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Canada Yukon kennel owner sues neighbours for defamation

18:31  06 june  2018
18:31  06 june  2018 Source:   cbc.ca

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a person and a dog sitting in the snow: Cuthbert was ordered last October to forfeit all but 2 of her dogs to territorial authorities. Her neighbours had argued the facility was a major disturbance. Now Cuthbert is suing them.© Paul Tukker/CBC Cuthbert was ordered last October to forfeit all but 2 of her dogs to territorial authorities. Her neighbours had argued the facility was a major disturbance. Now Cuthbert is suing them.

The Yukon woman ordered last year to close her dog rescue facility in Tagish is now suing her neighbours for defamation and asking for $1 million in damages.

Shelley Cuthbert filed her defamation claim against nine people in Yukon Supreme Court on Monday.

Cuthbert was ordered last October to forfeit all but two of her dogs to territorial authorities. Her neighbours argued the facility, which had more than 50 dogs, was a major disturbance.

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Cuthbert's legal troubles began two years ago, when a group of her neighbours sued her, complaining that her dog rescue facility was a noisy disturbance. Yukon kennel owner ignores court order to surrender dogs.

Her appeal of that order was dismissed by a panel of judges last month.

Now, Cuthbert is suing those neighbours and two other women who were involved in court proceedings against her in the past.

According to court documents, Cuthbert is claiming the defendants made public statements that "destroyed" her reputation and caused emotional distress.

Her examples include saying her property is "dirty and smelly", and that she was stealing and hoarding dogs.

Cuthbert also alleges harassment, destruction of property and trespassing.

$1M, and a public apology

She is suing for $500,000 for the "destruction of reputation, emotional distress and property damage which includes pain and suffering of the dogs."

She's also asking for $200,000 for the loss of business, $200,000 for the loss of property value after the permanent injunction was tied to her land, and an additional $100,000 for trespassing.

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'A mass of baying dogs': Neighbours sue to shut down Yukon kennel . Cuthbert is being sued by several neighbours , including the owners of the white house seen here in the background.

Finally, Cuthbert wants a public apology from the defendants.

Graham Lang, the lawyer for most of the defendants, called it a "frivolous, vexatious" lawsuit and says it's "obviously a reprisal," after Cuthbert lost her appeal.

Lang will be making an application in court on Thursday to have Cuthbert found in contempt of the original injunction. She has failed to surrender dogs each month, as ordered, and still has at least 43 dogs on her property.

If found in contempt, Cuthbert could be fined, imprisoned, or both.

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