When Deborah Howard witnessed the dreadful conditions at a Docktor Pet Center store in November 1989, she was appalled. The company had more than 300 franchises at that time. After learning more about the plight of pet shop and puppy mill dogs, Ms. Howard joined forces with Robert Baker, the foremost puppy mill investigator in the country. During his 13 years as chief investigator of The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), Mr. Baker inspected over 700 puppy mills.
Ms. Howard, a former radio news reporter, lawyer and PR professional, formed CAPS in 1990. The nonprofit became a 501(c)(3) in 1992. As a result of CAPS’ efforts, Docktor Pet Centers, Inc., which refused to do business without the sale of puppies, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in February 1993.
Founded in 1992, the Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS) is the only national nonprofit dedicated exclusively to protecting companion animals from cruelty in pet shops and puppy/kitten mills. CAPS addresses animal suffering through investigations, outreach, legislation, legal advocacy, consumer assistance, rescue, and shelter reform.