LANCASTER – Andrews Bridge Foxhounds Inc. is now involved in a legal battle with former shareholders of the company regarding the allegedly unlawful removal of some of the dogs from one kennel to another, and who owns the dogs.
The defendants - Stephen B. Harris, Betsy A. Harris and Andrews Bridge Foxhounds, who are Joint Masters of the foundation - filed a response to the suit on July 21.
The Lancaster County Andrews Bridge Foxhounds Inc. is a nonprofit that was started in 1900. The corporation breeds the black and tan Penn-Marydel foxhounds for hunting and has 58 members that pay dues to participate in hunts, galas and other events.
In 1968, plaintiff Robert Compton III became a Joint Master of the Foxhounds, and his wife, plaintiff Georgia Compton, was invited to serve as Joint Master in 1994.
The Comptons were well-known for breeding hounds in the '70s and '80s and had constructed a modern kennel. Stephen Harris, defendant, was made Master after Robert Compton retired in 2008, and Betsy Harris, also a defendant, was invited in 2011, along with the Compton’s son William R. Crompton. The Harrises are still Masters.
The Comptons filed legal action after the defendants allegedly removed the Andrews Bridge foxhounds from their kennel and transferred them to another location in March due to no longer having a caretaker for the hounds.
The dogs require intensive care, including being exercised twice a day and going hunting several times a week. The Comptons claimed that the hounds they owned that were in the kennel were left behind, without care.
But the Harrises say that not only did the Comptons tell the Harrises to give their hounds away immediately when they learned of the move, but they had not had anything to do with the care of them in years. The Harrises also allege they tried to resolve the dispute amicably without legal action, but the Comptons refused to speak to anyone unless certain demands were met regarding the dogs.
There is also a dispute of who owns the dogs, as the Comptons say they own more of the hounds. The Harrises and Andrews say that foxhound custom and practice deems the dogs in question as belonging to the Andrews Bridge Foxhounds. The Comptons' wish for the hounds is to remain at their previous kennel.
The Comptons are represented by Samuel McMichael of McMichael, Heiney & Sebastian LLC . Stephen Harris of Harris and Harris represented himself, and Betsy Harris and the Andrews Foxhounds are represented by Maza, David, and Hoeffel.