After Kathy Bauck’s conviction on animal cruelty, and the suspension of her commercial kennel licence by the USDA, most of us would assume that she would be effectively barred from any further selling or breeding of dogs. This is shockingly incorrect, as detailed by the veterinarian who testified against Bauck during her trial –
“The irony is that if the revocation of Bauck’s USDA license stands, she will still be able to keep her dogs,” said Dr. Linda Wolf a veterinarian who served as one of the key expert witnesses in the most recent animal cruelty case against Bauck.
“The USDA only regulates the sale of dogs to commercial sources, like pet shops, brokers and wholesalers. They have no say as to whether or not Bauck gets to keep her dogs,” Wolf added.
“The termination of Bauck’s USDA license prevents her from selling dogs to her normal sales channels,” added Wolf.
“Normal channels” is primarily considered to be sales directly to pet shops and to pet shop suppliers like Hunte and other brokers. It does not include direct sales to puppy buyers, through internet sales sites, and that gives Kathy Bauck and other suspended USDA breeders like her a very handy – and lucrative – get out of jail free card.
A USDA licence is required for breeders who plan to wholesale animals, either directly to pet stores or (more commonly) by selling them to a broker like Hunte Corporation. For direct sales to the public, a breeder does not require a licence, and in fact can even be currently under suspension by USDA while still actively selling puppies on line.
For many breeders, this is a short cut that holds great appeal. On line puppy for sale sites provide the breeder with a much higher price than they would have been paid by either a broker or a pet store. A broker like Hunte might pay $400 – $500 for a puppy, while the same puppy can be sold directly to the public for as much as $2,000 through a site like Puppy Find.
As another added bonus for breeders like Kathy Bauck, it is easy to pawn ill puppies off on the puppy buying public, because unlike brokers like Hunte, very few puppy buyers are going to insist on a veterinary inspection before handing over the money for a puppy. If you rack up too many complaints of sick and ill puppies, you simply change your kennel name, adopt an alias and open up shop on a new website.
In the past, the Baucks have been known to use the following on line puppy sale sites to sell their puppies directly to the public –
Of course, a veteran scammer like Baucks is hardly likely to put all of her eggs in one basket, especially when puppy sales are the only livelihood she and her family have.
CAPS reports that –
(Kathy Bauck) found a loophole in the Animal Welfare Act and is still breeding and selling to pet shops. She bought a percentage of a pet shop on Long Island. Pet shops can breed and sell to themselves. And she is selling to a pet shop in NYC (Chinatown).
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.
Whether or not Bauck did actually purchase a pet store, this case still illustrates a glaring loophole in US Pet Law – that commercial breeders suspended by the USDA can still breed dogs, and sell them via the internet.
Whenever cases like this come up, it’s common to hear people asking “Why isn’t something done about this?”. Ultimately, something CAN be done about Kathy Bauck, and every other commercial hell hole where dogs live and die short, brutal, painful lives.
It won’t be done by the government, however – it has to start with YOU.
If you have bought a puppy, sight unseen, from an internet puppy sale site, you might have supported Kathy Bauck.
If you have bought a puppy from a pet store, you might have supported Kathy Bauck.
If you had a puppy shipped or driven to you, instead of picking it up in person, you might have supported Kathy Bauck.
If you agreed to ‘meet’ the breeder someplace, say a truck stop rest area, instead of going directly to their house, you might have supported Kathy Bauck.
If you did go to the breeders house, but they refused to show you where the puppies live, you might have supported Kathy Bauck.
If you said yes to any of this, you need to acknowledge the fact that your actions could have fueled the machine that keeps on allowing the Kathy Baucks of the world to operate and even thrive. The problem starts with us – it has to end with us, too.