Police Officer Faces Animal Cruelty Charges

Animal Cruelty Charges Filed Against Dog Owners

On December 22, 2012, at approximately 3:54 p.m., Anne Arundel County Animal Control received a call regarding an at large dog, according to the Anne Arundel County Police Department. An Animal Control Officer responded and recovered a stray dog named “Nicholas,” a Shepherd mix. On December 28, 2012, the owners of the animal, Stephen Harr and his wife Cheri Harr, contacted Animal Control. Animal Control confirmed that they were the owners of the dog.

Investigation Alleges Basis for Animal Cruelty Charges

Police reported that further investigation revealed that the extent of the dog’s medical issues was believed to be the result of neglect and the failure to provide the animal with the proper medical care. Therefore, they applied for animal cruelty charges against the owners. Mr. Harr, an 11 year veteran of the Anne Arundel County Police, was placed on administrative duty with his police powers suspended pending the outcome of the investigation.

Case in Point: Unfounded Animal Cruelty Charges

Just because animal cruelty charges are filed does not mean that a pet owner is guilty. Loving pet owners can be falsely accused of animal abuse and/or neglect. Every person is presumed innocent and entitled to their day in court.

In one case, a woman was accused of 69 charges of animal abuse and neglect. She was defended by criminal lawyer Jonathan Scott Smith. Mr. Smith rejected the prosecution’s plea offer insisting that the accused plead guilty to numerous felony and misdemeanor animal abuse, animal neglect, and animal cruelty charges, and serve time in jail.

Some of the charges were dismissed before trial; others were thrown out by the judge during trial; and after 11 days of testimony, the jury found her not guilty of the 18 remaining charges. In short, the woman was cleared of all 69 felony and misdemeanor charges.

Animal Abuse and Neglect Defense Lawyer

Mr. Smith is a top rated attorney and former prosecutor with more than 30 years of extensive trial experience. Attorney Smith has handled thousands of criminal cases in the local courts, including animal abuse and neglect, and animal cruelty charges. With a solid and longstanding reputation for personal service and thorough preparation, we get many of our new cases as referrals from existing or former clients, or from other attorneys. Mr. Smith fights hard for his clients. That’s why many satisfied clients think so highly of him.

Top Rated Criminal Lawyer – Defense of Animal Cruelty Charges

Mr. Smith’s extensive trial experience — and track record of successful results — has earned him the recognition of his peers and clients:

  • Maryland Super Lawyer.
  • 10.0 Superb” as a litigation attorney by AVVO.
  • AV-Preeminent™*” Peer Rating by Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory.
  • “Client’s Choice Award” by AVVO, based on average client reviews of 5 stars — the highest client review possible.
  • 2012 Top Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine and Martindale-Hubbell.

These are the highest ratings possible for legal skill, ethical practice, a lawyer’s years in practice, disciplinary history, professional achievements and industry recognition.

Contact Our Office

Put the skill and experience of a former prosecutor to fight for you. To schedule an appointment with an experienced criminal defense lawyer, contact us online or call us at 410-740-0101.We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.


  • Jonathan Scott Smith 10490 Little Patuxent Parkway, Suite 200 ,Columbia, MD 21044-4960

  • Call for consultation 410-740-0101