Owners of The Dog Spot file lawsuit over Facebook posts

The Dog Spot in East Nashville (Photo: Google Maps)

Rachel and Matthew Waldrop spoke to News4 last year after their pet Chihuahua, Hall, died.

He was boarded at The Dog Spot in East Nashville when a larger dog attacked him.

"I just want Hall back, but I know that I can't have that," said Rachel Waldrop.

Owners of The Dog Spot, Andy and Chad Baker, can't talk about that attack because of pending litigation against them. What they can talk about is the attack on their business that followed on Facebook.

"We love dogs. Our employees love dogs," said Chad Baker. "The things that are being said are completely false and it's absolutely heartbreaking."

According to court documents, Bari Hardin posted about The Dog Spot in February saying, "lots of dogs have been killed there."

When asked how many, Hardin posted "7."

"There are too many confirmed things that have happened there to feel comfortable ever taking a dog there," said Jamie Bayer in another post.

"The things that are being said have no truth," said Chad Baker. "They're completely false and they're completely malicious. The only reason they're being made is [that] these women are tied to a competitor of ours, and they have [a] huge financial incentive in hurting our business."

The Bakers filed their own suit against Hardin and Bayer alleging libel, false light, publicity misrepresentation, fraud, and intentional interference with a business relationship. The business owners are seeking $2 million in damages.

In response, Hardin's attorney, Daniel Horwitz, sent us a statement:“Given that The Dog Spot is currently being sued over the high-profile death of a dog in its care, you’d think that its owners would have enough sense not to file another frivolous SLAPP-suit calling attention to that clearly established fact. This lawsuit is just another transparent attempt to silence The Dog Spot's many deeply unhappy customers. Notably, even if the claims that The Dog Spot has alleged in this case were legally supportable—and they are not—a plaintiff must have a reputation to defend in order to file a libel claim, and a reputation built upon fake reviews and suing unhappy customers is not a reputation at all. In sum: The Dog Spot is about to learn a very expensive lesson about free speech, and we look forward to seeing them in court for a short period of time and exposing this ridiculous lawsuit for the sham that it is.” "It's just not fair what they're doing. It's not fair to any business," said Andy Baker.

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