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Basset Hound pack seized in police raid

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  • Basset Hound pack seized in police raid

    Crossposting the message below from my dog list:

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    FW: PA: SPCA Outrage in Philadelphia


    http://neveryetmelted.com/2009/08/05...comment-140915

    http://tinyurl.com/nlwada


    We are asking all concerned dog owners to send an e-mail to Susan Cosby, CEO of the PSPCA, scosby@pspca.org, demanding the release of the dogs to one of the hound packs that is willing to take them in (of which there are several). It's unfortunate that the pack owner surrendered the 11 Basset Hounds, thus giving the SPCA the right to dispose of them in any way they wanted. Basset Hound people have been notified of this outrage and I'm hoping we can flood Ms. Cosby to the point where she will give in and come clean about the whereabouts of the dogs.

    Please help.


    Barbara Wicklund
    AKC Delegate
    Basset Hound Club of America

  • #2
    Um - they need to get their facts straight.

    She did not surrender them willingly. She was given a choice. Surrender them ALL, or surrender a few.

    Sophie's choice. What would you have done?

    There is a thread on this in the hunting forum - the SPCA is an animal rights group that has contracted to operate the shelter in that county. This is the same SPCA that shut down that urban stable in Philly.

    The Master is a lovely lady that has a well managed and maintained pack of Basset Hounds - it is a club called Murder Hollow Bassets. Her kennel has been there since the 80's. Perfectly legal and a nice kennel. It is NOT a puppy mill. These are well bred, happy, healthy bassets.

    The zoning ordinance changed recently and evidently she was not aware - though she should have been grandfathered.

    But let's be clear - she was not given any choice. There was a complaint about "barking" - and the SPCA raided her kennel and ordered her to surrender the hounds right then and there.

    The ordinance does not require ANY dog to be seized - this is PURELY a minor zoning violation.

    This is a politically motivated raid by an animal rights group that was given law enforcement powers and has an ax to grind.

    PETA with a badge.

    Your tax dollars at work, folks. That woman is innocent.
    Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
    Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
    -Rudyard Kipling

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      I don't think there's any suggestion that the dogs were surrendered *willingly by choice* in what Ms. Wicklund wrote, merely that it is *unfortunate* that it happened. So no facts need be corrected, unless you were referring to something else entirely, Jswan?

      The point is that the raid and seizure should never have happened in the first place.

      The AR groups are getting scarier by the day.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by LookinForSpace View Post
        The AR groups are getting scarier by the day.
        The really upsetting thing is that they're all so loony-tunes that you can't SAY "animal rights" without being taken for a whack job.

        I mean, I fully believe in animal rights in that I think they have the 'right' to good treatment and to not be abused and so on, and I think we could do a LOT to improve the enforcement of those things - including better regulation of the people enforcing the laws so that you don't get this kind of politically motivated ridiculousness - but of course none of the groups that tout themselves as 'for animals' have any interest in that sort of thing, and it seems like it's really very difficult for groups to keep separate from that 'animal rights crazy people' paintbrush.

        In short: The "animal rights" people need to go away and find something else to do. Maybe they could start lobbying for the 'rights' of ants or something.

        Comment


        • #5
          Yipes, that seems pretty outrageous. The fact that it was a first time complaint resulting is a seizure seems fishy to me. Even when our rooster had to move out of our suburban home and out to the country, we were given a phone call followed by a personal, friendly visit from the local dog officer and had time to find the roosie a new home.
          I have a friend in PA who maintains a Beagle pack. He breeds, shows and hunts them. I'll clue him in, maybe he can help.
          Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by LookinForSpace View Post
            I don't think there's any suggestion that the dogs were surrendered *willingly by choice* in what Ms. Wicklund wrote, merely that it is *unfortunate* that it happened. So no facts need be corrected, unless you were referring to something else entirely, Jswan?

            The point is that the raid and seizure should never have happened in the first place.

            The AR groups are getting scarier by the day.
            That basset group is implying that the Master had a choice. She did not. She was raided at night, there was a stream of vehicles and officers, and she was forced to choose between giving up all her hounds or just a few.

            She's a victim of an overzealous SPCA that can't even keep its own kennels clean - they recently had dogs die because of a deadly pathogen in their "shelter". They recently sent out a request for fosters because there is no room. They fired their director and then had to rehire him. Pretty ironic they'd accuse this club of having dirty kennels (at night when the kennels are cleaned in the am) when their shelter dogs are dying from poor animal husbandry.

