The property around the kennel areas was cluttered with weeds and debris (3.11(c)-Housekeeping for premises). The debris included old, cracked plastic dishes, bones, dog fur, chicken feathers, boards, etc. Cats, sickly kittens, chickens and turkeys ran loose on the property. There were chicken and turkey feces all over the yard. However, the area near the Klevens home was very clean and tidy.
The small breed dogs lived in outdoor runs. These runs were made out of chain link fence and concrete with concrete fecal run-off troughs in front. The troughs had a lot of feces and hair build-up (3.1(f)-Drainage and waste disposal) (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures). The concrete floors of the kennels were starting to chip and crack (3.4(c)-Outdoor housing facilities, Construction) (3.6(a)(1) and (2)(ix)-Primary enclosures) and had urine and feces stains (3.1(c)(2)(3)-Housing facilities, general; Surfaces) (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures). The chain link fencing was rusty in most areas (3.1(c)(1)(i)-Surfaces). This area was hidden behind an old privacy fence.
The dog doors leading into their shelters were chewed and in need of replacement (3.1(c)(2)-Maintenance and replacement of surfaces) (3.4(c)-Outdoor housing facilities, Construction) (3.6(a)(i)-Primary enclosures). Some units were missing entire dog doors 3.1(1)-Structure; construction) (3.6(a)(i)-Primary enclosures) and had scratched wooden openings 3.1(c)(2)-Surfaces) (3.4(b)-Shelter from the elements) (3.4(c)-Construction) (3.6(a)(1)-Primary enclosures).
The Shih Tzus, Poodles and Pekingeses were damp and had obvious urine stains on their fur (2.40-Veterinary care).
The chain link outdoor runs with the larger dogs and small breeds were in far worse condition. These runs had fecal run-off troughs in front of the enclosures with feces, urine and hair build-up (3.1(f)-Drainage and waste disposal) (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures).
Dog urine and liquid was running from one kennel into the adjoining pens (3.1(f)-Drainage and waste disposal). Male dogs urinated through the fence onto dogs in adjoining pens. A wheelbarrow brimming with urine, liquid feces, old bones and hair and old dog kibble sat in front of these enclosures (3.1(f)-Drainage and waste disposal). It put off a very foul odor; which was worse than that of the filthy ammonia odor of the enclosures. West Highland Terriers and Shih Tzus in this area were damp and had urine stains on their fur. Some of the kennels had dirty, white plastic water bowls with stagnant green algae (3.10-Watering) (3.11(b)(2)-Sanitization of food and water receptacles. I saw flies and old bones, fur, leaves and other debris in the bowls (3.11(b)(2)). Dog doors were chewed 3.1(c)(2)-Surfaces) (3.4(c)-Outdoor housing facilities, Construction) (3.6(a)(1)-Primary enclosures) and even missing in some enclosures (3.4(b)-Shelter from the elements).
An old male Akita was in need of grooming (2.40-Veterinary care) and his hair was falling out in clumps. His ears had been chewed off and had healed (2.40). The chain link kennel area was severely rusted (3.1(c)(1)(i)-Surfaces) and chewed (3.1(c)(2)-Maintenance and replacement of surfaces). The female yellow Lab in the pen next to the Akita was in heat. The male Lab housed with her would not leave her alone. Her neck was missing fur and had a red sore area (2.40). This may have been caused by her collar.
I did not notice a wind or rain break or shade for the dogs when they were in the outside portion of their enclosures (3.4(b)(2)-Shelter from the elements).
The indoor shelter area for these dogs consisted of poorly constructed dens inside of a large barn. The wood inside of the shelters was unsealed and chewed (3.1(a)-Structure; construction) (3.4(c)-Construction) (3.6(a)(1)-Primary enclosures). I saw no bedding, and the temperature was approximately 35 - 40° F at night and 49° F during the daytime (3.4(b)(4)-Shelter from the elements).
