Most conditions at Pick of the Litter Kennels which appear relevant to the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office are those that would violate Statute 343.21 Subd.1-Torture, in that most of the cruelty that occurred was in the form of neglect of dogs that required veterinary care and did not receive it, or received inadequate veterinary care from the kennel owners self-diagnosing animals that went through prolonged deteriorating states. In addition, it appears as though the kennel owners are practicing veterinary medicine without a license, in violation of Statute 156.10 Unlawful Practice Without License or Permit; Gross Misdemeanor. Kathy Bauck and her daughter Corinne have given the pain killer Banamine and penicillin shots to dogs that are sick and injured without being seen by a licensed veterinarian, and without the medicine being prescribed to the dogs being medicated, which appears to be in violation of Statute 156.12 Subd.1-Practice.
Of concern is also how the dogs are dipped, which involves submerging dogs in a tub of Prolate-Lintox HD poured into water, which is not meant for dogs or to be put in an animals’ eyes, nose, or mouth. The dip is designed for cattle and swine, and is corrosive to skin and the eyes, gives off harmful fumes when breathed in and can not be swallowed. Employees are offered rain suits, but no gloves, eye protection, or breathing masks. These intentional acts, with all of the kennel owners participating or present, caused direct suffering of the animals and are included in this report as a possible violation of Statute 343.21 Subd.7-Cruelty.
Information provided in this report on Pick of the Litter Kennels, including instances of neglect and cruelty, can be verified by video/audio documentation of the acts themselves, and/or conversations with kennel owners or employees explaining how certain acts of neglect occurred. What appear to be the most egregious acts of neglect and cruelty are noted below, with relevant footage to back up the claims listed by each instance.
Documentation was done with a covert video camera and microphone, recorded onto an MPEG 2 format flash card in a Sting recording device. In two instances, pictures and video were taken with a Samsung Blackjack 2 cellular phone. The investigator was wired every other day, to alleviate suspicion on if they were wearing a camera and how it would be concealed, so video and audio documentation are not available for every day the investigator was working at the kennel. Field notes, however, were typed up by the investigator every day, done at night within hours of that day’s work.
American Bulldog – Bleach Water
A female white American Bulldog suffered open tears on her facial cheeks, likely from a dog fight. According to Kathy, the dog continually fights. The wounds were noticed by Donna and me on 4/22/08. The dog permanently limps with her front right paw in the air, which appears to be mangled from previous wounds. The wounds on her face eventually healed, though were covered in pus scars the entire time. Kathy and Alan Bauck instructed me to apply bleach water on her wounds as the treatment.
4/22/08: At about 17:00, Donna and I saw blood on the face of a female white American Bulldog on the western side of the southeastern barn. The dog, paired with another American Bulldog, limped with her misshapen front right paw in the air. The paw had fur missing from large pink bumps above the toes. The dog’s cheeks were torn open on both sides and bleeding openly. The left side of the dog’s face was the worst, with large gashes on her cheeks. The left side of her face had a tear about five inches long, with a slightly smaller tear on her left cheek that wasn’t opened up as much. Donna got Kathy to look at it, who said the dog was always fighting. She then pointed out how the pen wall was covered in blood on American Bulldog in an adjacent northern pen had blood on its muzzle, and said that the dog had gotten in a fight with the dog from the other pen. She then said nothing could be done, and walked off with Donna and me to discuss what dogs to groom tomorrow.
4/23/08: I told Kathy that the wounds on the face of the American Bulldog Donna and I saw yesterday appear to be infected. Kathy told me to put “Clorox water” on the wounds. Donna prepared the solution by pouring a small amount of bleach in a water bowl and telling me to dab it on the dog’s face, saying that it would kill bacteria. I did so, though the dog kept pulling away and I did not try to get the solution deep in the dog’s wounds, but instead dabbed it on the dog’s two wounds lightly. The wounds were covered in pus, and when I returned to put the solution on her face after initially checking on her, there was additional bleeding from her left wound. (relevant footage: MN 4-23-08 08)
4/26/08: I asked Alan today if I should keep putting bleach water on the female American Bulldog’s face that is injured as Kathy told me to do earlier, and Alan said that I should because he didn’t think anyone else had. The dog’s wounds appear infected and were in worse shape this afternoon than when I viewed them this morning. The left side of her face seemed to have reopened and was bleeding again. (relevant footage: MN 4-26-08 18; MN 4-26-08 19)
Pekingese – Seizing and denied veterinary care
5/3/08: Also on the western wall of the Hay Shed, Kathy pulled a shaved orange Pekingese with a mo-hawk who was struggling as she lifted him by his scruff. She handed the dog to Evan to place in the Red Barn at about 13:30, and I continued working with her until Evan returned. At about 16:00, I saw the Pekingese with three other small-breed dogs in a center pen of the western room of the Red Barn, kicking, thrashing, and going into what appeared to be a seizure. I grabbed the dog, who was very cold to the touch, and he bit my left ear as I lifted him and ran with him to Kathy’s house. Kathy did not answer her door, so I set the dog on a towel in the break room where Evan was working. The entire time, the dog kicked his legs and thrashed his head back and forth. Evan said the Pekingese was acting like that when she told him to place the dog in the Red Barn, and that he noticed even then that the dog was cold. I asked him if Kathy said to do anything for the dog, and he said she had not. I put the dog back in his pen and put shavings on the floor and food down for the other dogs. The dog never stopped kicking jerking, and remained cold.
