Where did your puppy come from? French Bulldog Puppy Mill Exposed Pt 3

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.

– Source

“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.


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Where did your puppy come from? Pt 2

Yesterday, I wrote about CAPS (Companion Animal Protection Society) fight against Kathy Bauck, of Pick of the Litter Puppies aka Puppies on Wheels. If you haven’t yet, please watch the CAPS documentary.

Today, I’m going to write about the fall out from the Kathy Bauck investigation, and how it applies to all of us. Next week, I’ll write about the implications of this case for Canadian Breeders, and for Agriculture Canada.

Let me put it to you bluntly – consider this my declaration of war.

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Where did your puppy come from?

I know that everyone reading this has had it hammered into them by now – that it MATTERS where you get your puppy from.

It matters if you buy a puppy, site unseen, from a breeder who refuses to let you see where you puppy comes from. It matters if you buy a puppy the same way that you buy a sweater, from an internet shopping site that lets you use your credit card to pay. It matters if you impulse buy that cute little puppy in the pet store window, even if you think you’re actually ‘rescuing them’.

It matters, because for every puppy you buy like this, for every puppy that you shrug off your misgivings and put your money down anyway, these are the dogs that live in the background, suffering in silence and dying all alone.

This is a documentary by CAPS – Companion Animal Protection Society – detailing their fight against Kathy Bauck, one of America’s most notorious puppy millers. It is extremely upsetting to watch – there are numerous images of French Bulldogs, Bulldogs, Mastiffs, Pugs and other breeds suffering horribly. In all my time involved in rescue and welfare, this has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever watched, but I also think it’s possibly the most important, and I’m going to be covering that in detail in several future entries.

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Meet Holmes

Holmes then and now

I wrote about Mojo the other day, but there was so much more to his story that we couldn’t talk about right away.

The photo above, on the left, shows the dog that we were expecting to take into rescue. The dog on the right is the actual dog we picked up. The dog on the left is a small, young, apparently healthy male. The dog on the right is approximately three to five years old, has a tumor on his head, can’t see because his vision is blocked by bilateral cherry eye, and is a 1 out of 5 on the body mass scale.

How long do you have to neglect a dog, before he gets from ‘a’ to ‘b’?

The rest (it’s long) after the cut.

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The Dog Game Defined: Puppy Brokers

Dinglehopper was sold by Hunte Corporation to a Toronto pet store

Dinglehopper was sold by Hunte Corporation to a Toronto pet store

I’m working on a multi part series on definitions of common terms used in ‘the dog game’.

Today’s definition: Puppy Brokers (sometimes colloquially called ‘dog dealers’)

A puppy broker is someone who buys puppies, either individually or entire litters, and then re sells them at a marked up price. For example, a  broker might buy a puppy from a small town Penny Saver for $50, and then re sell it through their website for $350. At the height of demand for European bred French Bulldogs, some brokers were buying puppies in Eastern Europe for as little as $300, and re selling them for as much as $2,500. Being a broker can be a very lucrative business.

Brokers can be huge commercial outfits, like The Hunte Corporation.

Hunte is estimated to supply 80% of North American pet stores with their puppies (85,000 sold in one year alone). Hunte breeds no dogs of their own, but purchases them from primarily mid western commercial dog breeders, Missouri in particular. They then are vetted at their main facility, and shipped out across North America, to stores like PJ’s and Petland. The AKC, by the way, just loves Hunte Corporation. The CBC did a great expose on the pipeline that got a puppy named Dinglehopper from Missouri to Toronto, where he was purchased from PJ’s Pet Store.


Brokers can be shady, like the ones who buy up the puppies Hunte and other big commercial brokers don’t want.

These outfits buy ‘second class’ puppies, also known as “B” grade puppies, either directly from the breeders or sometimes through a contact at the big brokers. They then re sell these puppies through penny saver ads, or at flea markets, or from Walmart parking lots. Some of them have a new twist to this – they market their “B” grade puppies as ‘rescues’, charging ‘adoption fees’ higher than they could get at flea market, and with the ‘adopter’ having signed away any expectation of getting a healthy dog.


Brokers can be importers who buy foreign litter lots of puppies, mainly from Eastern Europe.

Since whelping costs are MUCH lower there, and puppy prices very low as well, import brokers can purchase an entire litter of puppies and then re sell them at inflated American prices. Some import brokers don’t import the puppies until they have ‘orders’ for them. Many of them have slick looking websites, some of which will make claims about “FCI” puppies being miraculously healthier than North American bred ones.


Brokers can be small, and claim to be ‘Finders Services’.

These people claim that they have a secret pipeline to all of the “most exclusive” breeders in North America – breeders that you, Joe Public, couldn’t possibly qualify to purchase a puppy from. Some of them offer all kinds of bells and whistles – they’ll hand carry the puppy to you, they will stay in your home for a week and do puppy ‘nanny’ duty. These places, generally run by just one or two people, will claim that they’re doing buyers a service by pre screening puppies and breeders, so you don’t have to.

Here’s what you need to know – NO reputable breeder will EVER knowingly sell a puppy to a broker of ANY sort.

A good breeder wants to meet you. Scratch that – a good breeder will INSIST on meeting you. They want to make sure you are a good home for the puppies they’ve raised and loved and looked after. They want all of your contact information. They want you to keep in touch, and send photos, and let us know if something goes wrong.

NO good breeder would ever turn a puppy over to strangers, to be sold to strangers. The very idea is repugnant. We need to know that our puppies are safe and loved and being cared for.

There is no ‘secret puppy pipeline’, like the “Finders Services” claim there is. They find puppies primarily by calling ads from the Penny Savers, or looking for local back yard breeders – the only kind of breeders willing or clueless enough to sell to them.

ANYONE can get a great puppy, from the best breeder in the world, if they’re willing to do their homework, and show some patience – and you don’t need a broker to be your middleman.