Kennels Delite, Inc. is suing Best Friends Animal Society in New York County Superior Court Animal Society. The lawsuit involves defamation, tortious interference with business and injuring plaintiff’s business, and tort issues.
According to the lawsuit, the defendant Best Friends Animal Society “advised plaintiff [American Kennels] by letter that if it did not cease selling puppies from breeders and only transfer, sell, or retail ‘rescued’ pets coming from government shelters or 501 ( c )(3) rescue groups” they would continue to protest in front of plaintiff’s store and would try to destroy plaintiff’s business.”
Protests then took place on two days in April, 2009 in front of the store of plaintiff, American Kennels, on Lexington Avenue in Manhattan. The pet store company alleged that “defendant’s members unlawfully protested in front of plaintiff’s store and unlawfully interfered with plaintiff’s business by blocking the entrance to plaintiff’s store with the stated intent of putting plaintiff out of business”.
The protesters allegedly dispensed handouts that explained several pet supply stores nearby did not sell “puppy mill dogs” and various other statements in regard to the plaintiff’s animals, and general terms re commercial kennels, but made sure to throw in derogatory statements, and even claimed to know where plaintiffs’ animals came from? In the Plaintiffs’ lawsuit, it alleges these false statements (and more) were published in flyers handed out to the public during the protests and in the New York Daily News and then repeated on the TV Network New York One.
Of course, the H$U$ chimed in, claiming that dogs sold in pet stores come from commercial kennels (but H$U$ and ARs call them “puppy mills” to get more donations, and to shut down all breeding regardless of how good.) The plaintiff alleged that Best Friends was doing the protests and publishing such information to raise more money for their group (Best Friends animal Society)
In CA, such protests are done as well, and AR groups have managed to close down at least three pet stores, in one case by creating so much commotion in front of the expensive mall, that the landlord would not renew the lease for the pet store. There are many cases of protests done in front of stores (such as Burburry stores) or where Peta protests a fur clothing retailer.
Unfortunately, these protests should NOT cause consumers to abandon the store, but many people feel intimidated by such AR protestors. If it should happen that some consumers get into a physical altercation with protestors, then that would indeed change the protestor’s case. However we don’t think that was alleged in the case above. But it’s just a matter of time.