Following a social media frenzy on a Bristol property, animal owner Arthur Sousa has decided to take legal action.
, the Portsmouth resident who posted photographs on Facebook that world was summonsed to Superior Court last week. Sousa and his attorney filed a lawsuit against Cote for the sum of more than $3 million for numerous claims including trespassing and slander.
According to the summons, Sousa and his property have been investigated five times by the and three times by the RISPCA to determine whether or not the animals were abused. Officers also , deeming that there was room for improvement but that Sousa was not doing anything illegal.
The five page complaint goes on to claim that it is believed that Cote had "stolen one or more of Sousa's animals in the misguided effort to 'save' it or them from abuse." It also claims that Cote's conduct is "annoying, abusive and intrusive and her behavior is no more than that of a self-appointed, self-righteous, common scold."
A few weeks ago, Cote sent to several publications stating that her intent was not to cause an uproar, but to instead initiate a change in the animal's living environment. But Cote's effort to stop the outrage from both Bristol residents who disagree with her claims and animal advocates who were allegedly harrassing Sousa went unnoticed.
According to EastBayRI.com, more than 50 people attended the Bristol Town Council meeting on Wednesday in support of Sousa. Many of the attendees held up signs boycotting the allegations and harrassment being directed at Sousa.
Cote is expected to appear in court to testify later this month.