The inside of the barn was littered with debris including unused boards, wire, tractors, large amounts of straw and hay, leaves, electrical cords, gas cans, an air compressor, lawn mowers, etc. (3.11(c)-Housekeeping for premises). Chickens, turkeys, mice, cats and sickly kittens were also in the barn (3.1(b)-Condition and site). The barn had a dirt floor. This area was also used for food storage. Bags of food were stacked on the dirt floor (3.1(e)- Storage of food and bedding). Empty (Diamond) bags were tossed around on the floor (3.1(b)-Condition and site). The empty bags had been chewed by the rodents, and I noticed a sickly kitten napping in one.
The whelping building had a very strong ammonia odor (3.2(b)-Indoor housing facilities, Ventilation). The cages were hutch style and painted white. The floor was made of cracked concrete (3.2(d)-Interior Surfaces) (3.6(a)(2)(x)-Primary enclosures) Underneath the pens was liquid (urine and water) and feces (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures). A green garden hose was under the hutches in this wet mess.
I noticed that the dogs had scratched the paint off of the inside walls of their enclosures (3.1(c)(2)-Maintenance and replacement of surfaces (3.6(1)(1)-Primary enclosures). There was a lot of hair build-up in and around the cages (3.2(d)-Interior Surfaces).
In one cage, I saw three very matted, dirty Schnauzers (2.40-Veterinary care). They were in desperate need of grooming and had extremely long toenails. The plastic coating over the wire part of the enclosure was peeling off, leaving rusty wire exposed (3.1(c)(1)(i)-Surfaces) (3.1(c)(2)-Maintenance and replacement of surfaces) (3.6(a)(2)(xii)-Primary enclosures).
The Klevens are also using an old house trailer as a whelping building. I opened the door and was almost knocked out by the strong ammonia odor (3.2(b)-Ventilation). What used to be the living room and kitchen in this old trailer was now used for food storage. Bags of food were tossed around on the floor (3.1(e)-Storage). Unused filthy kennel crates, dirty syringes (2.40), medicine, shredded newspaper, feces and dog kibble littered the floor, tables and counter tops (3.1(b)-Condition and site). The dogs were kept in the back bedrooms. I did not notice proper ventilation (3.2(b)-Ventilation). The floors still had old carpet on them. They were not impervious to moisture (3.2(d)-Interior Surfaces) and looked like they had never been cleaned (3.11(b)(3)-Sanitization of primary enclosures).
Strangely enough, I also noticed Fisher Price toys and children’s riding toys stored in with the dog supplies. It also appeared that there had been a leak in the roof due to the water-damaged walls (3.1(a)-Structure;construction). It is hard to believe that Dr. Hovancsak found no non-compliances at this facility on 12/31/00 and just a 3.4(b)(4) violation for lack of bedding in the outdoor housing facilities on 1/2/02. (See Appendix A-3 for photos of the Kleven facility).
I called Mr. Harries to make an appointment. When we arrived, we were greeted by a very old German Shepherd and a small black Poodle. Mr. Harries said that these two dogs were his pets. His wife allowed the Poodle in the house, but not the old German Shepherd. Mr. Harries stated that he has been waiting for the old dog to die and figured the dog won’t live through the winter.
I could see a new sheltered housing building from where I was parked. Shih Tzus, Pugs and Pug crosses were kept there. The enclosures were chain link and concrete with den areas in a large garage type building. The dogs accessed their dens through dog doors. Upon closer inspection, I noticed that the dogs were walking through their own excrement. There was a lot of fecal accumulation in this area. In their excrement, the dogs flung feces off of their paws and onto me. Mr. Harries said that he hadn’t had time to clean out their kennels lately (3.1(c)(3)-Cleaning) (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures). As he was making excuses for his laziness, the little black house pet Poodle ran over to the kennels and started fence fighting with the dogs kept there. The dogs in the kennels snarled and flung feces on the black Poodle. Mr. Harries grabbed her and was upset that the kennel dogs had gotten her dirty. She had just had a bath and his wife would be furious. He took her into the house, wiped her off and left her there.