            That kennel has been there for decades and she is one of only 13 recognized packs in the US. She's a victim of animal rights politics in that state - that SPCA has a "thing" about kennels.

            The SPCA is now spinning this story to make it seem the woman is guilty because she demanded a warrant. I don't know about you but I would too. She was given a few days to comply with the zoning regulation but if any of you have had to deal with a zoning office - even a tiny minor matter can take weeks or months to be reviewed. It takes time and often a meeting or hearing. It never happens in a few days, nothing does.

            I'm not excusing any failure on her part, but a full scale raid at night? For a zoning violation? How much money did that cost the jurisdiction???? And for what? Because the owner had not gotten her letter from the health department yet?

            That doesn't pass the smell test.

            We all have funny stories about animal control being called about the "blindfolds" on our horses. The ACO comes out and has a good laugh with us, because it's obvious it's just an error.

            But what will we do when it's the ACO that is accusing us and has the authority to seize our animals?

            I agree with you - this is just crazy.


            For folks who don't know what this club does:

            This pack is a recognized private pack and has been profiled in COTH (look for any hunt roster issue for specifics)

            The governing body is the National Beagle Club, and Murder Hollow Bassets is well known at field trials and hound shows. Award winning.

            Basseting is organized similar to foxhunting - you have a Master(s), whippers-in, and the field. However, the quarry is the cottontail or hare and everyone follows the hounds on foot.

            Here are some photos of the recent pack trials at the National Beagle Club.

            http://www.klmimages.com/packtrials

            Here is a lovely photo of Murder Hollow Bassets:

            http://www.klmimages.com/packtrials_...3776#h21333776

            This is not a puppy mill and this woman has been targeted by an SPCA with a political ax to grind against sporting dog owners in that state.
            Last edited by JSwan; Aug. 7, 2009, 08:22 AM.
            Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
            Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
            -Rudyard Kipling

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by JSwan View Post
              That basset group is implying that the Master had a choice.
              I simply disagree with you there, I don't see that implication at all. The Basset Hound Club of America is ON MS. WILLARD'S SIDE AGAINST THE SPCA. The whole point of Ms. Wicklund's email is to gather support in the form of letters to the SPCA demanding the release of the dogs. Saying that it's unfortunate that it happened is not the same as saying she had a choice in the matter.

              Kdow wrote:
              I mean, I fully believe in animal rights in that I think they have the 'right' to good treatment and to not be abused and so on, and I think we could do a LOT to improve the enforcement of those things - including better regulation of the people enforcing the laws so that you don't get this kind of politically motivated ridiculousness - but of course none of the groups that tout themselves as 'for animals' have any interest in that sort of thing, and it seems like it's really very difficult for groups to keep separate from that 'animal rights crazy people' paintbrush.
              Kdow, what you describe is Animal WELFARE, *not* Animal "RIGHTS." That's where the AR groups try to blur the distinction successfully. Animal welfare can be typically be addressed through existing laws and regulations on animal cruelty and welfare, withOUT the need for draconian tactics such as the seizure of the hounds described in the article above (even the SPCA is not claiming any violation of animal cruelty or welfare laws in that case). The agenda for AR groups is really quite different from supporting Animal Welfare and often is direct opposition -- as demonstrated by this case. Many people who donate to AR groups believe that they are supporting animal Welfare issues when their money is really going to animal "Rights" legislation and goals.

              Comment


              • #8
                Sent an email. I'm from the area so I'll see what happens.

                Comment


                • #9
                  The PSPCA scares me.

                  I have to run out, but found some related articles:

                  http://www.philly.com/dailynews/loca...oxborough.html
                  Coverage in the Daily News

                  http://www.philadelphiaweekly.com/ne...-48564487.html
                  Free weekly paper's ongoing coverage of the PSPCA takeover of the animal control contract in Philly, including an interview with the new head.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I find it interesting that a group (PSPCA) that is on tv (Animal Planet's Animal Cops Philadelphia) and repeatedly do virtually nothing to dog fighters and about extreme cases of cruelty go after a dog kennel that is a recognized hunting group, and the neighbors all say they didn't complain. It really reeks of the local politics-bet it's on Animal Planet next season too. They showed the stable seizure and destruction-only a couple of animals looked uncared for to me, and the stable 'owner' might have been a squatter who was renting stalls to people illegally without their knowledge. Anyone who emails the local officials about this should also protest the televising of this group on Animal Cops also.
                    You can't fix stupid-Ron White

