A COURT has banned a dog walker from mentioning a rival’s business after a bitter row blew up between the two on Facebook.
Alana Mullen posted a series of videos in which she accused her rival of leaving dogs in a hot van.
Heather Sian Hiram, who runs Safe and Sound Hound in Edinburgh, angrily denied the claims and took the case to the city’s sheriff court.
This week a sheriff ordered Alana, of Pilrig Paws, not to mention her rival’s business “in any format in any place”.
Having won the first round of her legal battle, Heather is now considering whether to launch a defamation action against Alana.
The bizarre row kicked off on June 20 this year when Alana “ambushed” Heather in an Edinburgh street.
Alana’s videos, uploaded six days later, showed what she claimed were dogs left inside Heather’s van and “panting” as temperatures outside hit 20 degrees C.
In another scene, Alana and a friend confront Heather, again accusing her of leaving other people’s pets in a hot van.
Heather tells the women she was away for five minutes, that they are her own dogs, and that she only did it to take a “reactive” dog to the toilet on its own.
Alongside the video, Alana claimed: “It was over 20 degrees at the time. I’ve had problems with this walker for months now, not being able to control her dogs (particularly reactive ones), not picking up after them, walking anywhere between five and 14 dogs at one time, has young teens helping her.”
Heather, a former solicitor, responded to the posts by adding that her van was air-condition and accused Alana of setting out to damage her reputation for commercial reasons.
She then took the highly unusual step, for a social media row, of going to court.
Edinburgh Sheriff Court today (Thu) confirmed that at a hearing on Tuesday this week Heather, known in legal terms as the “pursuer”, had been granted an “undertaking”.
The order restricts Alana from “defaming the pursuer by making or publishing, in any media including social media and print media, of any statement that is likely to lower the pursuer in the estimation of right thinking members of society”.
Alana is also banned “from repeating of publishing any or all of the allegations made in the pursuer’s post on Facebook dated 26 June 2018 at 21:27 hours”.
The order also bans Alana from “publishing any statement about the pursuer or the pursuer’s business ‘Safe and Sound Hound’ in any format or in any place”.
Speaking today, Ms Hiram said: “It’s not really something that everyone can afford to pursue because of the legal expenses, but I hope that it can send a warning to people who consider posting things like this online.
“You can’t just do things like that and expect there will be no come back.
“I’m not sure whether or not I’m going to go ahead with a defamation action, I’m currently taking advice on that.
“I’m relieved, but I’m still angry.”