When Mr. Harries returned, he offered us the tour of his facility. His facility was a maze of buildings and outbuildings. They all contained dogs.
The first building was both sheltered and indoor housing combined. It held only the larger dogs like Labradors and Golden Retrievers. They had access to outdoor pens, while the other dogs like Shiba Inus, Shelties and some mixed breeds lived in very dimly lit (3.2(c)-Indoor Housing facilities, Lighting) filthy enclosures with no access to outside. This area was dark, dank and smelled horribly of ammonia and feces (3.3(b)-Ventilation). The dogs were matted and dirty (2.40-Veterinary care). Their primary enclosures were filthy – feces was everywhere (3.1(c)(3)-Cleaning) (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures). The dogs appeared indifferent to our presence. A few growled and retreated to the back of their enclosures.
Water and food dishes consisted of chewed Tupperware, other chewed plastic buckets and metal containers (3.9(b)-Feeding). Open dog food bags sat on the floor near one of the walls (3.1(e)-Storage of Food). Hair and cobwebs accumulated everywhere (3.1(b)-Condition and site).
The larger dogs that had access to outside runs were in pretty rough shape. All of them needed grooming or bathing (2.40-Veterinary care). I saw several three-legged dogs. Mr. Harries said that they had had accidents, but offered no further explanation. There were also one-eyed dogs. He gave the same explanation as before. Then, I noticed a female yellow Lab whose collar had grown into her neck. Mr. Harries said that he had to peel the collar out of her skin. This left an open wound all the way around her neck. Now, she was wearing a new chain collar over the open wound. The wound was so bad that you could see blood and open flesh and puss (2.40). Yet, he did not take her to a vet and stated that he had no plans to do so. He said that his USDA inspector was a vet and she had seen the collar and was the one that helped him remove it. The inspector had no problem with it. He also stated that she had been there approximately two weeks ago. This dog needed immediate treatment and some stitches to close the open wound (2.40).
A chocolate Lab in a pen near this wounded yellow Lab had a very inflamed eye. Red flesh was protruding from the dogs eye socket and she could barely close her eye (2.40). It looked very painful. Mr. Harries said it would go away and to not worry about it. A Shiba Inu across from the chocolate Lab had a lot of missing hair from his hind end area. The skin in this area was red and scaly (2.40). The other Shiba Inus in this enclosure were actually eating this particular dog’s tail! They had chewed it to a bloody nub. Mr. Harries just chuckled and said that they were playing. The dog kept backing into corners, smearing blood on the walls, trying to get away from the other dogs that were attacking him viciously. The dogs needed to be separated. Obviously, they were not compatible (3.7(b)-Compatible grouping) and needed vet treatment (2.40).
This entire first kennel area was like a maze. Dogs in kennels and enclosures were around every dimly lit corner.
As I was leaving this first building, I saw six Siberian Huskies (white with typical black markings) with no ears! Their ears had been chewed off and they had many scars. Some were lame and missing tips of their tails (2.40). These were not old dogs – approximately only three to four years old. They were aggressive with each other to the point of needing separation. Mr. Harries said that these dogs all grew up together and that they were only playing when they attacked, mangled and disfigured each other (3.7(b)-Compatible grouping). Next, Mr. Harries led us to the first whelping building. Before I entered, I could see at least four inches of fecal accumulation under the outdoor portion of the whelping building (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures). As I entered the building, the stench and smell of ammonia burned my eyes and nose. I noticed condensation on the walls and ceiling. The ventilation in this area was very compromised (3.3(b)-Sheltered housing facilities, Ventilation). The floors, walls and cages had feces smeared on them (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures) (3.11(b)(2)- Sanitization of primary enclosures). Flies were swarming. Old fly strips hung from wires with thousands of dead fly carcasses stuck to them (3.11(d)-Pest control).
I looked down closer at the floor and noticed puddles and streams of urine draining from under the dog enclosures (3.1(f)-Drainage and waste disposal). Some of this urine was reddish in color and some puddles had dried into a sticky, hairy mess infested with flies that were drinking, eating and laying eggs. The dirt, filth, urine, feces, fly and hair accumulation and strong ammonia odor was shameful and disgusting!
