Furry Babies, which has a location in CherryVale Mall, is suing Kathy Mehalko, an animal rights activist.  Mehalko has claimed that the company gets its dogs from puppy mills and unlicensed breeders.  In opening statements, Mehalko’s lawyer said she was simply exercising her first amendment rights.

“This case involving Ms. Mehalko exercising her first amendment rights… [she should] speak freely and publicly about her beliefs regarding an enterprise known as ‘Furry Babies.'”

But, Steven Polick, the attorney representing Furry Babies, said that’s not the case.

“This lawsuit has nothing to do with trying to chill the rights of Ms. Mehalko.  This lawsuit is based on defamation,” said Polick.