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Have y'all heard about Murder Hollow Bassets? It's a foot pack of (hunting) basset hounds in Philadelphia. Where a law was recently passed requiring a kennel license for anyone who had more than a dozen dogs.

 

The Murder Hollow basset pack numbered 23 when they were raided. :rolleyes: Les gendarmes made off with 12 dogs, three of whom were on loan from a Tennessee kennel. The dogs have been placed in various shelters and homes throughout the city, but nobody knows where - the Philiadelphia SPCA official who seized the dogs has reportedly not returned phone calls from frantic breeders and owners.

 

Why did the city get down on a basset pack? Neighbor complaint. At least that's their story, and they're sticking to it.

 

Remember a year or so ago, when we were all hearing "Oh, don't worry, we'd never even attempt to enforce these ordinances againt responsible owners. Why it's the dog-fighters and puppy-millers we're after." We may now all give a collective *snort*

 

Because this pack was undoubtedly the culmination of many lifetime breeding programs. And its members are doG knows where tonight. :D

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But even if they were in violation, which it sounds like they may be, shouldn't the owners of the dogs at least get some kind of response as to where the dogs are? At least give them some kind of direction as to what they have to do - pay a fine or whatever - to get their dogs back?

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This is such a sad story, but I also really don't understand why the breeders or whoever had the dogs there wouldn't take the simple precaution of getting the liscense that is required by law, especially knowing how important the dogs are. It seems pretty simple to me - I carry insrueance on my cars as I'm required to do, I get my own pets liscensed through the city as I'm required to do, and a multitude of other annoying things.

 

We all rant and rave about puppymills, but how is a government supposed to even begin to address this issue without a law at least similar to this one? If someone can argue a feasible alternative, I'd love to hear it.

 

I do think what has happened to the dogs now isn't right, and the owners should definitely be given at least one chance to remedy the situation, pay fines or whatever, and then get the appropriate liscense. The system should not have just "lost" the dogs like that.

 

Why did the city get down on a basset pack? Neighbor complaint. At least that's their story, and they're sticking to it.

 

We-eell, I have to say 23 hunting bassets could be kinda noisy....Doesn't sound out of the realm of possibility to me.

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Securing a kennel license depends on the state you are in. Here in Iowa we send in the money and application, the inspector comes out and then inspects the premise to be sure that there are no housing, treatment or waste disposal violations, she has the option to deny the license. If she denies it then you are at the mercy of the law that is currently on the books I think here in Iowa it is a fine for each day you are over limit (4 breeding age unaltered dogs), and they may help you get down to the limit if they feel that your facility and care is not up to par.

 

Also, there are no notices supplied to dog owners to tell you what the limit is or that the laws are changing, you have to hope that you caught it on the news or via the web. Many people are in violation and don't know it, it's just a matter of time before a neighbor complains or until they advertise in the wrong place before the state shows up to check. If you are in a state that does not give you a chance to cure and has the right to cure on your behalf your out of luck and could be losing some dogs in a hurry.

 

In our case we had no idea we were over limit, we posted a business card for pups, the inspector saw it and dropped in to hand me the paperwork. She also says the there are people that call her to alert her of people that are selling dogs or advertising for lessons (anyone that offers training or lessons needs to be licensed here in Iowa also), when they see ads in the newspaper, personal websites, discussion boards or on Craigslist. If your not licensed here in Iowa you don't want to show to many dogs on your website and link you website when you advertise, there is someone counting feeling that it is their duty to alert the authorities that you are in violation, you could be a mill or hoarder that abuses dogs you know.

 

Deb

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I can't find the story on line but - if they were borrowing dogs to form a hunting pack then they didn't really own the dogs and could not get a liscense could they? I am one that does not get a liscense for mine, imo it's really none of their business what I own or how many...until I see that they can responsibly use the funds they are getting they are not getting any of my funds! I think this story is typical of ASPCA, AC and H$u$ and the actions they do, they do harm in many cases and sensationalize stories to keep them in the public eye, granted many do as much good but stories like this are about power imo and not about animal welfare.

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I think the person spreading this story initially didnt do their homework. Not the op here BTW.

