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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?

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Notorious USDA Licensed Dog Broker Sentenced to Only 20 Days in Prison

Kathy Bauck, Owner and Operator of one of the Largest Commercial Breeding Facilities in the United States is Locked Away for Only 20 Days with Work Release

(Greater Boston, MA) – Touching his face with her hands, Kathy Bauck said “Don’t be scared. The Lord let’s me see what you’re thinking… are you a CAPS investigator?”

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Media Contact: Bob Parks

Director of Communications
Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS)
Phone: 413-658-4369
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Notorious USDA Licensed Dog Broker Sentenced to Only 20 Days in Prison
Kathy Bauck, Owner and Operator of one of the Largest Commercial Breeding Facilities in the United States is Locked Away for Only 20 Days with Work Release
(Greater Boston, MA) – Touching his face with her hands, Kathy Bauck said “Don’t be scared. The Lord let’s me see what you’re thinking… are you a CAPS investigator?”
The undercover investigator from the Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS) -- the only national nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting companion animals from cruelty and inhumane breeding practices in pet shops and puppy mills — replied, “I don’t know what you are talking about.” Bauck used her self-proclaimed Christianity for years to justify her unrelenting mistreatment of animals.
Kathy Bauck is the owner and operator of Pick of the Litter (aka Puppies on Wheels) in New York Mills, Minnesota. Her facility, one of the largest USDA licensed commercial dog breeding and brokering operations in the country, distributes thousands of sick and dying dogs to pet shops across the country and via the internet. Based on evidence from a six-week undercover employment investigation by the Companion Animal Protection Society, a jury in Fergus Falls (Otter Tail County), Minnesota convicted Bauck on March 24, 2009 of four misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty and torture.

Unfortunately, on May 1, 2009, in what CAPS and animal advocates consider a miscarriage of justice, Judge Waldemar Senyk sentenced Bauck on just one of the counts, which he believed encompassed the other charges.

Bauck 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.

Bauck’s lawyers may have manipulated the judicial system by claiming the breeding animals were livestock and not companion animals, which would have required seizure of the animals under the statute. The sentence also mandates that a state humane agent can make unannounced visits to the facility (which is now owned by Bauck’s husband and daughter) although Bauck is clearly still in charge. Being on work release means that Bauck will spend nights in jail during the 20 days of her sentence, yet be able to oversee kennel operations on weekdays, just as she did while serving an earlier sentence.

During the trial, as the CAPS investigator walked by Bauck, she said, “I forgive you.” Yet while Bauck and her attorney waited in the courtroom with the CAPS investigator and the assistant prosecutor before the jury and judge came in, Bauck cryptically said to the CAPS investigator, "It's good to see you again, Jason. I'm glad you're not dead."

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 dying. This graphic video portrays emaciated dogs nursing their puppies, dogs immersed in caustic pesticides, bleach water used for wounds, and animals simply left to suffer and die.

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. Despite her blatant disregard for the law, the state allowed Kathy Bauck to plea bargain to just one charge for the practice of veterinary medicine and dropped a cruelty charge that was brought about for the killing of a puppy by bashing it against a pole. While on parole and serving work release, she continued to commit cruelty that was documented by our undercover investigator. CAPS submitted the investigator’s hidden camera footage, photographs and reports to local authorities.

CAPS has investigated more than 1,000 puppy mills – mostly USDA licensed breeders and brokers – in the United States and handles pet shop complaints from all over the U. States and Canada. Over the years the organization has received numerous complaints from consumers who’ve purchased sick puppies that were bred or brokered by people like Bauck.

The USDA has licensed Bauck since 1983 and despite CAPS investigations since 1997, the USDA will not take action. The July 2008 USDA inspection report for Bauck had no violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). They didn’t 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 returned to Capitol Hill the week of June 7 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 are submitting 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.

Click here to view the video for the investigation report. WARNING: Some of the visuals are graphic.

For more information please visit http://www.caps-web.org or call the Companion Animal Protection Society at 781-210-0938.

About the Companion Animal Protection Society:

The Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS) is the only national nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting companions from cruelty and inhumane breeding practices in pet Shops and puppy Mills. Founded in 1992, CAPS actively addresses this issue through undercover investigations, education, media relations, legislative involvement, puppy mill dog rescues, consumer assistance and pet shop employee relations. CAPS has gained worldwide recognition for targeting puppy mill operations and converting pet shops to humane animal adoption centers. The Companion Animal Protection Society is based in the Boston, MA area.

Animal Planet Airs Special: PUPPY MILLS EXPOSED

Publication date: 2009-04-27
Publication name: Animal Planet
Headline: Animal Planet Airs Special: PUPPY MILLS EXPOSED

Tonight [Monday April 27, 2009] at 10:00 pm (ET/PT), Animal Planet will take viewers into the world of puppy mills with "Puppy Mills: Exposed," a special episode of Animal Cops: Philadelphia. The one-hour segment features the President of Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS), Deborah Howard, an expert in the field of puppy mills and pet shops, as she explains the national issue of pet shop and puppy mills for viewers.

The segment uses CAPS undercover video evidence taken in USDA licensed facilities, including the Hunte Corporation, the largest dog brokering facility in the country. The undercover puppy mill footage shot by CAPS investigators highlights the USDA's failure to enforce the Animal Welfare Act with respect to wholesale dog breeding and brokering operations.


In its release about the special, Animal planet stated that "like most people, the [customer] had no idea that virtually all pet store puppies come from large commercial breeding facilities - many of which can be considered puppy mills." CAPS knows this problem only too well, having received numerous complaints over the years from pet shop and internet customers who purchased sick and dying puppies.

Please check local listings for channels and show times. For more information on the Companion Animal Protection Society please visit www.caps-web.org.

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


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Contact Us

Contact CAPS

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

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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