At about 15:00 Kathy met me in between the Hay Shed and break room barn. Her hair was wet, and she said she was in the shower when I had banged on her door. I explained the situation, saying the dog appeared to be seizing and was cold to the touch, and she said she knew what was happening to the dog and that she told Evan to put him in the Red Barn. She then walked back into her house. (relevant footage and picture: MN 5-3-08 vid 1; MN 5-3-08 vid 2; MN 5-3-08 vid 3; MN 5-3-08 pic 1; MN 5-3-08 pic 2)
5/4/08: I worked from about 8:30 to 17:30 today. I began work in the puppy barns with Larry and Evan before helping load puppies in the Loading Barn, which is the closest barn to Kathy Bauck’s house. Directly after clocking in, I went to the Red Barn where I found Larry and his son Cody working. Larry said that he had shown up for work that day at 6:30 am. I saw that the Pekingese that was cold and appeared to be seizing yesterday was no longer in its pen. I asked Cody what had happened to it and he said that it had died. I then verified with Evan that Kathy had known the dog was seizing when she told him to put the dog in a pen, and that she gave Evan no further instructions on what to do with it. I later spoke to Kathy about the incident. She said she believed the dog had a heart attack, saying such an occurrence was common with Pekingese. (relevant footage: MN 5-4-08 01; MN 5-4-08 02; MN 5-4-08 04)
Emaciated pregnant and nursing dogs
Several pregnant or nursing dogs at the kennel are emaciated. Two are severely emaciated, with their hips, ribs, and spines clearly visible. Pregnant dogs are not treated with any medication at all, while I have information on the treatment of one nursing dog as a single shot of penicillin/gentocin and sugar syrup for the puppies. The most pertinent fact with this case is that three of the puppies that appeared to be dying were abandoned by Kathy as a lost cause and left to die. The next morning, kennel worker Larry McClendon told me the remaining three puppies were dead.
5/7/08: I told Kathy’s daughter Corinne and Kathy that the pregnant brown and white English Springer Spaniel in the break room barn has a runny nose. Her left eye is still encrusted in green mucus discharge and she is still heavily emaciated, though she now has green mucus discharge from her nose. Kathy and Corinne said that nothing can be done for the dog, and Corinne pointed out that not even “cough syrup” can be given to her. They did not go look at the dog or ask any more information about her condition. Instead, Kathy immediately changed the topic of conversation to say she was expecting me to bring my dirt bike to her farm yesterday. (relevant footage: 5-7-08 14 0’3”)
5/10/08: The emaciated brown and while nursing English Springer Spaniel in the New Barn had two dead puppies out of her litter of nine this afternoon. I talked to Jeff about it, who was working the barn at the time, and said Kathy had him give “stats” (which Larry explained to me is a sugar syrup) to the puppies. The other is still severely emaciated, and several of her puppies’ ribs, spines, and hips are visible under their taught skin, and they appear lethargic. I was barely able to tell that one of the puppies was breathing. I took the two dead puppies to Kathy, who then collected all but three of the remaining pups to put with another nursing mother. She said the remaining three weren’t “going to make it,” but that I could give them stats if I wanted. I did so, though one of the puppies held its mouth open and gasped after I put a small amount of the syrup in its mouth. I massaged its throat and it licked its tongue while the mother licked its mouth, and it appeared to breathe easier. (relevant footage: MN 5-10-08 27 2’48”; MN 5-9-08 02 0’2”; MN 5-4-08 11 0’52”; MN 5-2-08 06 0’10”)
Pug with infected eyeball
A Pug had a massively swollen right eyeball that appeared to be suffering from some kind of infection. Kathy eventually treated the dog and the condition seemed to improve but then began to get worse, with increased swelling.
4/30/08: In the break room barn, I saw several new health concerns. Most notably, an adult female Pug in the puppy room adjacent to the break room had her right eye bulging out of its head. The eye was swollen to about twice the size of the other eyeball and appeared bloodshot. I asked Maria Rose Robinson what was done for the dog, and she said she gave the Pug penicillin to prevent an infection, but that she did not know what could be done to reduce the swelling. Corinne told me that she had seen the condition previously for her Pekingese dog Pixy, and the problem went away on its own after a veterinarian gave Pixy a steroid shot and no additional treatment. She said a vet could give the Pug a steroid shot, and that the condition was caused by an infection from a bite in or around the eye. (relevant footage: MN 4-30-08 06 0’18”)
5/1/08: While shaving dogs, I saw Maria and Kathy medicating the Pug in the puppy room adjacent to the break room with its right eye swollen and bulging out from its head. I saw Kathy applying an ointment to the dog’s eye but was unable to note what medication was used or to find out what her medical plan was for the dog.
5/2/08: The Pug in the puppy room with the injury to its right eye appears to have more energy and the swelling on the eye is reduced. (relevant footage: MN 5-2-08 05 0’16”)
5/8/08: The female Pug in the puppy room of the New Barn with and injured right now has a pink and yellow swell like a large pimple coming off of her right eyeball.
5/12/08: I noticed the Pug in the puppy room of the New Barn with the injured right eye appears to be in worse sharp. What appears to be a fluid-filled growth is protruding from her eye, much larger than I noticed forming there previously. (relevant footage: MN 5-12-08 08 0’24”; MN 5-10-08 27 0’24”; MN 5-9-08 01 0’51”; MN 5-4-08 07 0’15”)
Bichon with stillborn puppies
A Bichon had a stillborn and two live puppies, and one that began to breathe after Kathy resuscitated it by blowing hard into its mouth and slapping it on the back with some force. A few hours later, the puppy was dead. Another puppy came out dead after it was pulled to pieces with surgical clamps by Kathy, Corinne, and Andy, though it’s unknown if the puppy was already dead inside the mother.
