ANGLETON, Texas, Aug. 4, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Rowdy Girl Sanctuary ("RGS"), a 501(c)(3) charity that provides sanctuary to rescued farmed animals and advocates a vegan lifestyle, today responded to a ruling of the District Court of Harris County, Texas in a lawsuit filed by RGS and its founder Renee King-Sonnen and Tommy Sonnen against various individuals alleged to be defaming them.
The lawsuit was filed in March 2017 to seek damages resulting from an onslaught of malicious, defamatory remarks made on social media by animal activists who appeared intent on harming the reputation and work of RGS, and fellow animal rights activists King-Sonnen and Sonnen. RGS sued individuals who posted untruthful statements including that the sanctuary was a "scam" and a "pyramid scheme".
"I was so surprised that these self-proclaimed animal rights activists and vegans/vegetarians would spend so much of their time trying to shut down a vegan farm animal sanctuary that is trying to educate the public about the plight of farmed animals, and not focus their ire on actual animal abusers and the factory farming system that seeks to torture farm animals," said King-Sonnen. According to King-Sonnen, efforts were made to reach out to and educate individuals posting defamatory remarks to encourage them to actually review the facts, but when those efforts failed, RGS was left with no choice but to take legal action.
Unfortunately, the court ruled on a motion filed by three defendants who sought dismissal of the action claiming it sought to suppress First Amendment free speech. The court ruled the action should be dismissed and that RGS, King-Sonnen and Sonnen should pay the three defendants attorney's fees, costs and sanctions totaling $159,000.
"This ruling is unjust and erroneous. Unfortunately, in our legal system, sometimes judges make bad rulings," said Drew L. Alexis, an attorney and member of RGS' board. "I am afraid the court gave its blessing to those who wish to assault us with more harmful, defamatory statements in their campaign to tear down an organization trying to bring justice to farm animals," said King-Sonnen.
RGS is considering an appeal. "We may appeal as our lawyers have told us this ruling makes no sense," said King-Sonnen. "At the same time," she continued, "I want to put this matter behind us and move forward with the work that we are doing. I know in the end, whether justice is had in the court or not, we are going to continue to advance our mission to protect farm animals from cruelty. And I know that the truth is on our side, and not on the side of those spewing hate on social media."
About Rowdy Girl Sanctuary, Inc.
Rowdy Girl Sanctuary, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization founded in 2015 by Renee King-Sonnen. After going vegan, King-Sonnen and her husband, Tommy Sonnen, turned their beef cattle ranch into farm animal sanctuary that seeks to rescue farm animals from the cruelties of factory farming. Its mission is to educate the public about the cruelties of factory farming and to inspire other ranchers to experience a paradigm shift and help them move from participating in the cruelty of factory farming to living out compassion towards the animals whose lives usually end in brutal death.