More than whelping dogs were kept in this building. This building also helped house Mr. Harries’ small breed dogs. The whelping bitches and smaller breeds were kept in built up crudely made hutches with chewed, scratched wood (3.1(c)(2)-Surfaces) (3.6(a)(1)-Primary enclosures). Some had access to the outside. Most of the dogs were coughing and lethargic with discharge coming from their eyes (2.40-Veterinary care).
The cage with access to the outside, that had the pile of feces, was home to ten Bichon Frises. One of them was Sasha, the dog later rescued by CAPS. The dogs were severely overcrowded and filthy (3.6(a)(2)(xi)-Primary enclosures). One Bichon was missing an eye. Mr. Harries did not know how the dog lost its eye – another accident (2.40). He said that this group of dogs was to be auctioned off to another breeding farm next week. A man would come and pick them up along with some of Mr. Harries unwanted larger mixed breeds. Next to the overcrowded Bichons were some shaggy Schnauzers (2.40). Above the Schnauzers were a mother Dachshund and her very young pups. The mother could open her own cage and she did so while I was standing there (3.6(a)(ii)(iii)-Primary enclosures). Mr. Harries said to watch and she might roll one of her pups out the door to fall. She did exactly what he said. She pushed the pup with her nose to the cage opening and down the pup went, but this time Mr. Harries caught the little pup. He allowed us to examine it. It was sticky, smelled of urine and feces and in general, did not look healthy (2.40). The mother Dachshund was severely disturbed mentally (2.40). As far as I am concerned, so is Mr. Harries.
The dogs and pups in this building were having difficulty walking on the wire flooring. Their feet were passing through the wire floor and seemed to cause them a great deal of discomfort. This was evident by their reluctance to step on the wire and the sores on their legs and feet (3.6(a)(2)(x)-Primary enclosures).
The plastic food and water containers were chewed. The metal dishes were rusty (3.11(b)-Sanitization of food and water receptacles). Some dogs had no food or water (3.9)-Feeding).
It appeared that there had been little or no maintenance or up-keep in this building for quite some time (3.1(c)(3)-Housing facilities-Surfaces).
Next, we took a look at some very large dogs kept in pens in a pole barn. Breeds here included a Newfoundland mix, Huskies, Samoyeds, Labs and some very aggressive Saint Bernards. The pens had over 48 hours of fecal accumulation (3.1(c)(3)-Cleaning) (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures). They also had improper shelter (3.4(b)-Shelter from the elements). The shelters were inconsistent with USDA regulations. They were made from scraps of wood (3.1(a)-Structure; construction) (3.6(a)(1)-Primary enclosures). The shelters had large holes. Some shelters had only two sides and a piece of wood for a roof. They had dirt floors. No bedding was present despite the fact that one side of this building was open and exposed to the elements (3.4(b)(4)-Shelter from the elements) (3.6(a)(s)(vi)-Primary enclosures). There were not enough shelters for all dogs to fit into (3.4(b)-Shelter from the elements). Some dogs had no shelter at all (3.4(b)-Shelter from the elements). There were too many Labs for one pen (3.6(a)(2)(xi)-Primary enclosures).
The fencing sections were connected with rope and wire. They moved when the dogs jumped against it (3.6(a)(1)-Primary enclosures). The fencing was rusty with bird droppings everywhere. Food was spilled and the water was green (3.9-Watering). The Saint Bernards were extremely aggressive and charged at the side of their pen, growling and snarling at me. They eyed me warily (2.40).
Mr. Harries said some of these dogs would be sold along with the Bichon Frises. He did not say for what use.
In this area, I again noted a consistent problem. Many of the dogs here were scarred, missing lips and tips of their ears. They were overcrowded and aggressive to the point of mutilating each other. The Siberian Huskies kept in this area were unsocialized and afraid to approach me. When I approached their pens, they tucked their tails and put their ears flat on the heads. They skulked away to a far corner and just crouched there watching me (2.40).
