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Investigations

View CAPS undercover investigation reports and videos of puppy mills and pet shops.

Reports / Videos

Models & CAPS

What do you get when you combine glamorous fashion models with cute dogs rescued from un-glamorous puppy mills?

View the Slideshow

Bob Meetin

Bob Meetin

Monday, 15 June 2009 20:00

Dog Auctions in Ohio

There’s a movement emerging to ban dog auctions in the state of Ohio. Members of BanOhioDogAuctions.com plan to turn in a petition that will appear on the November 2010 ballot and, if successful, will change state laws regarding companion animal auctions.

The auctions are large-scale events in which breeders sell and buy dogs in large quantities. The conditions in which the dogs are kept are no better than those in puppy mills.

In recent years, Ohio has attracted puppy mill operators from across the nation because of the lax laws and regulations concerning the practice of dog auctions. Thousands of unscrupulous mass breeders sell hundreds of dogs like livestock and most of the time the dogs are kept in inhumane conditions.

Breeders convicted of animal cruelty, like the infamous Kathy Jo Bauck of Minnesota and Lanzie "Junior" Horton of Virginia, often travel to Ohio to participate in these profitable large scale auctions. Questionable breeders almost immediately register the dogs with the American Kennel Club (AKC) even though the quality of the purebred dogs is often far from the ideal.

Another effort is also under way in Ohio to include the ban on dog auctions as part of a legislation that will regulate commercial dog breeders. Senate Bill 95 and House Bill 124 would set minimum standards of care for breeders, such as keeping up with basic hygiene and adequate veterinary care.

The push to ban dog auctions, a practice that supports puppy mills, is a welcomed step and will hopefully send a message to breeders that Ohio will no longer be a safe haven for irresponsible breeders. For more information, visit http://banohiodogauctions.com/
Tuesday, 14 July 2009 20:00

Tennessee Commercial Breeder Act

On July 8th, Gov. Phil Bredesen of Tennessee signed legislation meant to regulate mass breeding facilities. The state finally added a law in its books that requires breeders to give basic humane care to animals and be subject to inspections. The move shows a step forward in the fight against puppy mills and indicates a change in the public's opinion about the issue. Despite the efforts, the change won't eliminate the problem. Lawmakers aren't attempting to outlaw puppy mills, they are trying to regulate breeding facilities.

The bill was significantly weakened by several amendments and revisions. Originally, the proposition placed a limit of 75 intact dogs per commercial breeder which would only affect puppy mills since most reputable breeders are small scale operations. Also, the bill no longer authorizes confiscation of animals or criminal penalties, using civil fines of $50 to $1000 per violation instead.

One of the most important aspects of the law is that large scale commercial operations with more than 20 unsterilized female dogs maintained for breeding purposes must obtain a license from the Department of Health. It establishes that inspections are a prerequisite for licensure as well as abiding by new humane care standards for dogs and cats. The bill also holds the mass breeders accountable by forcing them to adhere to Tennessee Consumer Protection Act, which would allow people who bought sick dogs to seek legal actions against the puppy mill operators.

The bill was first introduced by state Sen. Doug Jackson after witnessing the conditions in a Tennessee puppy mill operated by Patricia Adkisson . The owner of the infamous Tennessee facility was charged with 24 counts of felony aggravated cruelty and nine counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty. For more information about the bill, visit the http://www.animallawcoalition.com/companion-animal-breeding/article/68">Animal Law Coalition website or read the bill summary from the Tennessee government website
Despite the recent failure of the Texas legislature to pass a bill before the end of its session which would have required commercial dog and cat breeders to meet stricter health and handling requirements, citizen action has forced one abusive puppy mill to close.



Cloyce and Carol Heddins, owners of "Maggic Pets," operated a kennel so squalid that Dillon Steen, a former employee of Maggic Pets , says "I’ll never get those images out of my head of everything I saw out there." Steen describes Maggic Pets in decidedly unmagic terms: "If you went and voiced anything about concerns about eye colds or this one's limping it didn't matter as long as that dog could still breed that's all that mattered [. . .] Puppies would go to start dying and rather than them being taken to the vet they'd be thrown in an empty dog food bag and thrown in the back of a truck and just let lay there until they died."

A citizen activist who witnessed these abuses took the case to the Humane Society, who called the Heddins' puppy mill one of the worst cases they had ever seen in North Texas.

On July 17th, a Montague county judge ruled against the Heddins and ordered that their nearly 500 dogs be given into the care of the Humane Society of North Texas. The testimonies of veteranarians, investigators from the Humane Society, and of Montague County Sheriff Paul Cunningham all contributed to the judge's decision, who did not find the Heddins' argument that evidence obtained from a search warrant was invalid convincing. Moreover, the Heddins were ordered to pay $40,000 to HSNT for the treatment and care of the dogs, though many were ill enough that the sum is not likely to be enough to cover costs. Prosecutors in the case have requested that the dogs remain in the care of HSNT while they pursue criminal charges.
Friday, 24 July 2009 20:00

Elite Animals Pet Shop Protest

Elite Animals Pet Shop Protest

Who: Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS)

What: Elite Animals Pet Shop Protest

Where: 8729 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, CA

When: Saturday, July 25, 2009, 1 - 3 p.m.

