I was outraged when I read the article about the young ladies who were falsely protesting the circus in Norwalk, and I was even more outraged when I read their justification for their mistake: It was all right because they were "protesting on a principle."
Suppose I were to falsely, and publicly accuse these four girls of underage drinking. When they protested their innocence, I would state that my protest was all right because even if those girls didn't drink, a lot of teens do, and it's a bad thing to do. Would those girls be satisfied with my reasoning? I think not. They would probably sue me.
And that circus could probably sue those girls. Slander and libel are crimes.
I suggest if those girls are serious about wanting to help abused animals, they volunteer at the local animal shelter or one of the area wildlife rehabilitation centers. And the next time they publicly champion a cause, they check their facts thoroughly first.