Since it was cold outside, we headed for the last whelping building. It was the last building on the tour of the facility. This building did not have any windows. Mr. Harries opened the door and turned on the lights. The dogs and pups had been in complete darkness (3.3(c)-Sheltered housing facilities, Lighting). When I entered this building, the ammonia burned my eyes and nose. There was not anyway to ventilate this building. He didn’t have any windows as stated above or a ventilation system installed (3.2(b)-Indoor housing facilities, Ventilation). I wanted to run back outside to breath. Each side of this building had cages running along the walls with a narrow walkway down the middle. The floor of the walkway had urine puddles, feces, food (3.1(f)-Drainage and waste disposal) and a green hose on it (3.1(b)-Condition and site).
The first cage inside to the right contained a mother Husky and her puppies. For the most part, their cage was covered and smeared with greenish diarrhea, (2.40) (3.6(a)(2)(v)-Primary enclosures). The puppies were crusted with this diarrhea and the mother was partially covered. One of her little red and white pups had very cloudy eyes and appeared to be blind (2.40). It didn’t play with the other pups. It just sat in the diarrhea tilting its head back and forth listening and trying to locate me by my voice. Yet, it would not approach me. I asked Mr. Harries about the pup and he said, “Nothing is wrong with it” and walked off talking about other dogs.
Directly across from the mother Husky and her pups was a young Lhasa Apso. The dog acted strange. It would only take a few tiny steps, then stand with his head hanging, just listening. I called to Mr. Harries and asked him about he Lhasa Apso (2.40). He told me that the dog was blind and that several dogs produced from the parents had the same problem. He said that I could have the dog. This is “Job” that CAPS rescued. Job really needed a bath. His hair was crusted with urine and feces. He acted as if he had never been handled. But, soothing words and gentle touch helped him relax. After a short while, he decided that positive attention was a pretty good thing.
Next to Job were a black Schnauzer and her newborn pups. I had to stare at the pups awhile before I decided if they were even alive. They were very lethargic and the mother looked unhealthy. Her hair was falling out. It appeared that she was having enough trouble keeping herself alive and healthy, let alone caring for her litter of pups (2.40). Mr. Harries did not show concern over any of these dogs. In fact, he was just plain cocky. He said that Rochester Humane Society had been out to his place on two separate occasions and no charges were ever filed. He believed that no charges were filed because he is a friend of the sheriff that accompanied the representatives from this Humane Society. And, he further boasted that even his USDA inspector had not one problem with him or his farm. Both the USDA inspector and the sheriff defended him to the Humane Society. Now, that is quite a story! I replied to the effect that one can never have too many friends and he agreed with that statement.
It was time to wrap up this investigation. So, I gathered Sasha and Job into the vehicle. I paid Mr. Harries and he stated that there would be no need to fill out forms because he had ways to fake USDA records (2.75(a)(2)(ix)-Identification). We shook hands and he said to come back anytime.
Sasha and Job recuperated at Paws-n-Claws, the no kill shelter in Rochester, Minnesota. Both have been placed in excellent homes and have better lives now. During the 6/8/00 inspection, Catherine Hovancsak, found a 3.4(b) violation because the new dog pens in the pole barn didn’t have a shelter structure. She claimed on her 3/5/01 inspection report that Mr. Harries had corrected this problem. It didn’t seem to us that he had corrected this problem because the shelters were made of scraps of wood that didn’t fit together properly. There were large holes and dirt floors. The enclosures were too small to accommodate all of the dogs comfortably.
