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Justice for Candy Case...Sued for Defamation!

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We are not guilty of conspiracy.

We are not guilty of defamation.

We are, however, being punished because, as two professional women who love animals, we took a stand and spoke out to protect all animals.

It is because we spoke out that we are being sued for $150,000 PLUS exorbitant attorney fees in three defamation lawsuits that have been filed in civil court against Cindy Watson, the mom of a dog named Candy who was shot and killed in November 2016, simply for barking at a stranger, and Suncoast Pet Magazine, a regional publication in Southwest Florida.

My name is Candace T. Botha, and I am the founder and publisher of Suncoast Pet. I also have been personally sued in the lawsuit.

It took 5 ½ years—and thousands and thousands of dollars—to bring Candy's case to civil court. And with the jury’s wrongful decision that Candy's killer acted in self defense—despite the fact the pup was never closer than six to eight feet from her shooter and there were no bite marks, ripped clothes or any other signs of aggression—the legal battle to find justice for Candy, a gentle and loving canine companion, ended…

…Or did it?

Within weeks of the trial’s end, the killer’s attorney filed a lawsuit targeting Cindy Watson, the dog’s mom; Suncoast Pet; and me, claiming conspiracy and defamation of the dog killer’s “reputation.”

Despite the dog killer’s fabricated claim in his March 2023 deposition that his “name was smeared throughout the pages of the magazine,” the identity of the dog killer was NEVER mentioned or revealed in Suncoast Pet or on the Justice for Candy Facebook page or website.

Other major television and newspaper outlets on the Suncoast provided major coverage of the shooting and trial and identified the killer by name. To the best of my knowledge, none of them have been sued.

Although the case is not scheduled to be heard for another seven months, our legal defense expenses have already exceeded more than $20,000, and thousands more will be billed as we fight this flagrant misuse of the legal system.

All monies raised will be used to pay current and upcoming legal expense to, once again, fight for Candy and to ensure our personal financial survival and the survival of Suncoast Pet, a publication that has served Florida's Suncoast for the past 16 years.

For more information about the long legal battle to find Justice for Candy, visit

From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you for your donation as we face the fight of our lives.


  • Anonymous
    • $25 
    • 9 mos
  • Dawn Allen
    • $200 
    • 11 mos
  • Sharon Fuchs
    • $100 
    • 1 yr
  • Deborah Michalik
    • $25 
    • 1 yr
  • Jose Defilippi
    • $50 
    • 1 yr


Candace Botha
Sarasota, FL

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