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A Mediation Case Study

terrier dog

Jeremy:  "Responsive and engaged with me promptly…. It’s always helpful to parties when the mediator is friendly, fair, and relatable.”

 

How a dog suffering from clinical anxiety left neighbours at their wit’s end finding a solution that would relieve them both. 

the issue

  • Jeremy had adopted a rescue two-year-old terrier mix called Bonnie during the first lockdown. Bonnie was used to having Jeremy at home all the time. Bonnie was jumpy and nervous the couple of times a week Jeremy was away doing his shopping. When Jeremy return back work 4 days a week, Bonnie’s behaviour escalated: barking often, even howling, for long periods at a time.

  • Melissa who lived next door, worked from home as a sole trader need could not focus on her assignments when Bonnie barked. Melissa found it distressing as an animal lover that Bonnie was on edge like this. She told Jeremy about what was going on. He first reacted in a very frustrated way as he first thought Melissa was exaggerating, after all he provided Bonnie with interactive toys and a dog walker once a day on his days at the office so that she would not get bored.  

  • Over time, Jeremy’s interactions with Melissa had become explosive. Bonnie was suffering from separation anxiety. Melissa threatened to sue Jeremy as Bonnie’s barking was not only affecting her peace of mind in her own home but also her livelihood. By the time they decided to try for mediation, the parties could no longer discuss matters reasonably.

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vet and dog

the solution

  • Jeremy agreed to take Bonnie to a dog behaviourist and being given time to address her issues as they could not be solved overnight.

  • Jeremy asked his professional dog walker to check on Bonnie.

  • Melissa agreed to be patient and refrain from starting a court case against Jeremy.

  • Following two 6-week mediation reviews Jeremy reported to us that Bonnie had been diagnosed with a trauma which had occurred before she was adopted by Jeremy. She was beginning to receive treatment therapy to reduce her anxieties.

  • Melissa could focus on her business as there had been an reduction in the noise levels emanating from Bonnie

two people holding pens over paper

the outcome

  • Our mediation resulted in an agreement between the parties.

  • The mediation took 1 day compared to the average time of 18 months it would take to bring to a court trial

  • Each client saved thousands of pounds on litigation costs and fees compared to if the matter had proceeded to court

  • As the matter had been addressed through mediation the issue would not qualify as a statutory nuisance.

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