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The fish was not available for comment.

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Senior Member
Joined Oct 8, 2014
Messages 636
Ever write a bad review on line?.

Did you feel guilty afterwards?.

Did you get a reply?

Did you get sued?.

In what amounts to much ado about a Betta fish, Ars Technica picks up the case of a Texas couple who went on vacation last year, and did what many traveling pet owners do: They hired a pet-sitting service, a simple act that has now resulted in "numerous death and rape threats" and a $1 million lawsuit. Allow us to explain how we got here:

  • Michelle and Robert Duchouquette hired Prestigious Pets of Dallas to look after their two dogs and aforementioned Betta fish, Gordy, while they were away for five days.
  • The Duchouquettes contend, via their lawyer, in what Mashable notes is "one of the most painful defenses of all time," that "that the fish water became cloudy and that food accumulated at the bottom of the tank, which must have been caused by overfeeding, and apparently overfeeding is a serious issue for this kind of tropical fish."

  • The Duchouquettes retaliated with a one-star review on Yelp in which they said "The one star is for potentially harming my fish, otherwise it would have been two stars. We have a camera on the bowl and we watched the water go from clear to cloudy." (Emphasis ours.)
  • As is wont to happen in these situations, Prestigious Pets responded with an apology and a ... er, no, a $1 million lawsuit claiming defamation and a violation of a service contract stipulation that the Duchouquettes not say mean things about Prestigious Pets on the Internet. Prestigious Pets further contends that because of earlier iterations of the suit, its owner and her husband have been subject to "numerous rape and death threats that have come on the heels of the Duchouquettes' media campaign."
  • And of course this quickly became a First Amendment issue, with the Duchouquettes arguing that it is their constitutional right to say mean things on the Internet. Per their lawyer: "Until Congress passes the Consumer Review Freedom Act, (this case) could be our best chance to get one of these clauses declared unenforceable."
  • As Mashable notes: "Gordy the fish was not available for comment."


Not worth writing anything negative about anyone or anything. It will always come back to haunt you. KISS (Keep it simple stupid)- My dad used to say.


New member
Joined Dec 22, 2014
Messages 2
I would pilitely email or call them first before I ruin someone's day. None of us are perfect and you can always have a bad day.


Senior Member
Joined Jun 29, 2010
Messages 10,859
Betas are like $5 at the pet store. There's didn't seem to die anyways. What was the big fucking deal?

And why would anyone not be allowed to write a review? How do you sue a reviewer? Did they lie? Was the fish water actually clearer than suggested?

This entire thing is a huge waste of time and money.

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