Woman Charged with Animal Cruelty Appears in Court

By: Amelia Nahmias Email
By: Amelia Nahmias Email

HARRISONBURG -- A woman brought up on charges of animal cruelty in May had her first appearance in court on Monday.

Animal control officers came to Mary Smoker's house and took her four cats. That's because, officers say, the house Smoker lives in is unsafe for the cats.

She's accused of animal cruelty, but she says she would never hurt any animal. She owns a grooming business and has been dealing with animals for years.

"I am not an animal abuser. I love animals. Anybody who really knows me knows that. I've gotten several phone calls from people telling me to keep my chin up, hang in there," said Smoker.

She's made significant improvements to the state of the home since animal control last visited. Smoker admitted the state of her house got out of control.

Smoker is scheduled to be in court for her trial on June 18th. She will be able to tell her side of the story and the judge will let her know if she can have her cats.

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