Dr. Hovancsak found four non-compliances during her 3/5/01 inspection. The correct-by date for the four open bags of food in the kennel (3.1(e)) was 3/7/01. Mr. Harries had not corrected this problem by the time of our visit. He also had a 3.3(b) violations for a strong ammonia odors in the whelping building and part of the sheltered adult kennel building. She also cited Mr. Harries for not having any ventilation system in the new sheltered building. The correct-by date was 7/5/01. He had not corrected these violations by the time of our inspection. In addition, the accumulation of feces of the south side of the outside runs of the sheltered housing facilities (3.11(a)-Cleaning) was still very much present even though Dr. Hovancsak instructed Mr. Harries to correct this problem as soon as the feces was no longer frozen. He had spring, summer and fall to clean the fecal accumulation. Finally, Mr. Harries received a 2.75(a)(2) violation for 14 adult dogs that were not listed on an APHIS form. Mr. Harries didn’t fill out paperwork for the disposition of the two dogs that we rescued.
Dr. Hovancsak’s 10/11/01 inspection report listed just three violations: identification (2.50), recordkeeping (2.75) and shelter from the elements (3.4(b)) for five pens in the pole barn without shelter structures. She claimed that he had corrected all of the non-compliances from the 3/5/01 inspection although there was no evidence of these corrections on 10/29/01, the date of the CAPS investigation.
In conclusion, we were able to find many more non-compliances than Dr. Hovancsak. The lack of veterinary care is especially disturbing.
Breeds: Poodles, Shih Tzus, Pekingese, Mixed breeds
The Harries’ facility consisted of a whelping building and breeder building.
The whelping building had indoor/outdoor enclosures on each of two sides. The investigator only saw dogs inside the building, in pens made with plastic walls, plastic-grating floorings, and wire doors. Metal doggie-doors allowed access between the indoor and outdoor pens. Water dishes were on the floorings, and plastic self feeders were attached to the pen doors. The entire kennel had an extremely strong ammonia odor (3.2(b) Ventilation).
A matted Poodle was loose in the kennel. The Poodle’s head was shaved, but the rest of the dog was covered in dirty clumps of fur (3.1(a)-Structure); (2.40-Vet care).
The pens housed either whelping mothers with their puppies, a pair of breeders, or a litter of puppies. The legs of the puppies, all less than eight weeks of age, were constantly slipping through the holes of the flooring grates (3.6(a)(2)(x)-Primary enclosures). Mr. Harries commented about the puppies’ legs slipping through the floorings: “Now, my inspectors aren’t real happy. They said, ‘Well you need… the puppies step through that.’ Well they do the first couple days after I take them out of the whelping box. And they (USDA inspectors) finally gave up. And they said, ‘Well, you should have something solid in there.’ I put something solid in there and that’s where they go make their messes.”
When asked about being fined by USDA or having USDA take any of his dogs, he replied, “They’ll write you up and give you a warning. ‘You got to be fixed next time.’ But they don’t say anything to me anymore about the grating. I’m just not going to make it change.”
One pen contained two Poodle breeders, one of which had thick mats covering its body (2.40-Vet care).
Another pen, containing a whelping Pekingese mother and puppies, had a brown puddle in the concrete walkway outside its doorway (3.1(f)-Drainage and waste disposal). Mr. Harries said he cleaned the walkway out every couple days, and that every one to two weeks he cleaned out from under the plastic grates (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures).
All of the pens had a dirty build-up on their walls and doggie doors (3.1(c)(3)-Cleaning). The water dishes all had a brown, dirty build-up on the inner and outer surfaces and contained yellowish water (3.10-Watering).
The plastic floor gratings had fecal build-up covering the inner surfaces of the holes (3.1(c)(3)-Cleaning).
The breeder building had two stacked rows of indoor/outdoor cages on each of two sides. These pens had plastic walls and ceilings and plastic-grating floorings. Plastic sheets were positioned under each row of cages to catch debris and excrement. There were about five dogs of various breeds per cage; some of the cages were empty.
The walls and doggie doors all had a brown build-up on their surfaces, and there was feces build-up in the holes of the grating floorings (3.1(c)(3)-Cleaning).
One Shih Tzu had mats on its face, another had a recessed left eye, a Chihuahua’s tongue was constantly hanging out of its mouth all the way to the chin (2.40-Vet care).
A metal broom pan under an occupied breeder cage across from the doorway was filled with dried feces (3.1(b)-Condition and site).
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)