 

First off you may not have or house more than 26 dogs in a year without a license meaning that if the breeder had any puppies and then took these dog onto their property for more than 3 months and didnt physically license them then they are illegal. I think you are also bound by zoning and locality rules too. We had to prove zoning for our license this year.

 

As to if the pspca has the right to take them. I'm not sure.

 

I'm guessing since there are rules governing housing of dogs with your license that this person also didnt get. They may have to do some things to comply with the state. The biggest one that everyone has to comply with by Oct is soild flooring which means no hunting dog raised pens. Also no strictly outdoor pens allowed for kennels. The dogs also have to leave their enclosure for exercise for a specific amount of time a day.

 

There are rules with breeding age males and females too that have to be met. (I dont know them exactly as they dont apply in rescue)

 

I know the gun dog association was having a fit.

 

I would think though if the person who rightly owns the dogs can show proof of ownership. They would be returned to them to go back to the state they are from.

 

I do know too that they will have to pay a boarding fee to retrieve them. We had to pay an extra 20 per day boarding to retrieve Dave each time he flips out in a storm and gets picked up by the dog law. The last 2 times we also had to leave him there untill they were physically open for business.

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I can't find the story on line but - if they were borrowing dogs to form a hunting pack then they didn't really own the dogs and could not get a liscense could they?

 

 

In most juristictions it does not matter how many you actually own, it has to do with how many are on the premises. And, you are suppose to secure the license before you go over the limit so that you are legal the day your numbers reach it. It is assumed that once you are careing for more then what is approved for pet purposes that you are conducting a business and hence need to be licensed to conduct business.

 

If I decided to take outside dogs in here for breeding, boarding or training I legally would need to secure another license above and beyond what I already have, it should be done before I take in the first boarding or training dog not after I am already in the business of doing it. These licenses are not for the individual dogs, these are kennel licenses that allow you to have what ever number of dogs your establishment is set up to care for properly. You may need to then secure individual licenses for each dog depending on where you are.

 

There are all kinds of people that have more animals then they legally should, just because it is illegal does not mean that they arn't doing it, they either have not been caught or no one is enforcing it.

 

Deb

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And you just proved my point - they "assumed" w/o knowledge....

 

No, until they can be responsible with their actions, laws and enforcement the government has no business imo butting into matters that are not "cruelty based or neglect based" most places can't balance their budget - and how much is this costing them and the owners??. They must be rolling in money and have nothing better to do then raid a place for a silent complaint and then proceed to not return calls. Publicity and power, not a care in the world for the animals.

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Since I live in Pa and have a license to house dogs I think I'm pretty knowledgeable on what happens. We get inspected have to have certain things 0anging on my wall for view and such. I can look ans see if this kennel was licensed if you want its a public record.

 

I will tell you the dog law has given us fines and we have had unwarrented complaints and paid fines for loose dogs and such. We have to keep very specific records and have paid fines for those. We are subject to surprise visits.

 

A handfull of people were fired for covering up for the puppy mills already in Pa.

 

I'm not saying it's totally right but, the rules are the rules.

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And you just proved my point - they "assumed" w/o knowledge

 

Huh...if the story is true, there were no assumptions, when I was referring to assumptions I was referring to they why of exceeding a particular number of dogs would require a license when the laws were originally placed on the books. The people pushing for the laws would take into account the number of dogs a normal pet owner could safely care for adding in a factor of waste disposal and if the number could pose a health concern. Anyone that has over that number would be required to prove that they could care for the dogs and that they are not posing a heath threat to the community via inspections and regulation.

 

From what Dal and Mad's Mom posted, It sounds like the number of dogs on the premises was over the legal limit, and the people in charge of enforcing the law should have operated in a legal fashion to cure the situation with the welfare of the dogs and surrounding community in mind. Depending on the juristiction and laws they may not be obligated to answer any questions, I would not know with out reading the law to determine what rights the violators have, they may not have any, just documentation of a specific number of dogs may be sufficent to evidence guilt, they may not have the right to retain the dogs while innocent until proven guilty. The dogs may be ceased until innocence is proven, which it does not sound like would be likely to happen.