5/5/08: I worked from about 8:30 to 17:30 today. I began chores in the puppy barns, and I found that a Bichon on the eastern row of the western room of the Red Barn was having puppies. One puppy, that appeared to be partially flattened, was dead on the pen flooring while a live puppy was hanging from an umbilical cord from the mother. I told this to Kathy, who told me to bring the dog to her. She injected the mother with calcium sulfate to “aid contractions,” and then spent about 15 minutes trying to reach inside to pull a puppy out. She did not wash or sanitize her hands before reaching into the dog’s cavity. She brought a puppy out that was not breathing, and blew hard into its mouth and nose before slapping its back repeatedly and very hard. She would then keep blowing air into the puppy and rubbing its chest until the puppy began to breathe shallowly, though it was dead about two hours later. At about that time, Kathy tried again to get another puppy from the Bichon, and she got the help of Corinne and Andy. The three women alternated using two pairs of surgical clamps that they grabbed the puppy with inside the mother. Kathy tore the tail off of the puppy, and all three women kept pulling tufts of fur attached to bloody skin, until Kathy pulled a rear leg completely off the puppy. About five minutes later, the puppy came out dead and it was decided that no more puppies were in the mother. (relevant footage: MN 5-5-08 vid 1-3)
5/7/08: I worked from about 6:57 to 17:44 today. I began the day doing chores in the puppy barn with Larry. I noticed the Bichon mother who had stillborn puppies on Monday, 5/5/08 in the Red Barn had no puppies in her pen at all today. Her pen was covered in feces-stained shavings and her hindquarters were filthy with what appeared to be the remains of afterbirth. She was laying on her side and I tried twice to get her to stand, only to have her fall back down. On the third attempt she stood for a few seconds before walking several inches to the nearest corner of her pen and sitting down. Larry said that Kathy knew about the dog’s condition and said she would check on her later. (relevant footage: MN 5-7-08 13 0’1”)
5/8/08: The female Bichon in the Red Barn whose puppies have all died was lying on the floor of her pen today, and I did not see her get up or move at any point. Between 7:15 and 9:45, she was laying in the same spot and position.
5/9/08: In the Red Barn, I found the Bichon with microchip # 065-822-819 who had stillborn puppies on 5/5/08 dead in her pen. She was still filthy and her hindquarters covered in afterbirth. (relevant footage: MN 5-9-08 03 0’13”)
5/9/08: The entire afternoon was used to dip dogs from the Hay Shed, Freedom Barn, and the Dollar Barn. The dogs were dipped in a plastic tub about six feet long and 3.5 feet wide and tall, and dilled about three feet high with water and Prolate/Lintox-HD. Dogs were dipped by either Kathy or Alan, who would submerge either the entire dog or all but the dog’s head in the dip, and then set them on a tray to wipe them down by hand to get some of the dip off of them. The dogs that were completely submerged blinked repeatedly, and some gagged. One American Eskimo from the freedom barn went into seizure which Kathy said was due to the stress of dipping, and moved to another pen in the Red Barn to be culled from the kennel. Occasionally Bill would dip his own dogs if Kathy and Alan were busy. (relevant footage: MN 5-9-08 11-27)
Tail and ear docks
4/22/08: I then helped Donna shave dogs in the Red Barn. Larry, Donna, and I gathered small-breed dogs from the southwest barn and took them to the Red Barn to await shaving. At one point, Donna noticed blood on a whelping Schnauzer three pens down from the doorway in the middle aisle of the western room of the building. There were about seven newborn puppies with her, and I noticed one had a lot of fresh, bright blood on its right ear. Donna said, “Oh, I guess she clipped their ears. Or…” and then she became silent. I noticed all of the puppies’ ears had just been clipped and had blood on them, the one puppy’s ear bleeding without clotting. I told Donna the puppies’ ears had in fact been clipped, and then went back to grooming dogs with her without further comment on the matter.
4/23/08: I worked from about 7:00 to 17:45 today. I began work in the Red Barn, performing what are now my routine chores as described in earlier field notes. I noticed that one of the Schnauzer puppies in the litter that had ear croppings done (middle row of pens, third pen down from the doorway in the west room of the barn) was breathing shallowly and emaciated. I pointed this out to Shawn, who said that the mother may have sat on the puppy. He gave me a sugar solution to give to the puppies. I told him that one of the puppy’s ears was bleeding yesterday, as though they had just recently been cropped. He said it looked as though “she” (indicating Kathy Bauck) had cropped the tails a while ago, but agreed with me the ears may have recently been done. I told Donna that only some of the puppies’ ears were cropped, and she said it was probably because they were the only puppies sold.
Shawn said nothing further could be done for the sick puppy, which later died and Donna had me put on a sheet of paper and set on a supply table in the adjacent room for Kathy to find.
