Infamous for the exploitation of thousands of animals, Minnesota’s most notorious puppy mill breeder has been banned from selling pets – for life.
Pick of the Litter, Kathy Bauck‘s business, was known for being one of the largest USDA licensed breeding facilities in the country. The USDA estimates that at its peak, Pick of the Litter sold between 3,000 and 4,000 animals annually.
In 2008, animal-rights nonprofit group CAPS conducted an undercover investigation that revealed untreated sick and dying dogs at Bauck’s kennels. Bauck was convicted of four misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty and torture following the investigation, and her license was revoked for two years in 2010. CAPS continued to track Bauck’s activities and found that she sold a number of puppies to stores well after her license was canceled.
In light of this evidence, Bauck has been permanently banned from future commercial production or resale of dogs to shops or sellers for life. She also relinquished all but six of the dogs in her possession. For their involvement in the incident(s) noted by CAPS, members of Bauck’s family were also fined and disqualified from licensing with the USDA in the future.
Bauck has not released an official comment on the ban, but her attorney, Zenas Baer, said it was a “voluntary surrender of the license on (Bauck’s) part.” Baer said CAPS fabricated evidence during their undercover investigation and that Bauck had been regularly inspected by the USDA without incident.