continue with the unscrupulous business (for more information about CAPS investigations, click here or click the tab on your right). The latest sentence downplayed the severity of her crimes and failed to put a stop to one of the largest puppy mills in the country. With this kind of leniency, it's evident she won’t change her ways any time soon.
To contact the Honorable Judge Senyk, call or send a letter to:
Honorable Judge Waldemar Senyk
121 West Junius Avenue, Suite 310
Fergus Falls, MN 56537
Phone: (218) 998-8420
Be a voice to the countless dogs who have suffered and will continue to suffer in silence.