Just as a side note, I'm thinking that if the contents of the "footer.php" file looked exactly like this: (except of course, where I have broken the hrefs with a dash to prevent the forum from thinking I'm a spammer!),
<?php bloginfo('name'); ?><a h-ref='http://wordpress.org'>WordPress</a> - Theme designed by <a
<a h-ref="http://www.5shadestemplates.com">Website Templates</a> |
<a h-ref="http://www.pupdogtraining.com">Puppy Training</a> | <a
you would have a functional, editable footer without all of that encrypted bullshit in it. (Sorry, just my opinion).
Now, I'm not encouraging you, nor am I condoning the circumvention of an authors attempt to protect sponsor links, I'm just saying, if it weren't encrypted, that is most likely what it would look like.
p.s. I do support the idea that it is a good thing to give an author credit for their work, ie... a linkback, but that is best left to individual decision.