 

What happens when you loan you car to your brother and he gets arrested for illegal possession of narcotics, the law mignt allow for siezure of your car, you lost your rights to it when you loaned it to him. The same may hold true for the people that entrusted their dogs to the above mentioned kennel, but without reading the law you don't know. I hear someone saying, well that's drugs, not dogs, it don't matter, laws are being passed that govern the number of dogs we have and what we do with them, laws are being passed that give our rights to those dogs and other possession away when we have been found in violation of the laws.

 

If the law allows for seizure of any dogs over the legal limit there may not be any thing that the violators can do, it all depends on the law.

 

Resisting licensing your dogs is not going to change anything, it just means that your doing something illegal and are willing to suffer the consequences, whatever the consequences could be. That goes back to the laws, there has been a push to put more bite into the current laws to get people to abide by the law, make the consequences high enough people will decide that it is not worth being in violation.

 

By publishing the original post, even on message boards there is a chance the people will look deeper into their own local laws, and do what ever is necissary to protect their own interests or get together to actually try to fight against more laws that give away our rights. I don't see where HS would gain from having the information posted, actually it would be in their best interest to not have it published. The more kennels that stay in violation the more they can legally sieze dogs from. It's harder to sieze dogs from a kennel that is following the law. Heck, I would think it would be better for them to get the laws passed and have no one realize it, then they can run around the country taking dogs from who ever has not secured the proper licensing.

 

Deb

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Since I live in Pa and have a license to house dogs I think I'm pretty knowledgeable on what happens. We get inspected have to have certain things 0anging on my wall for view and such. I can look ans see if this kennel was licensed if you want its a public record.

 

I will tell you the dog law has given us fines and we have had unwarrented complaints and paid fines for loose dogs and such. We have to keep very specific records and have paid fines for those. We are subject to surprise visits.

 

A handfull of people were fired for covering up for the puppy mills already in Pa.

 

I'm not saying it's totally right but, the rules are the rules.

 

Since you are right there, if you had a complaint filed and they found that you had not licensed, what can they do and what rights would you have to the dogs?

 

Deb

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Since I live in Pa and have a license to house dogs I think I'm pretty knowledgeable on what happens. We get inspected have to have certain things 0anging on my wall for view and such. I can look ans see if this kennel was licensed if you want its a public record.

 

I will tell you the dog law has given us fines and we have had unwarrented complaints and paid fines for loose dogs and such. We have to keep very specific records and have paid fines for those. We are subject to surprise visits.

 

A handfull of people were fired for covering up for the puppy mills already in Pa.

 

I'm not saying it's totally right but, the rules are the rules.

 

 

http://www.nppmwatch.com/

 

This is a website I watch it reports seizers for humane violations and such and nothing is mentioned about this raid on the bassetts I also did a google search and didnt find anything. So I cant say what happened.

 

This site also is active in reporting on the puppy mills and the people in the usda and Dog law who are being fired for covering up the puppy mills.

 

I thik the new law is good and bad but, no matter what it's the law

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I hope it's ok to cross-post the following. This is the post that's making the rounds in the online hunting community. I have been unable to independently verify anything asserted in the following post. I've been trying to pull up the Philadelphia County ordinance but haven't had any luck.

 

The local SPCA raided Wendy's Willard's kennel where she keeps her Murder Hollow Bassets on Monday night. They arrived with seven trucks and two police cars & informed her that one of her neighbours had complained about noise.

 

Neither the neighbour nor the SPCA had previously complained to her, yet she has been there for 22 years.

 

As it turns out, Philadelphia County had recently passed an ordinance where no more than 12 animals may be kept on any property. The Murder Hollow kennels contained 23 bassets, less than the requirement to obtain a (US) Department of Agriculture kennel licence, but the kennel is just inside the city limits.

 

Under this law, the local SPCA have managed to acquire the power to seize people's dogs without warning, by force and by night, and then to take them away to an unknown destination without any accountability.

 

The police took 12 hounds and delivered them to an SPCA animal rescue "shelter" in Philadelphia. From there the hounds were dispersed amongst other “shelters”.

 

Basset packs in the area have contacted a Mr. Little who runs the SPCA shelter, seeking to place the hounds before they are put down or neutered (thereby destroying 20 years of Murder Hollow's breeding programme). After a week, Mr. Little has failed to respond to any of these contacts.