I also found a litter of nursing Bichon puppies in the center aisle of the same room as the Schnauzer puppies in which most of the puppies’ tails were docked. (relevant footage: MN 4-23-08 01 0’15”; MN 4-23-08 02 0’6”)
4/27/08: I worked from about 9:00 to 16:00 today. I worked with Corinne this morning in the Red Barn, performing routing chores. In the pen containing the whelping Bichon with eight puppies, seven of which have their tails docked, I found two of the puppies dead this morning. I told Corinne, who told me to place them in a trash can. (relevant footage: MN 4-28-08 01 0’12”)
4/30/08: I worked from about 7:00 to 17:30 today. I did chores in the puppy barns with Larry before helping Corinne groom dogs from the break room barn. I began work in the Red Barn, where I noticed the Schnauzer puppies born Monday, 4/28/08 in pen # 328, who did not have docked ears or tails on that day, had docked ears and tails today. (relevant footage: MN 4-28-08 02 0’6”; MN 4-30-08 02 0’12”)
4/24/08: A Bichon was in the puppy room of the New Barn waiting to be groomed, but the dog was trying to bite me and Corinne when we tried to grab it. Corinne got Kathy, who put the dog on the flooring by its scruff, before injecting about 1 cc of a clear fluid into the dog’s left hip. The dog was very mellow while being groomed by Kathy for about 15 minutes, after which I carried it to its cage without any trouble. After about another 20 minutes I took another dog back to a cage when it was finished being groomed and noticed the Bichon Kathy had given an injection to was lying on its flooring with its head slowly moving from side to side. The dog didn’t respond to my voice or me waving my hand in front of it. I asked Corinne if Kathy had given it a sedative, and she said Kathy had not. When Kathy told me the dog was easy to groom, I said that it was because she had given the dog a sedative, and she laughed and admitted she had.
5/3/08: I worked from about 8:30 to 17:30 today. I worked with Evan (Caucasian male, 19 years old, about 5’7”, 185 lbs, with short brown hair) in the puppy barns today, and helped Kathy check small-breed dogs for being in heat (what Kathy calls “heat checks.”) At one point, we came across a Bichon in the southernmost cage on the west wall of the Hay Shed who was trying to bite Kathy as she tried to pick the dog up to check to see if she was in heat. Kathy put a leash around the Bichon’s neck to pull her out of the cage, saying she was going to shave the dog after giving her a shot. I managed to hold the dog by her scruff and belly and carried her into the western room of the break room barn, where Evan and I saw her give about a 1cc of a clear fluid with a syringe into the dog’s left hindquarter. In less than a minute the dog was drooping in my arms, and Kathy had Evan and I put the dog in the sink and cover her with a rubber mat while we continued heat checks. Over half an hour later, I reminded Kathy about the dog, who said she forgot. About ten minutes after that, I saw her shaving the Bichon, who appeared completely sedated. Kathy said the shot was a tranquilizer. I asked her, “Is it Ace?” She simply replied, “No.”
Pain Killers and Penicillin use:
5/7/08: An English Bulldog in an outdoor pen at the eastern edge of the kennel was lying immobile on the concrete. Corinne said the dog had been like that all day. I went into the pen to inspect the dog and saw that her left rear leg was swollen about 2.5 times the size of the right one, and her left ear was swollen about three times its normal size near its base. There were two pus-covered lacerations on the leg and blood scabs covering the ear. I took the dog into the break room, where Corinne and I were met by Kathy who said the dog had been attacked 5-6 days ago by another dog, and that the Bulldog was supposed to have been brought inside. When Corinne said the dog could die, Kathy mentioned the dog had eaten eggs. Kathy then said to put the Bulldog in a cage in the puppy room of the break room barn. First, I watched her give a shot of penicillin and Banamine to the dog, and then put the dog in a cage with a plate of turkey eggs Corinne brought. Corinne said that I should give food such as hot dogs to the Bulldog, and that the Banamine would make the dog “act funny,” but that it will wear off. She said the dog will occasionally need another shot of Banamine. (relevant footage: MN 5-7-08 26 0’1”, MN 5-7-08 27 0’1”, MN 5-7-08 28 0’1”)
5/9/08: A black and white Husky from the Driveway Barn had an open wound about eight inches in diameter on its right side today. It appeared as though the skin was ripped completely open, though it was dry, indicating it was not recent. Kathy poured hydrogen peroxide on the wound and then gave the dog a shot of penicillin and banamine. I commented the peroxide may hurt after she used it, and she replied that she used “food-grade peroxide.” (relevant footage: MN 5-9-08 10 0’1”; MN 5-12-08 12 0’5”)
5/10/08: The brown and while nursing English Springer Spaniel in the New Barn had two dead puppies out of her litter of nine this afternoon. I talked to Jeff about it, who was working the barn at the time, and said Kathy had him give “stats” (which Larry explained to me is a sugar syrup) to the puppies. The other is still severely emaciated, and several of her puppies’ ribs, spines, and hips are visible under their taught skin, and they appear lethargic. I was barely able to tell that one of the puppies was breathing. I took the two dead puppies to Kathy, who then collected all but three of the remaining pups to put with another nursing mother. She said the remaining three weren’t “going to make it,” but that I could give them stats if I wanted. I did so, though one of the puppies held its mouth open and gasped after I put a small amount of the syrup in its mouth. I massaged its throat and it licked its tongue while the mother licked its mouth, and it appeared to breathe easier. Kathy said she had treated the mother with a shot of penicillin/genocin. (relevant footage: MN 5-10-08 27 2’48”)
Report on Pick of the Litter Kennels 5/14/08 – 5/28/08
Overall, conditions at Pick of the Litter Kennels are consistent with those noted previously. This report notes several of the many instances of what appear to be violations of Statute 343.21 Subd.1-Torture, and additional information on dipping dogs, including pregnant and nursing dogs, in the same manner as noted in earlier field notes which could violate Statute 343.21 Subd.7-Cruelty. Cases listed below are what I felt are the most obvious or egregious problems at the kennel, amongst numerous other possible violations listed in field notes entries.
The two dogs noted last in this report, a wounded Bichon and sick Bulldog named Maggie, are two dogs I am concerned may not survive much longer at the kennel, since other dogs I have seen in similar condition, including the English Mastiff noted first in this report, have died or been euthanized at the kennel after wasting away to a critical state.
A female English Mastiff at the kennel became emaciated and had a deep open sore on her left elbow. Her condition deteriorated over time until she went into seizure and vomited blood before being put down by Alan with a gun, who delayed the euthanasia, as far as I can tell, by indifference to the situation.