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I am always reluctant to jump in with both feet screaming "PETA monsters!" because, well, I think people overreact a lot. But this is a weirdy. Animal control typically has to be forced at gunpoint to seize so much as a single slavering dog after it's ripped off three faces and killed a busload of nuns. The idea of them willingly seizing a large numbers of animals without a shitload of proof that there's something highly illegal going on? The only thing I'm seeing in those articles is that the dogs tested positive for lyme and had some skin issues? My dog tests positive for lyme sometimes and has skin issues a lot - it's not exactly proof of abuse or neglect. And the whole 'raid' aspect strikes me as insane. Then again, Philly city gov't and the PSPCA have been insane for a while, so maybe not a big surprise. Though the city has a big enough problem with dog and cock fighting, not to mention a total nightmare of cat overpopulation, that you'd think busting short hounds in the wilds of Roxborough would be way down on their list of stuff to do. Just crazy.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Update below.

                        ^^^^^^^^^^^^

                        Here is another side of the story from Wendy herself: Please cross post.......

                        First a huge thank you for all your words of support and everything that you have done! I had my third visit today from the PSPCA and again threats of multiple citations if I didn't cooperate with these lovely folks. I can fill you in the details, but more important fish to fry (sorry, Jeep).

                        I have been deluged by phone calls and e-mails from all over the country, from a lawyer in GA (" forget the SPCA, go directly to the State Attorney General") to the manager of a shelter in IL ("can't believe.. and horrified"). The blogs seem to have been in over drive.

                        Good news is we got a very sympathetic article in one of the two major papers today. A reporter has also called from the Philadelphia Inquirer, as well as the AKC and the Chronicle of the Horse (Molly Sorgi? 804-994-2349). My problem is that if I respond personally, the SPCA has made it clear that I must "cooperate or multiple citations will be issued and there would be no PA Kennel License".

                        So here is my response to the PSPCA website (www.pspca.org/news), first article about the Murder Hollow Bassets. I cannot respond to anyone in the media or even the PSPCA, but I can let you know. Whatever you chose to do with my information, oh well.

                        1. Only one dog barking complaint from unknown neighbor, no other complaints. That neighbor has yet to come forth, although all, I mean all have expressed dismay in writing. Never in the 22 years of having a kennel here has anyone come to me to complain in person, writing, or e-mail.

                        2. The websites indicated that the SPCA left requests to be contacted. The 'Humane Law Officer' (her term, not mine) left a card in my door with no information, no requests for a call, no warnings or no citations a few days before the raid. Absolutely none. She could have left a note to call, because I get lots of cards from grass cutters to painters. No mention of any 12 dog limit in the city.

                        3. Yes, I initially refused entry with a long explanation about abuses due to the new Dog Law. Two Dog Law Officers (from Harrisburg in two trucks), three PSPCA officers (in three trucks, not including the small truck with those tiny multiple pens on the side), and two Police Officers (two police cars) quickly returned with a search warrant.

                        4. The PSPCA did NOT work with the owner to reduce the number of dogs. Officer Tara Loller repeatedly, repeatedly threatened to take all the dogs if I did not give her 10. Under extreme duress and far outnumbered, I handed over 10 hounds. Talk about Sophie's Choice in the dark. Then they found Hansel and demanded one more. I gave them my other house hound, taking off her collar and Invisible Fence collar. All the time crying hysterically and protesting loudly.

                        5. When forced to sign release papers for the now 11 hounds, I explained that Betsy Park was the technical owner of three and wrote her name at the bottom of the forms. (Betsy, sending you copies.) Officer Loller assured me that Betsy Park would get first consideration for adoption.

                        6. A 'Warning' for re-inspection was issued, but no other warning or citation. A copy of the Philadelphia Animals laws (17 pages) included 3 lines which stated "No residential dwelling unit shall keep a total of more than twelve (12) adult dogs or cats combined of which no more than four (4) may be unneutered", was left in my kennels. These laws were never handed to me before or after the raid, and I was never informed of these laws by my Philadelphia Vet or the Philadelphia Dog Licensing Agency that took my money year after year.