 

So far, the only response from Mr. Little has been a statement to the effect that that the hounds tested positive for Lyme's disease but were asymptomatic and are now being treated for Lyme's and a skin condition. On the face of it, his organisation seems to be trying to rack up a bill for these animals, though one is not sure whether this is to deter Mrs Willard trying to recover her hounds or because his rescue operation has a right to recover its costs from an errant kennel owner. In this context it is relevant to point out that most of those who keep dogs & hounds in south central or south east Pennsylvania will have hounds that test positive to some degree for Lyme’s.

 

This whole episode seems a totally disproportionate & inappropriate way to deal with a middle-aged woman with no criminal record, who just happens to keep a pack of hunting bassets. It would surely have been appropriate to notify the owner of the new ordinance before conducting such a raid.

 

To further complicate matters, some of the hounds taken were on loan from another pack in Tennessee and, despite the Tennessee owner's pleas, the PSPCA will not tell her where to find her hounds.

 

This is a warning to us all to be vigilant in our opposition to proposals to limit the number of hounds that can be kept at a single set of kennel premises unless the measures proposed include a specific & effective exemption for hunting packs.

 

To conclude, here is a link showing the Murder Hollow Bassets in happier times.

 

http://www.klmimages.com/packtrials_02_3/h21333776#h21333776

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Since you are right there, if you had a complaint filed and they found that you had not licensed, what can they do and what rights would you have to the dogs?

 

Deb

 

They cant keep the dogs. There is a case on the website I posted that has dragged on for 2 years and the pspca is still housing the dogs and cats.

 

I'm not sure since the laws are new and some have not even taken effect yet. The 26 dogs to a property was always the law. I've known about that for at least 5 years.

 

It may be the numbers they aren't taking so lightly or the owner may have denied them admission for while. You can only delay an inspection for 36 hours poss 48. If she sold a puppy who became sick that would make the situation even worse. ( not implying worng doing but, there is a witch hunt of sorts for ill pups as of late).

 

Unless I missed something I stil dont think the state can come in and take your dogs for no good reason

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From what Sally posted it sure looks as though they can and did.

 

 

That's here say. Like I said it's obvious the person knew they were in violation of the law. 26 has always been the number. I think there has to be way more to the story.

 

Plus alot of puppy mills lately have been dropping their licenses in defience of the law. I'm sure this is making the dog law more suspicious

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Finally found the Philadelphia county ordinance.

§ 10-102. Administrative Provisions.4

 

(1) Responsibilities of Various Departments.

(a) The Department of Public Health shall have primary responsibility for the control of animals pursuant to this Chapter of The Philadelphia Code.

(i) There is hereby established in the Department of Public Health a Division of Animal Control, which shall be responsible for the duties of the Department of Public Health as described in this Chapter. The Commissioner of Health may, if he chooses, contract out any or all of the duties of the Division of Animal Control.

(ii) The Department of Public Health shall authorize Animal Control Officers to monitor and enforce the provisions of this Chapter. Animal Control Officers are empowered to enforce the provisions of this Chapter, and shall issue orders or citations or impound animals or otherwise act to enforce the provisions of this Chapter, or to act as animal control officers as designated in applicable state law.

(iii) The Department of Public Health shall promulgate regulations for the issuance of licenses and set by regulation the requirements and standards for the humane operation of businesses relating to animals pursuant to this Chapter. The Department of Public Health shall certify these regulations to the Department of Licenses and Inspections.

(iv) Upon notice of any violation of this Chapter or any regulation or standard promulgated thereunder, the Department of Public Health or an animal control officer shall conduct an inspection and when necessary take appropriate action including but not limited to the issuance of fines as described in this Chapter. The Department of Public Health or an animal control officer shall recommend to the Department of Licenses and Inspections suspension or revocation of licenses where appropriate.

(v) The Department of Public Health shall establish standards for granting waivers to residents for keeping more than twelve (12) adult dogs or cats combined based on the welfare and safety of the animals, residents and local community.

( B ) The Department of Licenses and Inspections shall issue licenses in accordance with this Chapter and the regulations promulgated thereunder. The Department of Licenses and Inspections may revoke or suspend licenses issued under this Chapter when appropriate or when requested by the Department of Public Health

emphasis added

 

Murder Hollow is a hunting pack, not a breeding operation. Of course, they breed hounds to improve their lines, and will occasionally draft a hound out to or in from another hunt, but it's not a commercial kennel. It's a subscription pack, which means it's supported by the fees paid by its members, not from sales.

