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October 21, 2011

USDA Applauded for Permanently Revoking Licenses of Two Infamous Puppy Mill Operators

The Humane Society of the United States commends the U.S. Department of Agriculture for permanently revoking the federal animal dealer license of convicted animal abuser and puppy mill operator Kathy Jo Bauck of New York Mills, Minn. In a separate action the USDA also permanently revoked the federal license of Marsha Cox, who operates Mar-Don Kennels in Chillicothe, Mo. Cox’s facility was one of the puppy mills identified in the “Missouri’s Dirty Dozen” report released by The HSUS in October 2010.

"The Humane Society of the United States commends the USDA for taking these important steps to enforce the Animal Welfare Act. We encourage the agency to continue investigating, and, where warranted, revoking licenses of dog dealers who do not comply with the law," said Melanie Kahn, senior director of The HSUS' puppy mills campaign.

Kathy Bauck’s husband, daughter, and associate, Allan Bauck, Corinne Peters, and Janet Jesuit, have also been permanently disqualified from obtaining a USDA license under the Animal Welfare Act. Bauck was required to sell or donate all but six of her dogs. 

However, the public should be warned that animal dealers who lose their federal licenses to sell to pet stores often continue to sell puppies directly to the public and over the Internet, taking advantage of a loophole in the Animal Welfare Act Regulations. The HSUS encourages the public to adopt from a shelter or rescue group. People who chose to buy should always visit breeders in person and inspect how and where the puppies were born and raised.

See timeline below for more details on Bauck and Cox.

Kathy Bauck Timeline:

  • 2006 - Bauck was ordered by the State Board of Veterinary Medicine to "cease and desist" from performing veterinary medicine without a license after puppy buyers complained that she was performing botched surgeries on many of her dogs and then selling them over the Internet.
  • 2008 - The HSUS exposed Bauck as part of its landmark investigation of puppy mills that supply the Petland chain of pet stores. In a separate action, Bauck pled guilty to practicing veterinary medicine without a license. She was fined $900, served 10 days in jail and was placed on probation for 2 years.
  • March 2009 - Bauck was convicted of state violations on three counts of animal torture and one count of animal cruelty.  HSUS found and revealed that she was still selling to pet stores, including at least two Petland stores.
  • December 2009 – USDA revoked Bauck's animal dealer license for two years.
  • September 2011 – In a consent decision, USDA permanently revokes Bauck’s animal dealer license, and permanently disqualifies Allen Bauck, Corinne Peters, and Janet Jesuit from obtaining a USDA AWA license.

Marsha Cox Timeline:

  • June, 2010: The USDA cited Cox for numerous violations of the Animal Welfare Act during a routine inspection, including a male Maltese who was “thin with a prominent backbone, hipbones, and a tucked abdomen [and a] wound with crusted dried blood.”
  • October, 2010: Marsha Cox is identified by The HSUS as one of “Missouri’s Dirty Dozen,” a list of some of the worst puppy mills in Missouri. The HSUS report cited a history of serious animal welfare act violations dating back to at least 2007.
  • December, 2010: The USDA cited Cox for numerous violations, including many dogs found in outdoor cages in 25 degree temperatures, with the inspector noting that it had only been 9 degrees the previous day. The licensee then stated, “I’m done with this” and stated that she was refusing the federal inspector access because “you had something to do with the Missouri’s Dirty Dozen.”
  • March, 2011: USDA inspectors again tried to visit Cox’s facility and were denied access.
  • August, 2011: In a consent decision, USDA permanently revokes Cox’s license, and disqualifies her from obtaining any future license under the Animal Welfare Act.

Puppy Mill Facts:

  • Dogs at puppy mills typically receive little to no medical care, live in squalid conditions with no exercise, socialization or human interaction and are confined inside cramped wire cages for life.
  • Dogs from puppy mills are sold in pet stores, online and directly to consumers with little to no regard for the dog's health, genetic history or future welfare.
  • The HSUS urges people who want to get a puppy to consider adopting from a shelter or rescue group first. If deciding to buy from a breeder, potential buyers should always visit the breeder in person to see that the dogs are treated humanely and ensure the puppies and their parents are living in spacious, clean areas. For more information, see humanesociety.org/puppy.

Media Contact: Jordan Crump, 301-548-7793, jcrump@humanesociety.org

           
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