                        7. At the first re-inspection, the 'Humane Law Officer' was accompanied by an Assistant District Attorney, Barbara Paul. They found the conditions of the hounds (one bitch needed nail trimming, all done by my Vet) and kennels to be satisfactory (some ceiling insulation tiles were more securely fastened). The indentations in the limestone screenings outside the kennel made by random scratching will be filled with more screenings. That should have been accomplished, but the black cloud over the kennel dropped 6+" of rain on Sunday. Tons of stone are being dumped on the lane first.

                        8. The DA left her card and asked to be phoned with questions. I e-mailed her a question about the definition of "residential dwelling unit". Is the barn a separate unit? As it was constructed and only used by hounds, does that make the barn a residential unit? She replied that she could not give me that information because we may be in "adversarial positions" and directed me to the Philadelphia Bar Lawyer Referrals.

                        9. To date, no one has been told of the location of the seized hounds and no calls have been returned from Officer Ray Little, the PSPCA Adoption Agent. A neighboring Vet who has offered free health care for the life of the adoptees and wants Khaki has not heard from them. David Gottier who wants the two litter mates of his hounds and Sandy McKenna who wants the one year old fuzzy bitch have been stone walled. Dr. Roy Feldman and Pat Renner from my Hunt have not heard back. But there is an urgent message on the PSPCA website asking for foster homes and adoptions, because they have no room in the shelter.

                        Again, I am asking you to be in the position of the messenger, but feel free to ask me any questions. Thank you SO much.

                        Wendy

                        ***************************

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          We could adopt the hounds and send them home !
                          ... _. ._ .._. .._

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            They won't tell anyone who has them. They've vanished.
                            Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                            Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                            -Rudyard Kipling

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Equibrit View Post
                              We could adopt the hounds and send them home !
                              Not possible. They will thoroughly vet any adoption applicants not to mention go after you in court if you were to ever do such a thing.
                              Thus do we growl that our big toes have, at this moment, been thrown up from below!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Where was this lady's lawyer ?
                                ... _. ._ .._. .._

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by LexInVA View Post
                                  Not possible. They will thoroughly vet any adoption applicants not to mention go after you in court if you were to ever do such a thing.
                                  True. Y'all need to understand that those hounds may not even be in Pennsylvania anymore.

                                  Animals are transported all over the country - and the owner has no way of locating them no matter how innocent they are. There may be a paper trail, there may not. There may be a photo of individual hounds - there may not. There will be no way for anyone, lawful owner or not - to ever find them unless the SPCA chooses to tell anyone, or is forced to by court order. And even then - they may just not know.

                                  Anyone who works in dog rescue will tell you that. Vans meet at rest stops on the interstate and switch loads, animals are transported without vaccination records - they're just shipped everywhere.


                                  Equibrit - she'd need tens of thousands for this type of case. My guess is she can't afford to hire someone to represent her - because if she did he/she would not have permitted her to make that statement.
                                  Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                                  Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                                  -Rudyard Kipling

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I hope these events don't set a bad precedent. I have been around many animal rescue folks who wholeheartedly believe with every fiber of their mentally unbalanced being that they should be given the legal authority and have the moral right to do what seems to have been done here. I honestly believe that some of the exceptionally less than normal ones drive around in vans on the rural roads stealing dogs from people and hoard them under the guise of rescue but nobody seems to care so long as the money comes in. Anyway, a few months ago at an adoption event I was attending, I encountered one such lady who advocated killing or severely harming any dog owner who did not fall in line with her beliefs which were a bit on the self-righteous side. The old coot just started ranting about how little she thought of many dog owners and it was scary. I haven't been to an adoption event since.
                                    Thus do we growl that our big toes have, at this moment, been thrown up from below!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      It is but going to get worse yet.

                                      This fellow was appointed to suprevise and make animal related rules and regulations:

                                      http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE...&pageId=104820

                                      Very worrysome for all of us that want to keep caring for our animals.
                                      Last edited by Bluey; Aug. 9, 2009, 09:25 PM.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        That man is a lunatic. You should have read his editorial in the NY Times recently. (P. Singer)

                                        It's hard for me to write that because I have tremendous respect for people with religious or ethical objections to the use of animals - any use. And I think we've made great strides in animal welfare in the past 50 years.

                                        But the nominee is an absolute lunatic and it's an extraordinarily poor decision on the part of that President.

                                        No wait- since Mr. Singer advocates euthanizing the elderly perhaps it complements health care reform.

                                        You don't need to worry about caring for your animals, Bluey. You won't have any to worry about.
                                        Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                                        Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                                        -Rudyard Kipling

                                        Comment

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