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Murder Hollow is a hunting pack, not a breeding operation. Of course, they breed hounds to improve their lines, and will occasionally draft a hound out to or in from another hunt, but it's not a commercial kennel. It's a subscription pack, which means it's supported by the fees paid by its members, not from sales.

 

Nothing to do with whether or not the story is true, but let's just discuss your statement as if it is an example. When you say they are not a Commercial Kennel, you have to consider what the juristiction considers a commercial kennel as defined in the statute. In our personal case here in Iowa we would like to consider ourselves a hobby kennel, but per state law we are a commercial kennel. We went from hobby to commercial when we hit 5 breeding age unaltered dogs regardless as to how many we intended on breeding. We could have just one litter a year or one litter every 5 years, but since we have more dogs then a the hobby classification allows for we had to secure a commercial license.

 

Same deal with breeding operation, they breed hounds to improve lines, they breed so they may fall under the legal definition of a Breeding Operation.

 

As far as the subscription deal, it's all about a play on words or terms, I would guess that the pack is owned by some one or some entity and that entity recieves monitary compensation in exchange for certain services, the use of part or all of the pack, maybe the right to hunt with the pack, etc. Either way, if the entity that was responsible for the pack did not get the proper waiver or licenses authorizing them to have the numbers they had they could be out of luck. The monitary part may also put them in to a Commercial Kennel catagory much the same as anyone that give lessons here in Iowa at their home, agility, obedience, etc. is required to secure a Commercial Kennel license and is subject to annual inspections of their equipment and facility.

 

It is possible that this entire deal is just a viral made up story, but regardless, if you own dogs it should be a warning to become aware of what is going on at the state level in regards to the laws that are in the pipes that could effect you negatively. You don't want to say, oh, I'm not a mill, it does not effect me. If some how some way they get a bead on you there typically is no "I didn't know" clause, it's gotten to the point in some places where dog ownership is a privilage not a right, or atleast is seems to have gotten that way. It is the owners duty to make sure they are abiding by the laws, if they don't they could lose their privilage to owning dogs.

 

Deb

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I think the key to this story is (as Dr. Phil says), "Does the author have a dog in the fight?" In other words, who wrote that original blurb, and what do they stand to gain or lose by defending the Muder Hollow Basset owner?

 

It's simple to take any situation and write it up to make it sound outrageous and unjust. I'd need to hear the other side of this story (the neighbors' side, say, or the county's side) before I could make a judgment. Having heard only the perspective of the person who wrote that blurb, and not knowing that person, I have no way of knowing what the "Murder Hollow Bassets" is - if it's a kennel, or a club, or a highfalutin' puppy mill.

 

Google around about MHBs. There is very little on the web that isn't based on the original words quoted here - and to be honest, a lot of the sites seem to take their information directly off this forum. I have no idea where the information posted here is coming from, and neither do the people who are quoting it on other forums. So, I'll take it all with a very large grain of salt. There's not enough information being provided to side with either this Wendy Willard or with the Philadelophia police.

 

Mary

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regardess of if this particular incident is true or not, the possibility of this and similar seizures happening is very real. I can't tell you how many new dog ordinence bills I've read, including in my own community, that included "open search and seizure" clauses. The one here darn near passed, because most people just follow the carrot and don't read the bills.

 

The bill here, and many others proposed and listed, include clauses in which Animal Control, based on their judgement or the opinion (no proof required) of a member of the public could enter any building or enclosure on your property if they believed you were either abused, or harboring "aggressive" dogs there. If they found either, they could. without any due procress, take the animals immediately. Regardless of outcome of the complaint, because they were seizures you could not have them back without paying a daily boarding fee and having them spayed/neutered. If your Rabies vaccine was out of date when this happened they would simply be euthanized.

 

The laws are out there, and the ignorant and vicious people who want to enforce them at the expense of our dogs are there as well.

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The PSPCA has info on their website now:

http://www.pspca.org/news?id=295

 

news August 6, 2009

Murder Hollow Basset Hound Update

In response to complaints, Pennsylvania SPCA officers visited the location of Murder Hollow Kennels and left requests to be contacted. There was no response to these requests.

