Bauck says she was sabotagedPublished 12:00pm Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Kathy Bauck took the stand in her own trial Monday, suggesting incompetence or sabotage on the part of her accuser led to injuries among her dogs.
Bauck told an Otter Tail County courtroom she had never seen as many fights and seizures among dogs than during the two months Jason Smith worked at her New York Mills breeding facility last spring. Smith has admitted he was hired by a national animal protection agency to work at Bauck’s Pick of the Litter Kennels. He took the undercover video used to bring charges of animal cruelty and torture against her.
Bauck said she reprimanded Smith several times during the months he worked at the kennels. She described situations in which animals under Smith’s care had been grouped inappropriately while they were in heat, leading to fights and injuries among dogs.
“I was almost blown over by the number of seizures,” she told the jury. “I couldn’t believe it.”
Bauck said she arrived at the kennels one morning to find Smith with a mastiff in the wrong pen. She moved the dog using its jowls because she was worried about a fight, she said, and Smith did not respond to her request to find a leash.
In regards to dipping dogs, Bauck said she used an insecticide/water mixture to prevent fleas, ticks and other pests among animals. She testified she used a low concentration of the insecticide with small dogs, dipping them in a tank briefly before removing excess liquid and returning them to their proper kennels. She strengthened the concentration with larger dogs, but never submerged their heads, she said.
Bauck also described a notebook used to log daily births, deaths, injuries, medication administrations and other events at the kennels. That notebook, stored in a breakroom and accessible to all employees, has been missing from the facility since Smith’s last day in late May, Bauck said.
During questioning by the prosecution, Assistant County Attorney Heather Brandborg pointed out inconsistencies between dogs’ veterinary records and descriptions given by Bauck. Bauck said those details were listed in the missing logbook. Her daughter must have forgotten to add them to the medical records, she said.
As her attorney read the charges against her, Bauck said she has never willfully abused an animal. Pick of the Litter Kennels is her family’s sole source of income and is currently under the ownership of Bauck’s husband and daughter, she said.