In this PSPCA promotional video, we see the holding facility where any survivors of the eleven basset hounds taken from the Murder Hollow kennels are still sitting in cages more than two weeks later.
NYM was informed on Saturday by the regional Basset Hound Rescue group working with PSPCA that they had originally been scheduled to receive ten of Murder Hollow’s basset hounds to be distributed to new owners in exchange for a $200 per dog adoption fee.
Either the first appearance of accounts of the PSPCA raid on the Murder Hollow kennels on canine-oriented bulletin boards early last week or attempts by Mrs. Parks to contact by telephone PSPCA officials around the same time were sufficient to cause PSPCA to go on full defensive alert. The Murder Hollow bassets were described to me as “locked down,” their status “frozen,” as PSPCA prepares to fight any recovery attempts by the hounds’ owners.
In that state of affairs, there will be no transportation to Basset Rescue, no foster homes, no adoptions, and certainly no returned bassets.
Instead, despite PSPCA’s own complaints about both its shelters being “full too capacity” and pleas for assistance, this is all about power and who is boss. PSPCA will not discuss the situation and will not even consider relinquishing the surviving bassets it confiscated into the hands of their owners or even alternative care providers (including veterinarians) offered by the scent hound community
I say “surviving bassets” because the Basset Rescue organization told me on Saturday that they had been told that ten bassets would be coming their way. Eleven were taken by PSPCA. It is impossible to know the truth, but people who care about those hounds are very worried that Sappho, in particular, a 12 year old bitch enjoying an honorable retirement as a pet, may not have survived being rescued.
Two of the seized bassets were elderly, and animal welfare organizations like PSPCA are commonly committed to rigid and inflexible patterns of operation. They may have proceeded to spay and neuter every basset hound they took away from Murder Hollow, and it seems not unlikely that the stress of an elderly hound’s removal from her home and familiar people, and the trauma of a pointless neutering operation, could have resulted in the death of an older hound.
They took eleven basset hounds. They had not moved the dogs out of the cages in that holding facility over a week later, but they intended eventually to transfer ten.
You can get some sense of what these people are like by looking at this video of Howard Nelson, one of the former CEOs of the scandal-ridden PSPCA (since replaced himself), who delivers a characteristically arrogant and self-righteous mission statement, tossing around the usual wild accusations of abused animals everywhere in Pennsylvania in the process of justifying whatever it was that he was planning to do.