Monday, August 24, 2009


USDA Declares Kathy Bauck Unfit to Raise Dogs, Files Motion for Revocation of License
As a result of the CAPS undercover investigation into Kathy Bauck's practices as a large-scale dog broker, which resulted in her criminal conviction, the USDA has filed a motion for revocation of her license. CAPS has previously erroneously reported that her license had already been revoked. President of CAPS Deborah Howard appeared on ABC Boston Channel Five's special report on the case on August 20th; video of the interview can be found here. For more information on the Bauck case, visit
Bay Area Pet Store Closed As A Result Of CAPS Protests
After weeks of private investigation and protests, the Bay Area "Puppy Love Boutique" store has been closed for financial reasons.
"All of our protesting, petitioning and leafleting have been effective. The customers stopped shopping and Puppy Love Boutique could no longer pay their rent. As of today, they are evicted and gone!"- Darlena King, CAPS Advisory Board
The Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS) has been exposing the puppy mill industry's cruel treatment of animals for profit since 1992. Pet shops buy their puppies from brokers. These brokers get their animals from puppy mills. A puppy mill is a commercial breeding kennel that mass-produces dogs in usually cramped, crude, filthy conditions for resale. The constant confinement and a lack of adequate veterinary care and socialization often result in animals that are unhealthy and difficult to socialize.Two of the USDA licensed breeders selling to "Puppy Love Boutique" were Joyce Burkhart in Carrollton , Missouri and Marsha Cox in Chillicothe , Missouri . Reports and/or undercover footage of these facilities are on the CAPS website under Investigations.

"CAPS investigators uncovered shocking conditions at Burkhart's puppy mill, including the body of a dog that had starved to death." (photo at left)- Deborah Howard, CAPS Founder
CAPS has been actively working in Los Angeles to convert pet shops that sell puppy mill dogs into humane adoption centers that provide rescue and shelter animals. According to Howard, CAPS plans to undertake the same mission in the San Francisco Bay Area.
President of CAPS Deborah Howard's Interview with Susan Daffron, President of NAPRP
On July 16th, Deborah Howard, founder and president of the Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS) participated in a one-hour teleseminar interview (click to listen) with Susan Daffron of the National Association of Pet Rescue Professionals.Among the topics discussed were the difficulty of shutting down puppy mills and the role of the USDA in the regulation of puppy mills, as well as their complicity in keeping abusive mills open. Under the current law, there has to be proof of "abhorrent" conditions in these facilities before law enforcement can even get involved. Because enforcement from the USDA is so lax, and because local law enforcement will often shift responsibility to the USDA, it is only through the efforts of watchdog organizations like CAPS that abuses are even discovered.As Howard said of the USDA, "The USDA is the most frustrating agency. [. . .] It's a cultural mindset of failure. They don't want this problem. They have less funding than any other program - it's not a highly funded program. We don't have a contentious relationship with them at all; it's just that they're indifferent."Howard also discussed the activist origins of CAPS. "[After visiting an Dockor Pet Center (a chain of 300 stores) in late 1989 in which there were puppies with open wounds and cages filled with bloody diarrhea], I found out where the dogs came from and decided to take it on myself - I have a political activist background - to organize a protest against as many Docktor Pet Centers as I could. I got a grassroots list and we had a protest in 30 cities on the weekend before Christmas. They thought it was PETA. It was very effective. I went to '20/20,' who had been thinking about doing a story, and I knew a young man who was an activist and who worked for Docktor Pet because he wanted to help the animals. We set him up with a video camera, and he would go in early in the mornings. Every morning there would be dogs dead from parvo - it was horrible - there were bodies in the freezer. So this was all used on '20/20,' and then we started gathering pet shop complaints.
URL: USDA has licensed Kathy Bauck from 1983. The July 2008 USDA inspection report for Bauck had no violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). They didn't inspect her again until March 4, 2009, just three weeks before her conviction. The inspector cited her for veterinary and cleaning violations. CAPS investiaged the USDA's failure to enforce the AWA since 1995 and has been lobbying members of Congress for oversight hearings regarding USDA's lax enforcement of the AWA. CAPS returned to Capitol Hill the week of June 7 to meet with USDA officials and congressional aides, using the Bauck case as evidence of the USDA's dereliction of duty. CAPS' pro bono lobbyists are submitting a petition for rulemaking requesting that AWA regulations be amended to require the automatic revocation of a USDA license upon the conviction in a court of law of a licensee, such as Bauck, for animal cruelty.
CAPS Blogs
Deborah Howard's Blog
Bea's Beat
CAPS Website
For more information on CAPS please visit
Investigations and Media
CAPS is working with TV news stations in two major California cities on in-depth investigative pieces about the pet shop and puppy mill industry. Animal advocates in Minnesota , Ohio and Oklahoma have requested new undercover evidence from CAPS to help their legislative efforts. Please help us by continuing to fund these efforts and others like them.
About CAPS
Founded by President Deborah Howard in 1992, Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS) is the only national nonprofit organization dedicated exclusively to protecting companion animals from cruelty in pet shops and puppy mills. CAPS actively addresses the abuse and suffering of pet shop and puppy mill dogs through investigations, education, media relations, legislative involvement, puppy mill dog rescues, consumer assistance and pet industry employee relations.
Companion Animal Protection Society
Companion Animal Protection Society :: Contact CAPS 759 CJC Hwy., #332 :: Cohasset , MA 02025 :: 781-210-0938 (bus) :: 781-210-0928 (fax)

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