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Otter Tail County puppy mill makes national news

Animal Ark, a Minnesota-Based animal welfare organization announces the creation of a new Facebook page at for the purpose of raising awareness of the need to regulate large-scale breeders of puppies and kittens in the land of 10,000 lakes.

One of the first posts on the page was to a newly released short-form documentary about Kathy Bauck, a puppy mill operator from Minnesota. Bauck has been convicted of several counts of animal cruelty and torture.

The 17-minute film includes graphic undercover video captured by the Companion Animal Protection Society, the producers of the documentary. It also features interviews with animal welfare advocates and one prosecutor whose efforts resulted in convictions for several counts against Bauck of cruelty and torture.

The most serious charges against Bauck included her performing her own Cesarean Sections on her dogs without anesthesia. In one compelling piece of video, a veterinarian from Bauck's hometown recounts a conversation he had with Allan Bauck, Kathy's husband.

The veterinarian says, relating to the C-Sections "I asked, 'in other words you just tie them down and take the puppies out?!' Bauck responded, 'Well, if I have to, ya.'"

Another post to the new Facebook page included photos of health certificates of puppies being sold in New York pet stores as recently as September of 2010. The documents list Kathy Bauck as the breeder for the puppies.

In 2009 Bauck lost her USDA license following her most recent conviction for cruelty and torture, meaning that it is illegal for her to sell puppies commercially to pet stores.

Another post at is a link to a report by the USDA's own Inspector General. The report is the result of an audit of the USDA's inspection process. The report uncovered gaping holes in the agency's inspection and enforcement practices.

Bauck is one of an estimated 400 large-scale commercial puppy mills in Minnesota. Surprisingly, the State of Minnesota provides for no regulation of these facilities. However, a bipartisan group of legislators are hoping to change that this year.

Representatives Steve Smith (R) and John Benson (D) co-chaired a legislative workgroup that met with stakeholders over the summer for the purpose of preparing legislation to be introduced in 2011. will provide updates and alerts relating to these efforts.