Why: To stop the sale of puppy mill dogs; convert store to humane adoption center.

The store was inspected and violations found. They cannot bring any animals into the store until they fix these violations.

Photo of Shirley “Chicken” by Christopher Johnson

Young CAPS protesters handing out CAPS brochures at Elite Animals

Who: Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS)
What: Elite Animals Pet Shop Protest
Where: 8729 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, CA
When: Saturday, August 8, 2009, 1:30 - 3:30 p.m.
Why: To stop the sale of puppy mill dogs; convert store to humane adoption center.
The store was inspected and violations found. They cannot bring any animals into the store until they fix these violations.

protest - picture
Wednesday, 19 August 2009 20:00

USDA Declares Kathy Bauck Unfit to Raise Dogs

USDA Declares Kathy Bauck Unfit to Raise Dogs, Files Motion for Summary Judgement to Revoke her USDA License

URL: http://www.thebostonchannel.com/news/20477675/detail.html

Publication date: 2009-08-20

Publication name: ABC Boston

Headline: USDA Declares Kathy Bauck Unfit to Raise Dogs, Files Motion for Summary Judgement to Revoke her USDA License

Summary: As a result of the CAPS undercover investigation into Kathy Bauck's practices as a large-scale dog broker, which resulted in her criminal conviction, the USDA has filed a summary judgement to revoke her license. President of CAPS Deborah Howard will appear on ABC Boston Channel Five's special report on the case tonight at 11:00pm. For more information on the Bauck case, visit www.caps-web.org.
Saturday, 29 August 2009 20:00

Puppy Stores Under Fire

Puppy Stores Under Fire

URL: http://www.caps-web.org/pdf/pet-age-magazine.pdf

Publication date: 2009-08-30

Publication name: Pet Age Magazine

Headline: Puppy Stores Under Fire

Summary:

Pet Age magazine, August 2009: "Puppy Stores Under Fire" features quotes from CAPS West Coast Director Carole Davis and discusses CAPS' pet shop campaign and efforts to convert pet shops to humane adoption centers.

CAPS President Deborah Howard to receive award at the Pet Rock Festival in Worcester, MA on Sunday, September 13

URL: http://www.petrockfest.com/content/view/73/73/

Publication date: 2009-09-08

Publication name: Pet Rock Festival

Headline: CAPS President Deborah Howard to receive award at the Pet Rock Festival in Worcester, MA on Sunday, September 13

Summary: Twenty years ago, public relations professional Deborah Howard walked into a Docktor Pet Center franchise – one of more than 300 nationwide – in Atlanta, Georgia, not knowing that that she was about to undergo an epiphany that would forever change her life. A tiny yellow Labrador puppy pressed an open cut against the wire bars of a dirty small cage.

Click here for the PDF Festival flyer.

Just how healthy is that puppy in the pet shop window?

URL: http://www.usatoday.com/life/lifestyle/pets/2009-09-24-dolittler-pet-shops_N.htm?csp=usat.me

Publication date: 2009-09-25
Publication name: USA Today
Headline: Just how healthy is that puppy in the pet shop window?
Summary: Ever planned on buying a perfect, purebred pup from a pet shop? Or maybe you felt sorry for that little fluffy kitten you glimpsed in the window. If so, you've got company. Hundreds of thousands of pets are bought and sold from retail establishments every year.

State of Pennsylania Revokes Kennel License of Joyce Stoltzfus

URL: http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/pets/State_revokes_kennel_license_of_troubled_puppy_broker.html

Publication date: 2009-10-07

Publication name: Philly.com

Headline: State of Pennsylania Revokes Kennel License of Joyce Stoltzfus

Summary: CAPS has been gathering consumer complaints for the puppy mill of Joyce Stoltzfus in Peach Bottom, PA (Lancaster County) for many years.  We have investigated the facility.  Puppy Love Kennel (renamed CC Pets) was the focus of stories CAPS generated with “20/20,” and The Philadelphia Inquirer.  CAPS gathered over a hundred consumer complaints, which resulted in the first settlement with the Office of the Attorney General.  Stoltzfus was fined $35,000.  She continued to violate the laws and CAPS continued to receive complaints.  The Attorney General reached another settlement, this time with a fine of $75,000.

For more information visit: CC Pets / Puppy Love Kennels and the CAPS Investigation Report.

Guidestar

Bea's Beat

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

Blog with Beatrice!

Deborah Howard

Deborah Howard

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

Meet Deborah

CAPS Blog

Read about issues affecting companion animals, especially those suffering in pet shops and puppy mills.

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Contact Us

Contact CAPS

Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS)
759 CJC Hwy., #332
Cohasset, MA 02025
p: 339-309-0272

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Class Action Lawsuits

scales of justice

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

Read more about Happiness is Pets or Barkworks.

CAPS Complaint Form