The war of words between Main Line Animal Rescue and Lancaster County DA Craig Stedman is now playing out on the pages of the Lancaster newspaper.
You may recall Main Line took a private jet to an auction in Ohio last October to purchase dogs they believed were victims of cruelty at the hands of six Pennsylvania breeders. (See Inquirer story here.)
Based on the conditions of the dogs examined by veterinarians from the University of Pennsylvania, Main Line's attorney William Lamb - the former Chester County district attorney - was prepared to prosecute the cases.
Then, suddenly after a meeting with the Pennsylvania SPCA, the charges were dropped. Stedman claimed there was not enough evidence to move forward.
Furious, Lamb lashed out at Stedman, pledging to make him a "one term DA."
The DA, the breeder's lawyer, Jeff Conrad, and a few weeks later, the Lancaster Sunday News turned on the animal welfare activists.
The Lancaster Sunday News, in a January 17 editorial, ripped Main Line Animal Rescue founder Bill Smith and Lamb calling them meddling "out of towners" and publicity seekers who filed "broadly hyped" charges.
As we have said before, the new state law needs a chance to work. And we still think education may be effective in changing some breeders' attitudes -- not all, of course -- about the conditions in which they're keeping their breeding dogs and puppies.
Why in the world would Bill Smith and William Lamb want to start a dogfight with Craig Stedman and divert money and attention away from the critical needs of puppy-mill dogs?
Why wouldn't they work to present stronger charges against breeders who still won't comply with the law?
"They have made fools out of us every step of the way," Mr. Smith told the Sunday News.
No, Mr. Smith. We think you did that all by yourself.
This week Smith fires back at Stedman, the breeders, their attorney and the Lancaster newspapers. Ouch.