|issue||issue > bauck > USDA license
KEY MESSAGE: Minnesota has no state laws to license or regulate commercial dog and cat breeders; however, the USDA regulates certain breeders and brokers, such as Kathy Bauck, who sell to pet stores. In 2010, the USDA terminated Bauck's Animal Welfare Act (AWA) license for two years. Based on additional evidence, the USDA, as of September 2011, permanently revoked Bauck's AWA license — for life.
NOTE: USDA stands for the United States Department of Agriculture. As explained below, due to multiple appeals and legal actions, it took almost one year (from June 22, 2009 until June 7, 2010) for the USDA to terminate this breeder's license. Revoking her license began with a Complaint filed by the USDA in December 2010 and ended with a Consent Decision in September 2011.
Photo from CAPS; from undercover investigation.
Licensing and oversight
The federal government requires certain dog and cat breeders and brokers to be licensed. Specifically, dog breeders/brokers who sell wholesale (i.e., to pet stores) must have a federal license. (Retail sales, such as puppies sold through websites, parking lots or directly from the kennel, are not required to be licensed.)
This federal license is required by the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). This Act is enforced by the Animal Care (AC) program, which is part of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Kennels that are licensed by the USDA are often referred to as USDA-licensed facilities with an Animal Welfare Act license. (For copy below, we also refer to it as the USDA license.)
ALSO: Kathy Bauck's kennel is in Pine Lake Township near New York Mills, Minnesota. Because it is a township, local jurisdiction of any kennel regulations falls to the county, which is Otter Tail County. Otter Tail County does not require a Conditional Use Permit for
this breeder and, therefore, does not monitor animal welfare within kennels.
Class B license: Breeder and Broker
Kathy Bauck operated under a USDA Class B license: 41-B-0159
The USDA Class B license allowed Bauck to breed her own dogs as well as buy dogs or puppies from other breeders and then sell to pet stores throughout the United States.
Due to the undercover investigation conducted by Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS) of Kathy Bauck's practices as a large-scale dog breeder/broker, which resulted in Bauck's criminal conviction for animal torture, as well as previous charges for practicing veterinary medicine without a license, the USDA concluded Bauck was "unfit" to hold an Animal Welfare Act license because she had operated her kennel in a "criminally improper manner." (See links below.)
Bauck's license was cancelled on August 16, 2010; however, the USDA "officially" terminated her license on June 7, 2010 for two years. (NOTE: Termination is not permanent. After two years, Bauck could re-apply for a USDA license. A breeder is permanently stopped from holding a USDA license if that license is revoked. This is why it's important to pay close attention to legal terms used — license cancellation vs. termination vs. revocation.)
Bauck USDA license terminated for two years
Terminating a pet dealer's license is an arduous process. Many legal actions are submitted and a lot of time passes. In the case of Kathy Bauck, she appealed the USDA's decision to terminate her license. Some of the dates and filings are below:
Based on the above decisions (and other factors), the USDA chose to terminate Kathy Bauck's Animal Welfare Act license.
Based on this decision, it appeared that Bauck would no longer be breeding and selling animals. This, however, was not true.
During this time, Kathy Bauck's husband, Allan Bauck, tried to obtain a USDA license under the business name Pine Lake Enterprises. His license application was denied on February 4, 2010.
In denying Allan Bauck's application, the USDA (APHIS) believed that "the application for a license was an attempt to circumvent the then impending termination of Kathy Bauck's AWA license No. 41-B-0159."
The USDA concluded that retention of Bauck's license was contrary to the purposes of the Animal Welfare Act.
Bauck allowed to continue to breed, buy and sell dogs and puppies
Even with the termination of Bauck's USDA license for two years, Bauck was still allowed to continue breeding and selling dogs.
As stated earlier, a USDA license allows a breeder/broker to sell wholesale (to pet stores, etc.) But a breeder (with or without a USDA license) can still sell retail — directly to consumers through the Internet, classified ads, parking lots, by telephone, directly from the kennel, etc., which is what Kathy Bauck has done.
Selling retail is known as the "retail loophole" within the Animal Welfare Act. (Some breeders have purposely dropped their USDA license so as to sell through websites and not be regulated by the USDA.) The USDA has recognized this "loophole" and is now changing its regulations to include retail sales. The PUPS Act has also been introduced in Congress, which is a federal amendment to amend the Animal Welfare Act to include dog breeders who also sell through retail.
Bauck's Animal Welfare Act license permanently revoked
Based on additional evidence that Bauck had and was violating the Animal Welfare Act, the USDA conducted an investigation which led to Bauck's license being permanently being revoked. See: Recent Status
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