Carriage Company Owner Sues Horse Advocates for Defamation

The Charleston Carriage Company is accusing the Charleston Animal Society, Ellen Harley, and Charleston Carriage Horse Advocates with decimating false information about a 2016 incident involving one of its carriage horses.
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The operator of a Charleston, South Carolina, horse-drawn carriage company is suing the Charleston Humane Society and a carriage horse advocacy group for using social media posts to spread false information that allegedly hurt his business and prompted threats against his employees.

In a complaint filed on May 23, the Charleston Carriage Company LLC accuses the Charleston Animal Society, Ellen Harley, and Charleston Carriage Horse Advocates, Inc., with decimating false information about a 2016 incident involving one of its carriage horses. The complaint states that the defendants in the case published photographs of one of the company’s horses lying on his side after tripping and falling. The photographs falsely “represented a dead horse ‘collapsed’ from overwork and heat exhaustion,” the complaint said.

The suit also alleges that Charleston Humane Society and the Charleston Carriage Horse Advocates published several social media posts falsely accusing the Charleston Carriage Company and other local carriage companies of mistreating horses and working them to the point of collapse.

The false information was intended to “encourage strangers to disrupt the plaintiff’s business and (cause) the plaintiff’s employees and managers to fear for their safety,” the complaint said

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Written by:

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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