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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71132
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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There, Sorry to disturb you but I have a quick question

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Hi There,
Sorry to disturb you but I have a quick question with regards ***** ***** abuse & slanderous accusations. I would greatly appreciate if you could give me your thoughts on this.
Our friend is staying in London at a hotel with her husband & much loved 7 year old dog. On Monday, they popped out to go to the cinema leaving the dog in the room with water, food & the tele on for a few hours. And reception had been notified. Yesterday they found out that a fellow guest had reported them as animal abusers as the dog was heard whining & she was going to alert the police if the hotel didn't do anything. Our friends are devastated & have never done anything to upset the dog or in fact any animal & now some person has brandished them animal abusers, which in my opinion is a very harsh word to describe a couple who treat their dog like a baby & bring him everywhere with them.
I would really like to know your thoughts on this as my friend hasn't stopped crying since been called this. And they are both big animal lovers & try to help as many charities including Born Free, Battersea Dogs Home etc.Please let me reassure them that they are not abusers. They love their dog so much & would never do anything to hurt him or put him in danger.
Would really love to know your thoughts!
Kind Regards,
Tara
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
What would you like to know about this please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Surely to call someone a dog abuser is a serious offence when clearly the couple are not. Is there any thing they can do? Is it slanderous as the guest told a few people about the situation.
No, I'm afraid not.
A defamation is not an offence. It is a civil wrong.
Potentially calling a person a 'dog abuser' can amount to a defamation. It is statement capable of causing damage to a person's reputation. Remember that the test now is 'serious damage'. Examples of that have included things like allegations of a sexual interest in children and other similar factors that destroy reputations without recovery.
There is absolutely no point in alerting the police. This is not an offence.
They could get a solicitor to write to them warning them of the laws of defamation. That would probably cost around £100 plus VAT and often does achieve the end desired.
A contested defamation action though is going to cost in excess of £10k and there is no legal aid I'm afraid. They are cheaper than they were but still not really accessible to most people.
Sorry but I can only give you truthful information.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
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