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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 8:39 am 
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Click here to read how Philadelphia police confiscated half of a pack of hunting Basset Hounds and gave them to animal activists:

http://neveryetmelted.com/2009/08/05/sp ... ladelphia/

Please contact these officials and let them know how you feel about this violation of her rights:

Ms. Harrise Yaron, Chairman of the Board, PSPCA E-mail: hyaron@aol.com

Ms. Susan Cosby, CEO of PSPCA Erie Ave Shelter E-mail: scosby@pspca.org
TN: 215-426-6300, Ext. 214

Mr. Ray Little, Director of Adoptions and Foster Care/Rescue Groups
E-mail: rlittle@pspca.org TN: 215-426-6304, Ext. 251 Cell: 215-816-5301
Fax: 215-426-4517

Ms. Gail Luciani, Chief Public Relations Officer, PSPCA E-mail: gluciani@pspca.org
TN: 215-426-6300, Ext. 213 Cell: 215-901-9706

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 5:50 pm 
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Responce from owner of Murder Hollow Bassets

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 (http://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

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 6:27 am 
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:cry:

we are really sorry to hear of your heartache and poor treatmeant! Take care and we are thinking of you! x

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 2:57 pm 
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From: BCHA (Basset Hound Club of America)

"Most of the dog world has heard about the outrageous seizure of 11 Basset Hounds from the Murder Hollow Basset Hound Pack in Philadelphia. Supposedly there had been a noise/odor complaint from a neighbor, which is questionable, and the Pennsylvania SPCA claims the dogs were in "deplorable" condition.

A reputable attorney has been retained for Wendy Willard to defend her against the abuse and other charges brought against her. The citations were not served until some two weeks after the seizure of the dogs. The court date is Aug. 27.

Two separate legal funds are to be set up to take donations to assist with Ms. Willard's defense and to follow up with action against the PSPCA. Further information will be forwarded to all interested parties as soon as details are ironed out.

Initially, it was believed that the dogs had been turned over to Tri-State Basset Hound Rescue. After a few days of refusing to answer any inquiries, the Tri-State president did get on the phone with a representative of another Basset Hound pack and claimed they were supposed to get 10 of the dogs but never got them. The whereabouts of the 11 dogs is still a mystery.

Photos of the dogs, believed to have been taken shortly after they were confiscated, show them to be in excellent condition…good weight, clean, etc. What they look like today is anyone's guess.
Despite offers from several other packs to take the dogs in, the PSPCA has refused to communicate with anyone about the status of the dogs.

The Basset Hound Club of America is staying on top of the situation and anticipates being involved in the fund-raising effort which will get underway shortly. Our members, and all other dog owners everywhere, should be aware that if this situation is not resolved in favor of the owner and her dogs it could happen to any dog owner in any state or municipality."

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 4:56 pm 
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I hope they get everything figured out. Keep us posted.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 5:06 pm 
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The National Animal Interest Alliance (NAIA) is coordinating a defense fund for Wendy Willard whose hounds were seized by the Philadelphia Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals under questionable circumstances.

"An attorney has been obtained and we are working with him to coordinate assistance from a number of interested groups, including the Masters of Foxhounds of Association, the National Beagle Club of America, Inc., the Pennsylvania Federation of Dog Clubs, local hunt clubs, local dog clubs and other interested parties.In addition, these groups and their members will be available to provide informational resources to bolster the defense in this case. We are exploring further actions regarding the Philadelphia dog limit law, their spay/neuter requirements, the possibly unconstitutional taking of her property and the violation of her civil rights. These actions will be costly, but we believe they are worthwhile.

The NAIA Trust uses its funds to combat overreaching legislation and to combat these types of laws around the country.If your club or you are able to donate to this crucial effort to correct injustice and combat laws that take away our right to own dogs, donations to the Defense Fund may be made on-line through PayPal or by credit card by clicking on the following link and entering the amount to be donated in the input box. After entering the amount of the donation, click on the "Submit" button which takes you to the page where you can identify yourself and provide credit card information. Please insert "Defense" in the space on the line available for the "billing address Line 2" so we can keep an accurate accounting of donations.

