Well, I've felt from the start that this sad case was being used to push an agenda. Sentiments in Pennsylvania run hot when it comes to dog law and enforcement. After a long and bitter battle, Pennsylvania now has the toughest anti puppymill law in the country, and there are alot of folks who are not happy with it.
In my opinion, the same groups who opposed the new dog law legislation welcomed this case as a way to legally challenge the dog laws in the Commomwealth. Buckshot's Nov 17th post "Update: Murder Hollow Bassets" quotes Julian Prager :"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."
The administrator on another forum, Bassethound Town Hall, has been following this case from the start, and posted the following which she found on Facebook a few days ago. I think it's worth a read.
"Silver Eagle Bassets statement:
Throughout the course of events following the seizure of the Murder Hollow hounds last summer, we have maintained the position that this was not a challenge to hounds and hunting in general, as has been vigorously portrayed in internet blogs, but an isolated incident related to particular facts. We have refrained from citing specifics, because the legal game is what it is, and perhaps continues beyond the settlement reached in court on Tuesday, January 12, 2010.
Nevertheless, it is time to report our own experience with the SPCA. Several weeks ago, two officers from the Chester County SPCA arrived at our door in response to a complaint of "unsanitary conditions" in our kennel. We were happy to show them our healthy and fit hounds, our ample and clean exercise areas, a warm place to spend the night and up to date health records. The officers assured us that everything was in order and that there was no basis for the complaint.
In a follow-up call the next day, which we made at the recommendation of our local police department, the officer again assured us that our kennel was "exemplary" and our record keeping "fantastic". If there were further complaints we would be notified but that there was certainly no need for a second visit.
Our experience with the SPCA and its officers was not confrontational, and we never had the impression that they were going beyond the scope of their duties to enforce animal welfare. Although they have a duty of confidentiality to the complainant, we have a pretty good idea that it was related to the Murder Hollow defense and the effort to raise money by using fear tactics. (Interestingly, the judge chided the defendant for death threats to the PSPCA officer delivered over the internet, saying he understood it probably wasn't her doing, but that her supporters needed to be reined in!)
We have said from the beginning that the important thing should be the welfare of the hounds. As seen in the terms of the settlement, apparently the judge thought so too. Although the organizations which rallied to the Murder Hollow defense financially have not yet commented, and further legal action on the larger issues of constitutionality might yet be filed, the scare tactics to raise money for that may have lost some of their force. Hopefully now cooler heads will prevail, and we can turn our attention to chasing rabbits and enjoying the sport we love. HARK TO 'EM.!"
(Edited to add quote in 2nd paragraph)