Murder Hollow Update

February 10, 2010 at 12:45 pm 10 comments

As per this post just up at NeverYetMelted, it appears that despite what some have said, my reluctance to accept the PSPCA’s side of the story had merit.

‘Nuff said.

Entry filed under: animal rights, dogs. Tags: , .

Third Party? The Raw Material of Misery

10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Rob McMillin  |  February 10, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    I don’t know how to intelligently comment here except to say that there is obviously a very large discrepancy between a Linda Kapsa (prior conviction on animal abuse charges, IIRC, and who had 200+ animals with no other help) and the woman in the Murder Hollow case (12 dogs in a rural or semi-rural property). As with the mandatory spay/neuter laws, it seems to me that navigating the river between the two is no small feat because it relies on a sense of balance impossible to apply mechanically.

  • 2. Viatecio  |  February 10, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    I generally don’t like taking sides on something like this…too much mudslinging going on.

    I’d just rather be the passive observer, reading news updates and getting as much information from each side as I can. This is certainly a most interesting update here.

    It’s not my job to judge, especially if the details are all farked around like they were in this case.

  • 3. EmilyS  |  February 10, 2010 at 10:32 pm

    I wonder if “some” would consider there might indeed have been another side before they decided she was the vilest scum of the earth. I’m not holding my breath.

  • 4. YesBiscuit!  |  February 11, 2010 at 6:18 am

    To me, this case falls under the “shades of grey” category. There doesn’t seem to be much in the way of unbiased reporting on the case so it’s hard to get a feel for the facts. If it is accurate that the PSPCA entered into a legal agreement that they had no intention/were incapable of honoring, I would think they’ll be offering some explanation to the judge. I’d be interested to hear that.
    I’m am not at all a fan of taking dogs away from owners unless circumstances are extreme. If the complaint is limited to poor care, I’d rather see the owner educated about the acceptable standard of care and then given a checklist of what needs to be done in order to become compliant. Animal authorities should be doing everything possible to keep pets in homes IMO unless there is abuse or cruelty going on.

  • 5. Viatecio  |  February 11, 2010 at 6:39 am


    Plus, many people seem to forget that hunting hounds are not pets. While they do deserve a standard of living (which may or may not have been followed at Murder Hollow), they do not need to be kept inside on a velvet cushion.

    Again, I am not one to judge the case, but it could very well be something similar to this issue, in which overly sensitive types are just slinging mud at someone who, again, might or might not be keeping dogs to the standards of what OTHERS think they should be kept.

    And here we come full circle to the “Only EXPERTS can own dogs” point made a few blogs back. Whether or not this is the case, I can’t and won’t even begin to figure out.

  • 6. retrieverman  |  February 11, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    If I’ve learned something all my years studying politics, it is this: If it appears on a very ideological blog, you need to be careful trusting it. And on this one, I believe I’ve learned it the hard way.

    Nothing has been said about the hole in the kennel roof.

    That line reasoning about the ticks is hard to believe.

    I’m sorry.

    But even hound people don’t let the ticks get like that. Those ticks were swollen, like they had been on there awhile.

    Yes, these dogs get cut to pieces in the briers and brambles.

    But it looks to me like she was in violation of the law and she was unwilling to work with the SPCA.

  • 7. Christopher@BorderWars  |  February 11, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    Patrick’s coverage of this story certainly doesn’t disprove the allegations of sexism some women in the dog blog circle have accused him of. Not that there aren’t plenty of crazy dog ladies, but he seems to suggest that sans facts, the woman in this story must be one of them. I think they call that prejudice and stereotyping.

    It seems to me that the more information that comes out, the less this woman in this case supports the stereotype, too.

    But more importantly, the first two points in his article are essentially “This is Pennsylvania! They hunt there! They’re not gestapo! They have a TV show!”

    I’d venture a guess that Pennsylvania is the subject of more anti-authoritarian screeds (vis-a-vis animals) on the internet than any other state. I know that in the exotic animal community that Pennsylvania Game Control is often depicted as Nazis for various raids and unfortunate fallout from an unsympathetic justice system.

    Sure, the PSPCA isn’t the PGC, but the underlying legal milieu is the same. On issues of animal welfare and kenneling, the state can seize property first and get judgments later. The essential conceit here is that the state knows that the legal system is not fast enough to actually protect real victims, so they err on the side of authoritarian control versus due process.

    In the case of the several exotic animals that died or were disappeared into the system before due process shows that despite seizing private property, the state was fundamentally unable to meet the requirements of care that they were demanding of the private property holder.

    It seems that the same is true in this case. The same PA bureaucracy was factually and spectacularly unable to provide care for these animals despite seizing them from the owner without due process.

    If you want to give the state the benefit of the doubt instead of the private individual, please move to France and uphold the Napoleonic code instead of subverting our system of justice by giving a supposedly benevolent bureaucracy the ability to steal your property with dubious evidence and even more suspect to uphold the standard of care you’re requiring.

    No property should be seized without a finding of fact and conclusion of law.

    I’m with Reagan on this one. “I’m from the government and I’m here to help” are horrifying words.

  • 8. SmartDogs  |  February 11, 2010 at 9:59 pm

    Thank you.

    This was well written, well thought out – and (in at least most ways) meshes very well with my thoughts on this.

  • 9. Christopher@BorderWars  |  February 11, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    P.S. Congratulations on the recent national exposure. I’m pretty sure I read a shout out to your blog in a recent issue of The Bark, or perhaps another national publication I read.

  • 10. SmartDogs  |  February 11, 2010 at 10:59 pm

    New York Magazine?

    Thanks 😉

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