The owner of a Corona del Mar pet shop has withdrawn a harassment claim against an animal rights protester but faces more than $5,000 in legal fees because of a so-called SLAPP motion, according to online court records and the woman's attorney.
Brooke Bradford filed for a temporary restraining order against Carole Davis on July 22 after a confrontation between the two women inside the I Heart Puppies shop at 2801 E. Coast Hwy.
She later consulted with an attorney, and they decided to drop the case because there had been no other incidents, said the lawyer, Richard Feld.
"We felt it wasn't necessary," Feld said. "We respect Carole's and her group's 1st Amendment rights, as long as the safety of the store and the animals were intact."
The request for dismissal was filed in Orange County Superior Court, online records show.
Davis, who is the West Coast director for the Companion Animals Protection Society, has been investigating the store and has alleged that some of the puppies sold there come from puppy mills. About 140 protesters, including Davis, attended a rally Aug. 7 in front of the shop.