5/14/08: This morning, Bill told me to take an emaciated male Mastiff out of his cage and put him in one of the large pens at the south end of the middle aisle of the Red Barn’s western room. I did so, and later asked Larry if we were supposed to dip the dog while doing the Red Barn. He said we were, so we carried him out for Kathy to look at. The dog’s front elbows had bloody sores on them, and the left elbow had what appeared to be a chunk of flesh about an inch wide and three inches long torn off of it, revealing a bloody hole about an inch deep in scar tissue. Kathy ripped the hanging chunk of dead flesh off the dog with her hand when I pointed it out to her. Kathy decided against dipping the dog, but squirted several pumps of Ivomec she had in a bottle that appeared to formerly be used for hand soap or lotion, and told Larry the dog needed a shot of “pen gen,” meaning a penicillin antibiotic combination. I pointed out to her that the dog had a snotty nose as well. (relevant footage: 5/14/08 07 0’2”; 5/14/08 10 0’1”)
5/19/08: The emaciated English Mastiff in the Red Barn appears not to have gained any weight, and his front left elbow still has an open, bloody wound on it that does not appear to have healed. I tried to pull some wood shavings off the elbow and ear wounds. As I did so, skin came off with the ear shavings, revealing a pus-covered wound on the ear. (relevant footage: 5/19/08 14 0’37”)
5/22/08: The emaciated English Mastiff in the Red Barn does not appear to have gained any weight, and the sores on his left ear and front left elbow do not appear to be healing at all. (relevant pictures: MN 5-22-08 05 emaciated Eng Mastiff; MN 5-22-08 06 emaciated Eng Mastiff’s elbow wound)
5/24/08: After lunch, I heard Rhonda say that the Mastiff in the Red Barn was “still seizing.” I noted the time as 12:21 when I saw the Mastiff was lying on the ground convulsing, a large amount of blood and saliva spilling out of her mouth. Much of the blood appeared congealed, indicating she had been vomiting it and convulsing for some time. Kathy said that Alan had to put the dog down, and told us to immediately find him. I found him in the Holding Barn, cleaning out a bucket at the bath tub. I told him Kathy wanted him to put down the Mastiff, and he said, “Yeah, I got to put it down.” I waited for Alan until 12:38, when he put a towel over the Mastiff’s head and had me help him carry her into the back of his truck. Kathy also had me get the Shih Tzu with the injured eye in a pen just south of him out, so that Alan could kill it as well. I held the Shih Tzu outside the northern end of the Red Barn and waited for about 10 minutes, however, while Alan went over to talk to someone who was in a pick-up truck with a white trailer attached to it just north of the Condos. Alan than came walking up with a black Pug in a crate. I asked him if he was going to put the Pug down as well, and he said, “Yeah.” He put the Shih Tzu in another crate and then drove off west of the Red Barn, though I do not know where he went after that. About 15 minutes later I saw his truck west of the New Barn while Kathy, Yvonne, and I were doing heat checks at the eastern end of the Hay Shed. (relevant pictures and video: MN 5-24-08 Eng Mastiff seizing, MN 5-24-08 Eng Mastiff seizing 1-3)
5/26/08: This morning I asked Rhonda if the Mastiff that was seizing yesterday was seizing all morning, and she replied, “All day.” At lunch break I asked Alan if he shot the dog, and he nodded. He then told me that the only time he’s had trouble shooting dogs was when he shot a Chocolate Labrador, and his .22 bullet bounced off the dog’s skull. He said he then shot the dog in its ear. (relevant footage: MN 5-26-08 04 0’9”; MN 5-26-08 09)
The dipping of dogs continued at the kennel as reported last, and included nursing and pregnant dogs. Huskies and particularly large English Mastiffs were doused with an insecticide powder called “Sevin-5” instead of being dipped.
5/14/08: We dipped dogs from the Red Barn, New Barn, Condos, and the barn just east of the Condos today. At Kathy’s instruction we dipped all of the pregnant and nursing dogs on the property. The dogs were put right back in their pens, often jumping into their whelping tubs covered in insecticide. A Maltese that Larry carried out had a large pus-covered sore on the right side of her neck, and when Larry pointed this out to Kathy she told him she wanted to dip the dog anyway. The female German Shepherd in the northeast corner of the southern whelping room of the New Barn was dipped despite open sores on her ankles, though the black and white Husky with a gaping open wound on its side in an eastern cage of the southern New Barn whelping room was not dipped.
While working dogs from the barn adjacent to the Condos, I found a Bulldog mix with a hard, pink bulge near its left eye that had what appeared to be a bite wound on it. I told Corrine, who was observing the dippings, check dogs’ microchip #s, and write down their breed, sex, and chip information in a spiral notebook as she did when dogs were dipped previously. Corrine said the dog’s wound would be fine, and that “the dip will take care of that.” (relevant footage: MN 5-14-08 08 – 13)
5/16/08: I worked from about 8:30 to 16:30 today. I began the day by doing “outdoor chores” with Bill before dipping dogs with the rest of the employees, including Larry, Bill, Corinne, Kathy, Alan, Dan, and a woman named Shelly Hathaway (Caucasian female, about 5’6”, 180 lbs, 35 years old, with shoulder-length red hair and bird and butterfly tattoos on her ankles and forearms). As usual, Corinne logged all of the dogs in a notebook in the same manner she did before, as the rest of us dipped dogs in the tank. We began at the Driveway Barn, and many of the employees, including Bill and Larry, said that the Huskies always bite the workers when they are dipped. Kathy bought three bottles of an insecticide called “Sevin-5,” which is a powder we used instead of dip on the Huskies. We would enter the Husky pens and give them each four squirts of a soap bottle filled with Ivomec, and then pour the powder on their fur while rubbing it in to get to their skin.
