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New York Mills dog breeder makes court appearance

A New York Mills dog kennel operator charged with multiple counts of animal cruelty appeared in Otter Tail County District Court Wednesday for a contested omnibus hearing.

Kathy Bauck, 52, also faces charges of torture and practicing veterinary medicine without a license. She is the owner of Pick of the Litter Kennels in New York Mills.

Charges against Bauck surfaced this summer from a former employee and member of the Companion Animal Protection Society, a national animal welfare organization. Jason Smith began working for Bauck in mid-April, and by mid-May, he had contacted Otter Tail County authorities about abuse he said he witnessed at work.

According to court records, Smith had documentation of dogs being dipped in a chemical mixture intended for cattle and swine. He also documented a difficult birth in which some dogs were delivered dead and the mother was not treated by a veterinarian.

In September, Bauck's attorney asked that all charges against his client be dropped. If the charges were not dropped, Bauck's attorney asked the court to dismiss any evidence secretly-obtained by Smith during his employment.