Many of you may have heard about Kathy Bauck in the news over the last several months. Her facility (sometimes called "Puppies on Wheels" or "Pick of the Litter") has been the subject of undercover videos exposing inhumane treatment of animals, and she has a history of complaints and citations against her. Earlier this year she was convicted of three counts of animal torture, and one count of animal cruelty. Last month, the USDA filed a motion with the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture to terminate Kathy Bauck's license to operate her breeding facility, and prevent her from re-applying for at least two years. Elizabeth Goldentyer, D.V.M and Eastern Regional Director of Animal Care, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service filed a motion in support of the USDA's motion. View the entire complaint here.
While we won't know the outcome of this complaint for at least a few weeks, we do know that this situation underscores the need for meaningful state legislation. Puppy mills are a real problem in Minnesota. Did you know that there are no state laws that regulate this lucrative industry? So, the USDA complaint against Ms. Bauck is only half the story. Even if the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture terminates her license, the federal regulations only address Ms. Bauck's ability to sell pets wholesale (e.g. to pet stores). The limited federal regulations, and lack of state laws, do nothing to prevent Ms. Bauck from selling directly to the consumer, via newspaper ads, the internet.
The good news is that there is state legislation already written to address this problem! S.F. 7 / H.F. 253 was "tabled" during this past state legislative session, essentially meaning it can pick up where it left off when the legislature reconvenes in 2010. We need your support this important bill! A few things you can do:
- Contact your representative and senator, and ask them to support S.F. 7 / H.F. 253. Click here to find your legislator.
- Visit animalfolksmn.org to learn more about this important issue and sign up to receive email alerts when the bill makes its way back through the legislative process.
- Educate your friends and family!
- Know anyone interested in a cat or dog? Encourage them to adopt (Pet Haven has a lot of good dogs!).
Even picky folks can find breed-specific rescue groups all over the country.
Please contact Karen Scott, Pet Haven Advocacy Director (firstname.lastname@example.org with any comments or questions.)
[photo: Buckley is a former puppy mill dog who is one of the lucky few able to put his horrible start to life behind him]