The donation link is http://www.naiatrust.org/donationForm.htm
If you wish to mail a contribution, you can send it to:
NAIA Trust Legal Defense Fund
PO Box 66579
Portland Oregon 97290-6579

Please circulate this to any interested parties.

Julian Prager
NAIA Legislative Coordinator
NAIA Trust Legal Advisory Board Member

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 8:01 pm 
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Statement from Mark Chryssanthis of BHCA

The Basset Hound Club of America is assisting defense fund efforts for Wendy Willard whose 11 hounds from the Murder Hollow Basset Hound Pack were seized by the Philadelphia Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals under questionable circumstances. An attorney has been obtained and we are working with him to coordinate assistance from a number of interested groups, including the Masters of Foxhounds Association, the National Beagle Club of America, Inc., the Pennsylvania Federation of Dog Clubs, local hunt clubs, local dog clubs and other interested parties.

In addition, these groups and their members will be available to provide informational resources to bolster the defense in this case. Further actions are being explored regarding the Philadelphia dog limit law, their spay/neuter requirements, the possibly unconstitutional taking of her property and the violation of her civil rights. These actions will be costly, but we believe they are worthwhile.

If your club or you are able to donate to this crucial effort to correct injustice and combat laws that take away our right to own dogs, please send your check, made payable to BHCA, to Brian Pechtold, treasurer, 44W985 State Route 72, Hampshire, IL 60140-8271. Indicate on the memo line that the money is for the "Pack Legal Fund." Donations, as they come in, will be forwarded directly to the attorney.

A second legal fund has been set up by the National Animal Interest Alliance (NAIA), which is taking donations on line. If there is an excess at the end of this process, the money will be pro-rated between the BHCA and the NAIA. Any funds returned to the BHCA will go into our Basset Hound Health and Welfare Foundation, a non-profit, tax-deductible organization recently established by BHCA.

Keep in mind that what happened to Wendy Willard can happen to any of us who own multiple dogs. This must stop with Philadelphia.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 8:07 pm 
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National Animal Interest Alliance Filing Lawsuit Against PSPCA

The National Animal Interest Alliance has retained an attorney to file suit against the Pennsylvania SPCA, the City of Philadelphia, and the District Attorney of the City of Philadelphia in the case where PSPCA seized 11 basset hounds from Wendy Willard, master of the Murder Hollow Pack.

The suit and associated actions will address the local ordinance that PSPCA used to seize the hounds and the "deal-making" that was done (eg. threats against Willard) to obtain the hounds from the property.

Julian Prager, a board member of the Alliance, also serves as a member of the Pennsylvania Dog Law Advisory Board and is the legislative contact for the Pennsylvania Federation of Dog Clubs. Mr. Prager indicates that the legal action will be landmark in that it represents sporting dog owners fighting back against the abuse of police powers by animal rights groups and addresses the unconstitutional manner in which local governments are enacting prohibitive ordinances.

Donations to the legal fund may be sent to "NAIA Trust Legal Defense Fund, P.O. Box 66579, Portland OR 92790-6579". Include a note that any donations should be applied to the Wendy Willard defense fund.

You may remember that Willard's home was invaded just before dark by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, PSPCA, and local police under suspicion that she was operating an illegal "puppy mill". When it was discovered that she had less than 26 dogs on the premises, the Dept. of Ag backed off. However, PSPCA insisted that Willard surrender 11 of the bassets stating that she was in violation of a new ordinance which prohibited keeping more than 12 animals on a property. In return PSPCA stated they would not prosecute Willard. If she failed to take the deal, PSPCA threatened they would take all of the dogs. Since then PSPCA has been hiding the animals and has refused offers from the local basset, beagle, and foxhound community to take the hounds from their shelter and house them until Willard can come into compliance.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 12:49 pm 
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:( any news on these Bassets?