 

On a follow-up visit by a Pennsylvania SPCA officer and representatives from the Pennsylvania Department of Dog Law six days later, the owner was present but refused entry. Both Dog Law representatives and Pennsylvania SPCA officers returned later that evening with warrants to enter the property.

 

The dogs were found to be in unsanitary conditions, and the number of dogs present exceeded the City of Philadelphia limit of 12 animals allowed on a property.

 

In lieu of charges, Pennsylvania SPCA agents worked with the owner to reduce the number of dogs on the premises and allowed her time to clean and make improvements to the area in which the dogs were housed.

 

The owner surrendered some of the dogs and is working to clean and improve the kennels prior to a follow-up inspection. The Pennsylvania SPCA is encouraged by her efforts in providing and maintaining a more sanitary setting as well as veterinary care for the dogs that remain.

The dogs are safe in foster care with an independent, partner organization.

 

We appreciate the outpouring of support for these dogs from the Bassett community.

 

 

 

Back To News

 

 

Posted on August 6, 2009

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Well, I guess it is for real...would be real interesting to see what "Unsanitary Conditions" really are.

 

Unsanitary conditons can be anything from the messes that they show you on TV (which most people associate with when they hear a place has been raided for it) to just some fecal matter that was not cleaned up "timely" and water dishes that are no scrubbed out or even an odor. Unsanitary conditions were noted on our inspection report last year, the inspector arrived around noon and I had not yet cleaned the kennels, there was fecal matter accumulation...from the previous day. No, not days, not weeks, the previous day. In many many many cases the state laws require cleaner conditions then normal dog owners would have for their pets. It makes it pretty easy for the people doing the writting up to find something wrong.

 

This is our statute, how many of your back yards/kennels would pass if an inspector showed up sometime today:

 

Sanitation:

a. housing facilities and primary enclosures shall be cleaned a minimum of once in each 24-hour period and more frequently as may be necesary to reduce disease hazards and odors.

 

b. housing facilities and primary enclosures shall be sanitized at intervals not to exceed two weeks and more frequently as may be necessary to reduce disease hazards. Sanitizing shall be done by washing the surfaces with hot water and soap or detergent, followed by the application of a safe and effective disinfectant. Pressure wash systems or live steam may be used for cleaning, if animals are removed while cleaning. Runs and exercise areas having gravel or other nonpermanent surface materials shall be sanititzed by periodic removal of soiled materials, application of suitable disinfectants, and replacement with clean surface materials.

 

As you can see, depending on who is reading the statute and how picky they want to be, they can claim that even a pretty clean facility by normal standards is "unsanitary".

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The laws are out there, and the ignorant and vicious people who want to enforce them at the expense of our dogs are there as well.

 

Yup, that's definitely true. Likewise true is the fact that there are breeders keeping and breeding dogs under horrific conditions - and that's what is prompting these laws.

 

If indeed the statement from the PSPCA is as believable as the original story (and it seems to me to be as believable), then the PSPCA attempted to contact the owner and was willfully denied contact. In my normal, world-weary brain, that sounds like the behavior of someone who knew she was over the 12-dog limit and just didn't want to talk to officials. Obviously, I don't know the woman, nor do I know the local officials or the neighbors who complained, so guessing about anyone's intent is pointless. I could just as easily make this story play out as one of victimized, abused dogs as I could make it play out as injustice of authorities given too much control.

 

We simply don't have enough information to start judging either the woman OR the officials who are working with her.

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I'm not surprised that it's exactly the issue's I expected. I'm not impressed by the unsanitary conditions issue either. It imply's the horrific scenes on animal police but, may not be anything more puppies who soiled within the last hour or poop frozen in ice.

 

You can only delay an inspection for so long and you may not deny them admission to your property over a humane complaint. It sound to me like there was a verbal dispute between the owner and officers and the dogs number was reduced to the legal locality limit.

 

The bottom line is even as a rescue we are bound by the 26 dogs to a property rule. This year we gained non profit status which reduces the cost of our license but, does not give us a pass on the law.

 

I feel for Murder Hollow but, they had to have known they were in violation of their local and state laws.

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