|issue||issue > bauck > complaints: consumers
KEY MESSAGE: Puppies produced at Pick Of The Litter kennel have been sold at pet stores throughout the nation. Some consumers unknowingly purchased unhealthy puppies and have filed complaints. This is a consumer fraud issue.
NOTE: One of the issues with pet stores (and their websites) is the fact that some stores do not disclose where the animal is bred prior to purchase, or may mislead customers into thinking that their puppies were bred and raised by small, reputable breeders.
Misleading sales practices at some pet stores combined with improper dog breeding conditions not only results in harm to the animals, it can also effect consumers who may (unknowingly) purchase a sickly dog or puppy from a pet store or through the Internet. The animal may die soon after purchase or end up costing the consumer hundreds or thousands of dollars in veterinarian bills.
This is a consumer protection issue, yet often consumers don't know where to file a complaint or may not know the origin of the dog — i.e., who produced the dog and sold it to the pet store.
Some consumers have bought unhealthy puppies that have been traced back to Pick Of The Litter, where Kathy Bauck has either bred the dog herself or brokered the animal (purchased from another breeder). No centralized, national database of consumer complaints for unhealthy pets exists, so it's difficult to assess the truth depth and breadth of the consumer problem.
REPORTS: PET SHOP PUPPIES
A website called www.petshoppuppies.org (no longer in operational) helped consumers obtain information about the breeder/broker of their dog, if purchased from a pet store. The reports on tisr website showed both healthy and unhealthy dogs purchased.
The postings for Kathy Bauck's kennel was lengthy (33 different reports entered for dogs purchased between the years 2002 and 2008); the majority of reports posted showed unhealthy dogs purchased.
Examples of the consumer reports gathered by petshoppuppies are below, showing a variety of years and pet stores. Each puppy purchased within each report came from Kathy Bauck, as a breeder — one indicates Bauck as a broker. Report states dog breed, date purchased, pet shop and dog's health condition.
MINNESOTA: COMPLAINTS FILED
Consumers have also attempted to file complaints over the years with various Minnesota agencies and departments.
Unfortunately, these consumer complaints (indicating unsanitary or substandard breeding conditions) tend to go no where.
In past years, for instance, the MN Board of Animal Health (BAH) upon receiving a consumer complaint, stated:
A breeder law has now been passed in Minnesota and the BAH is responsible for licensing and inspecting commercial dog and cat breeders who meet the definition in the law.
Consumer issues, however, tend to get re-directed to the Minnesota Office of Attorney General, who has referred citizens back to the BAH or humane societies.
COMMENTARY: If an animal is sick when purchased or becomes sick soon after, this is not just a consumer issue. Often the illness or disease may be a direct result of poor conditions or breeding practices. This becomes a regulatory issue and, if neglect or cruelty are found, a criminal issue to be reported to local law enforcement.
OTHER STATES: COMPLAINTS FILED
Consumers have also filed complaints, regarding sick puppies purchased from Kathy Bauck's kennel, with nonprofit organizations in other states.
Please DONATE and support the efforts of Animal Folks MN.