We then dipped dogs from the Big Barn, located at the southeast corner of the kennel. We began at the southeast corner of the barn, where most of the German Shepherds are located. Most of the Shepherds would thrash on their leashes while employees dragged them across the ground to Corinne and then over to the dip tank. One Shepherd bit Larry on his hand before falling out of the tank, at which point Kathy, Alan, and I herded the dog back into its pen. Another Shepherd bit Larry on his other hand as it thrashed on its leash in the tank. Bill hauled the dog onto a platform that ran off the tank for dogs to be set on while excess dip is wiped off their fur, where the dog tried to bite Bill. Bill then whipped the Shepherd twice with his end of the leash in full view of the other employees, including Kathy, Alan, and Corinne, and then pulled the dog by its neck with the leash. The dog fell back into the tank, hitting its side against the tank’s lip, and was then dragged onto the ground before being dragged into its cage. The tank was placed within a foot of feces build-up that is about 2.5 feet wide and several inches deep, starting at the edge of the concrete slab the kennel building sits on. Dogs were set down in the manure after being dipped, and then walked or dragged through it to the concrete slab’s edge to get into their pens.
An English Mastiff with a large open sore covered in wet pus at the front right part of her head was dipped by Kathy and Larry. Before they dipped the dog, I asked Kathy if they should dip it because of the wound on its head. She said that the dog used to have a huge abscess on its head, and that they wouldn’t dip the dog’s head anyway. After pulling the Mastiff out of the tank, dip was covering the dogs head and face, including its eyes, nose, mouth, and open wound. As with all of the other dogs with wounds or whose heads were submerged in the dip, nothing was done to get dip out of the dog’s eyes or wound.
Several English Mastiffs were powdered with Sevin-5 at the request of Kathy, who said they were too heavy and large to dip. One of them got out of her cage near the northeast corner of the building, so Kathy dragged her by the dog’s ears, with one hand on each ear, for about 20 feet as the dog whined and set her paws in the ground. Kathy then pulled the dog into her pen by the ears and let her go.
Dogs with USDA tags from dealer 45-A-0001 that were brought in yesterday were microchipped by Corinne, logged in her spiral notebook, dipped, and then put in cages throughout the kennel. The dogs were unloaded from the same trailer they were taken out of and then placed back in when the vet looked at them. I am not sure if these dogs were all left on the trailer while some were unloaded to the Hay Shed yesterday, or if some were placed back on the trailer at some point. It is unlikely anyone put them back in the trailer to be moved to the southern end of the property to be dipped.
I helped place these dogs in the elevated outdoor cages at the southeastern end of the Dollar Barn, while others were placed in the Dollar Barn, Freedom Barn, and Hay Shed. We then went out to a series of elevated cages and ground pens in the woods south of the kennel. There were about a dozen dogs of various breeds, including American Eskimos, Dachshunds, Shiba Inus, and Maltese mixes, in cages seemingly placed randomly in the woods. An outdoor pen with a galvanized wire wall around it had an empty water dish for the dogs, which I filled up from water in a plastic trash can in the nearby. About eight of the dogs were taken out of their cages and put back on the trailer which was parked at the northwest corner of the kennel just west of the Hay Shed. The dogs were still in the trailer when I left work today. (relevant footage: MN 5-16-08 01 – 09)
Pug with infected eyeball
The Pug with an infected, injured right eye, first noted on 4/30/08, went into further deteriorating condition before being culled by Kathy while dipping dogs and the dog ultimately disappeared.
5/14/08: Kathy decided to cull the Pug with an injured right eye that was kept in the puppy room of the New Barn. The Pug’s eye is more swollen than when I saw it on Monday, 5/12/08, and has what appears to be a pus-filled abscess about a quarter inch deep handing off of its eyeball. The dog is also increasingly lethargic, similar to how it was when its eyeball was first injured. I saw Greg carrying the dog outside to the dip tank, and asked him on his way back what had happened with it. He responded, “She culled it.”
Shih Tzu with injured left eye
Kathy found what appeared to be a Shih Tzu with its left eye hanging out of its head on 5/17/08. The dog was put in a pen in the Red Barn until the eyeball became dried up and the dog was finally killed on 5/24/08.
5/17/08: Katie and I did heat checks with Kathy after lunch. At one point Kathy found what appeared to be a Shih Tzu with its left eye handing out of its head. She showed the dog to me as I peered through a doggie-door of an outside cage on the western end of the building to keep the dogs in that cage inside, and she carried it off north out of site.
5/22/08: The Shih Tzu with an injured left eye that I recognized as the same injured Shih Tzu showed to me while doing heat checks on 5/17/08 was walking and alert, though its eye is hanging out of its head and encrusted in a dried substance. The shavings below the water nipple in its pen were dry, indicating it is not drinking. I activated the water nipple to try to show the dog the water, but it simply paced back and forth at the opposite end of its pen, trying to stay away from me. (relevant picture: MN 5-22-08 08 Shih Tzu eye wound)
5/24/08: Kathy also had me get the Shih Tzu with the injured eye in a pen just south of him out, so that Alan could kill it as well. I held the Shih Tzu outside the northern end of the Red Barn and waited for about 10 minutes, however, while Alan went over to talk to someone who was in a pick-up truck with a white trailer attached to it just north of the Condos. Alan than came walking up with a black Pug in a crate. I asked him if he was going to put the Pug down as well, and he said, “Yeah.” He put the Shih Tzu in another crate and then drove off west of the Red Barn, though I do not know where he went after that. About 15 minutes later I saw his truck west of the New Barn while Kathy, Yvonne, and I were doing heat checks at the eastern end of the Hay Shed.