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 7:30 pm 
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I was also wondering about that on Friday. I tried to do some web searching but came up with nothing new :(

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 10:42 pm 
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UPDATE November 17, 2009

The two noise code violation complaints that were filed against Wendy Willard by the PSPCA and issued by the City of Philadelphia, Department of Health, alleging animal noise and excessive animal sounds, under sections 10-105(4) and 10-403(6) of the Philadelphia Code, respectively, were dismissed at an administrative hearing today. This victory was the first action on the case. These were the original charges that lead to PSPCA to want entry to her property.
 
We still are unable find out the whereabouts or condition of the hounds that were seized by the PSPCA and probably won't until the hearing on the cruelty charges in January. This is still a complex case and we are spending about $10,000 a month to get this prepared. If any of you know groups that might want to support this other than our current supporters (NAIA, Master's of Foxhounds, Pennsylvania Federation of Dog Clubs, National Beagle Club, National Basset Club, U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance), please let us know because we need to keep the money coming in to take this to a successful conclusion.
 
A full win on this will overturn the mandatory spay neuter laws for anyone having over 4 dogs in Philadelphia and eliminate the arbitrary limit laws there. This would establish a precedent based on constitutional grounds and will be useful in fighting these laws in jurisdictions across the country.

I will keep you posted as the case progresses.

Permission granted to crosspost.

Julian Prager
NAIA Legislative Coordinator
PFDC Legislative
Chair

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 12:22 pm 
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UPDATE January 13, 2010

SPCA and kennel owner reach a compromise

Animal-cruelty charges filed against a woman known for running a successful pack of sporting dogs have been continued until June and will be dropped if she complies with an agreement to clean and maintain her kennel in Roxborough.

In July, the Pennsylvania SPCA raided the property of Wendy Willard, owner of Murder Hollow Bassets. The agency filed 22 citations against her for failing to adequately care for 23 dogs on her property, 11 more than allowed under city ordinances.

Philadelphia Community Court Judge Joseph J. O'Neill negotiated the agreement between Willard and SPCA officers.

O'Neill said from the bench that Willard must install a drainage system, keep her property "reasonably free from feces," repair the kennel ceiling, change standing water the dogs drink from at least once a day, and have the dogs checked for parasites.

O'Neill said the SPCA would have to consult with Willard over where to permanently place the dogs removed from the property.

"This is something that will benefit everyone," O'Neill said.

Willard's pack, formed in 1986, has been included among a handful in the prestigious Chronicle of the Horse, the bible of the horse-and-hound crowd. The kennel's bassets have won awards at the Bryn Mawr Hound Show.

A small group of Willard's friends appeared at the hearing in Community Court, as did a half-dozen neighbors called to testify about conditions at the property.

O'Neill also sharply criticized reported Internet death threats made against animal-control officers for the raid on Willard's property.

"You should contact animal people," O'Neill said to Willard, and tell them "that this matter is resolved."

O'Neill said he was not suggesting Willard had a role in the threats.

"You're entitled to have your dogs," O'Neill said to Willard, "and she is entitled to inspect," the judge said with a nod toward SPCA Officer Tara Loller.

On the day of the raid, Willard was accused of throwing stones at vehicles driven by SPCA and state dog officers.

O'Neill said the SPCA would make monthly, unannounced inspections to ensure that Willard was following the negotiated agreement.

Willard declined to comment, but her attorney, Charles Geffen, said the SPCA also had agreed to return to her a dog named Osh Kosh, who lived in her house.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:34 am 
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So there are still 10 Basset's missing? Thats really sad they are controlling animals by numbers. There are people abusing "smaller numbers" all over the country and they take all this time and money for this foolishness. Wow!!

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 2:06 pm 
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Really sad, what else can you say? Lets hope the remaining missing dogs are all fit and well?

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 12:38 pm 
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PSPCA WITHDRAWS ALL 22 CHARGES AGAINST OWNER OF BASSET HOUNDS

On October 5, 2010, 22 counts of animal cruelty charged by the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PSPCA) were withdrawn against Wendy Willard, owner and Master of the Murder Hollow Bassets of Philadelphia PA.

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