CAPS plans to discuss the Kathy Bauck case with USDA officials. Based on evidence from a six-week CAPS employment investigation, a jury convicted Bauck, one of the largest USDA licensed dog dealers in the country, of animal cruelty in March 2009. As a result of this conviction, a USDA Judicial Officer denied Bauck’s appeal and terminated her license in December 2009. Bauck appealed this decision to the Eighth District Court of Appeals. The license termination was stayed pending Bauck’s federal court appeal, which was ultimately denied. USDA officially terminated Bauck’s license in August 2010. See:
It is unfortunate that Bauck was allowed to keep her license during this yearlong process. We tracked her sales during this time through interstate health certificates (most of the stores were in New York and New Jersey). After Bauck’s criminal conviction, Crowell & Moring 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.
Although USDA claims that an automatic termination is a violation of due process, we believe that our petition put pressure on USDA to use the expedited means of a Motion for Summary Judgment to terminate Bauck’s license.
CAPS will continue to keep an eye on Kathy Bauck. Her husband Alan applied for a USDA license using a kennel name. The USDA denied his license, so he has appealed. In addition, Kathy Bauck signed health certificates in May as the agent for a USDA licensed breeder in Minnesota. This breeder was selling to most of Bauck’s pet shop accounts (odd coincidence). CAPS wants to make sure that Bauck doesn’t use other USDA licensed breeders and brokers to sell 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.
Bauck may have bought a small interest in a pet shop. CAPS received a complaint about a sick puppy purchased at New York Kennel Club, a business that is not registered with the state. The complaint states that Bauck sold the puppy to the pet shop after her USDA license termination on August 16. A CAPS Minnesota Advisory Board member has copies of interstate health certificates signed by Bauck in which New York Kennel Club is both the consignor (Bauck’s Minnsota address) and consignee (pet shop address). We have asked the New York Attorney General’s Office to look into this matter. A breeder who sells to his/her own pet shop does not require a USDA license under the Animal Welfare Act. (AWA) This needs to be changed. If Bauck is not a pet shop owner, then she is selling to pet shops without a USDA license in violation of the AWA.