5/26/08: This afternoon I saw a Yorkie had a Bichon pinned to cage flooring of a western outdoor Hay Shed cage. I jumped into the pen and pulled the Bichon out, who was bleeding from her mouth and had blood covering her neck and chest. I showed the dog to Kathy as the Bichon began to seize and spasm. Kathy looked at her and then said that fighting dogs have to be separated, asked what sex the dog was, and then put a hand on the Bichon while repeating “settle” over and over again. She then told me to put the Bichon in a cage in the New Barn, which I did immediately before giving her food. As I set her in her cage, she bumped her head against a cage wall and then lay down while shaking. I then walked out of the New Barn to see what Kathy was doing, and I found her planting flowers with Larry near the northeast end of her house. She did not give me any instructions to provide veterinary care for the dog, nor did she look at the dog’s injuries or give any medical care to the dog at all before going gardening. (relevant footage: MN 5-26-08 10; MN 5-26-08 13)
5/28/08: The wounded Bichon I found on 5/26/08 that began seizing after I took her out of her cage she was being attacked in was lying on her cage flooring when I went to scrub her cage out today. I began petting her, at which point she stood up and kept trying to walk in right-hand circles, though she continually stumbled and fell down. I observed her do this for about a minute before scrubbing her pen and leaving her alone. (relevant footage: MN 5-28-08 03; MN 5-28-08 04)
Maggie – ear and skin infections
A brown and white female Bulldog named Maggie, noted earlier and described by Corinne as a dog with allergies that cannot be treated, was moved outside after her ears and face again became bloody from her rubbing them against her cage. Her condition has become worse and she is increasingly emaciated.
5/23/08: The female Bulldog in the southern room of the New Barn that always had bloody, raw ears was moved outside to a western pen of the barn near the Condos by Larry today. The Bulldog, named Maggie, had bloody ears that appeared to have recently been rubbed raw, and a bloody raw spot was just above her nose in a fold of skin. Blood smears and flecks covered the stomach of Larry’s shirt after carrying Maggie out to her new pen. Larry said he thought that Maggie is allergic to the wood shavings placed below her cage in the New Barn. (relevant footage: 5/23/08 09 0’1”; 5/23/08 12 0’1”)
5/26/08: This morning I checked on Maggie, the female brown and white Bulldog previously moved from the New Barn to the barn near the Condos. Her ears were still swollen and scabbed over in dozens of places inside, and she had raw and bloody skin just above her nose in a crease of her skin as before. Within minutes of me looking at her, I saw her rubbing her ears against her chain link walls, and I then saw that she had rubbed her ears bloody. She kept shaking her head and rubbing her ears against her walls as I observed her. (relevant footage: MN 5-26-08 02 0’14”)
I worked from about 7:00 to 11:30 today. I began outdoor morning chores as usual. At the barn near the Condos, I saw that Maggie’s eyelids were so swollen they were shut. Her ears smelled like they had a yeast infection in them, and were swollen and sticky under them. Maggie is emaciated, with her stomach sucked in and her hips and ribs starting to show. She also appeared lethargic, moving only a few paces back and forth before sitting down and lowering her head.
5/27/08: I was talking to Kathy while she sat in her van in her driveway this morning when she spotted dogs fighting in the barn near the Condos. I ran up to a pen containing two American Bulldogs and two Wheatons, where a Wheaton was attacking a Bulldog. It appeared as though the Wheatons had slid under broken chain link wiring to get into the adjacent pen. Kathy decided to have me move the Wheatons to their proper pen, then take two Ori Peis from the southernmost end of the western side of the barn and trade them out with the Bulldogs. Kathy stood in the Ori Pei pen’s outdoor run, blocking the doggie-door so I could move the Bulldogs into the Ori Pei’s indoor enclosure, and then carry the Ori Peis over to what was previously the Bulldog pen one at a time. The significance of this is that Kathy was standing one pen away from Maggie’s pen, which was just north of her. Maggie was sitting outside, facing south without moving the entire time, and Kathy was facing north while watching me trying to catch the Bulldogs in their outdoor run, the doggie-door of which I blocked with a rock and pole. I felt it would have been impossible for Kathy to miss Maggie or not see her condition.
After the dogs were moved, Kathy said nothing about Maggie’s condition. I then used wire to repair the chain link wall the Wheatons had gotten under.
5/28/08: I immediately noted Maggie’s condition today. As before, she is emaciated with her stomach increasingly thinner, her eyelids are swollen shut, and her ears are swollen and sticky inside, with a strong odor like a yeast infection. (relevant footage: MN 5-28-08 01; MN 5-28-08 06)
Kathy Bauck Overview
USDA revoked the broker’s license of Kathy Bauck, the owner and operator of Pick of the Litter in Minnesota, on September 14, 2011 based on evidence CAPS supplied to USDA. The agreement – known as a consent decision – also imposed a fine and permanently disqualified Bauck from obtaining an Animal Welfare Act license. This decision effectively prevents her from engaging in the commercial production and resale of dogs to pet shops and Internet sellers. Members of her family, involved in her ventures, were also fined and permanently disqualified from USDA licensing.
In 1997, CAPS began investigating Kathy Bauck, one of the largest USDA-licensed dog brokers and breeders in the U.S and seller of thousands of dogs to pet shops and Internet buyers across the country. A CAPS undercover employment video shot over a six-week period in the spring of 2008 showed sick, wounded, emaciated and dying dogs.
Based on evidence collected by CAPS, a jury convicted Bauck in March 2009 of four misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty and torture. The judge sentenced her on only one count: she received a 90-day sentence, reduced to 20 days of work release; a $500 fine, reduced from $1,000; 80 hours of community service; and one year of probation.
In August 2009, the USDA/APHIS filed a Motion for Summary Judgment requesting the termination of Bauck’s license. CAPS believes this judgment was due in part to our petition for rulemaking mandating automatic termination of license upon an animal cruelty conviction. After a number of administrative and legal proceedings, the USDA officially terminated Bauck’s license in June 2010, effective two months later.
Despite Bauck’s conviction and license termination, CAPS received complaints in 2010 and 2011 about sick puppies purchased at Long Island pet shops. Interstate health certificates confirmed that Bauck, using her maiden name and a business name, sold nearly 1,400 dogs to Long Island pet shops after her license termination. Some of these certificates listed a fabricated pet shop in New York City – Canine Culture Center – as a consignee. CAPS undercover investigations of these pet shops revealed stores that refused to disclose the source of their puppies (in violation of the New York pet shop lemon law) or provided limited information after receiving a deposit. CAPS turned all of this evidence over to USDA's Office of General Counsel, which then filed a complaint in December 2010. CAPS is currently working with the New York Attorney General on an investigation of the pet shops that conspired with Bauck.
“CAPS vs Bauck, How a Small Nonprofit Brought Down a Large Puppy Mill,” our professionally produced and widely viewed documentary about the Bauck investigation and case, can be viewed on Vimeo, YouTube and the CAPS website.
More on BauckCAPS began investigating Kathy Bauck, the owner and operator of "Pick of the Litter" in Minnesota, in 1997. Bauck, one of the largest USDA licensed dog brokers and breeders in the country, sold thousands of dogs to pet shops and Internet buyers all over the country.
Due to the efforts of the Companion Animal Protection Society, Bauck will no longer be able to sell to pet shops and other dog breeders and brokers. On August 13, 2009, the USDA/APHIS filed a Motion for Summary Judgment requesting the termination of Bauck's license. It is rare for the agency to request the termination of a license, especially through the expedited means of a summary judgment. CAPS believes the use of a summary judgment was due to the pressure APHIS felt from our petition for rulemaking mandating that USDA automatically terminate a license upon an animal cruelty conviction. On September 29, the administrative law judge issued a decision and order in the Bauck case, granting APHIS' motion for summary judgment. On October 29, Bauck appealed that decision to the judicial officer. APHIS filed a response to her appeal on November 18. The Judicial Officer's Order and Decision dated December 2 terminated Bauck's license. This termination was stayed pending Bauck's federal court appeal, which was denied. Bauck's license was officially terminated in August 2010. It is unfortunate that Bauck was allowed to keep her license during this yearlong legal process.
The USDA had licensed Bauck since 1983, and despite CAPS investigations since 1997, the USDA did not take action. The July 2008 USDA inspection report for Bauck found no violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). They did not inspect her again until March 4, 2009, just three weeks before her conviction. The inspector cited her for veterinary and cleaning violations.
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 went to Capitol Hill in June 2009 to meet with USDA officials and congressional aides, using the Bauck case as evidence of the USDA's dereliction of duty. CAPS' pro bono lobbyists submitted a petition for rulemaking requesting that AWA regulations be amended to require the automatic revocation of a USDA license upon the conviction in a court of law of a licensee, such as Bauck, for animal cruelty.
Based on evidence from a CAPS undercover employment opportunity of six weeks, a jury convicted Bauck on March 24, 2009 of four misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty and torture. On May 1, 2009, in what CAPS and animal advocates consider a great miscarriage of justice, the judge sentenced Bauck on just one of the counts, which he wrongly believed encompassed the other charges. She received a 90-day sentence, reduced to 20 days (weekday work release at the sheriff's discretion), a $500 fine (reduced from $1,000), 80 hours of community service and one year of probation.
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, 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, 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.
Bauck will still be able to sell dogs on the Internet. The Animal Welfare Act does not cover Internet breeders. However, if proposed legislation in Minnesota requiring state kennel licenses is passed, those convicted of animal cruelty and their business associates will be banned from obtaining a license. CAPS plans to investigate numerous Minnesota puppy mills to provide evidence in support of this legislation.
The Bauck case made national headlines with coverage by CBS stations in Chicago, Minneapolis and Los Angeles. CBS Chicago had the exclusive interview and footage. ABC in Boston aired a number of reports on the Bauck case. Bauck sold dogs to several pet shops and to Internet buyers across the state of Massachusetts. CAPS is about to make public a documentary about the Bauck investigation and criminal case.
CAPS Investigation and Criminal Case
- CAPS Undercover Employment Investigation Report Part 1
- CAPS Undercover Employment Investigation Report Part 2
- CAPS Undercover Employment Investigation Report on Specific Dogs
- Bauck Photo Sheet (photos from undercover employment investigation)
- Criminal Complaint
- Sentencing Order
- USDA-APHIS Consent Decision (PDF) for Kathy and Alan Bauck (Septermber, 2011)
- USDA-APHIS Consent Decision (PDF) for Corinne Peters, Bauck's daughter, and Janet Jesuit, Bauck's sister. (Septermber, 2011)
- Bauck USDA Termination Order (June 2010)
- Bauck USDA Final Decision and Order (December 2009)
- Motion for Summary Judgment by USDA fpr Allan Bauck (March, 2010)
- Motion for Summary Judgment against Kathy Bauck (Aug, 2009)