Maryland

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Titlesort descending Summary
MD - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes

This Maryland statutory section comprises the state's anti-cruelty provisions.  Under the section, "animal" means a living creature except a human being.  "Cruelty" is defined as the unnecessary or unjustifiable physical pain or suffering caused or allowed by an act, omission, or neglect, and includes torture and torment.  Agricultural, veterinary, research, and "an activity that may cause unavoidable physical pain to an animal, including food processing, pest elimination, animal training, and hunting. . . " are excluded from the purview of the act.

MD - Dangerous Animals - Part IV. Animal Control

This chapter of Maryland laws declares that it is in the public interest to ensure public health and safety by strictly regulating the possession, breeding, and importation of certain animals that pose risks to humans. Certain animals such as domestic dogs, cats, and ferrets; animal used for agricultural, scientific, or education purposes; and animals used for public exhibitions are excluded from the provisions of this section. Any person who imports, transports, sells, transfers, breeds, raises, keeps, or possesses any animal which is prohibited under regulations promulgated by the Secretary is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine not exceeding $500, or imprisonment not exceeding 1 year, or both.

MD - Disaster planning - State of Maryland Response Operations Plan The Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is the agency that oversees the Maryland Emergency Preparedness Program (MEPP). The plan references pets and disaster planning, recognizing the need for mass care services for household pets and service animals in one emergency support functions (ESF), and the need to provide a framework and protective actions for animals in ESF #16.
MD - Dogs - Consolidated Dog Laws

These statutes comprise Maryland's dog laws.  Maryland is unique in that the state law governs the specific licensing and other regulations certain counties may adopt or enforce.  Also included are the state rabies provisions and even the law that designates the state dog (the Chesapeake Bay retriever).

MD - Domestic Violence - Subtitle 5. Domestic Violence.


This Maryland law amended in 2011 allows an interim protective order to award temporary possession of any pet (defined in § 4-501 as a domesticated animal except livestock) to the person eligible for relief or the respondent. This law also allows the court to issue temporary or final protective ordersawarding temporary possession of any pet of the person eligible for relief or the respondent.

MD - Ecoterrorism - Title 6. Crimes Against Property.


This law reflects Maryland's "ecoterrorism"/animal research interference law. A person may not break and enter a research facility without the permission of the research facility with the intent to: obtain unauthorized control over research property; alter or eradicate research property; damage or deface research property; move research property in a manner intended to cause harm to it; destroy or remove research property; or engage in conduct that results in the removal of research property. Violation of the law is a felony with imprisonment of up to 5 years or a fine of up to $5,000, or both.

MD - Endangered Species - Nongame and Endangered Species Conservation Act


These Maryland statutes comprise the Nongame and Endangered Species Conservation Act.  Under the Act, any species designated under the federal Endangered Species Act is deemed an endangered species as are other species designated by the state secretary based on habitat and population factors.  Violators of the Act shall be fined not more than $1,000 or be imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both and equipment used in the taking of designated species may be seized.

MD - Equine Transport - Subtitle 9. Transporting Horses.


This Maryland section provides the requirements for transporting horses. The law states that "[a] person may not transport a horse in a vehicle that is not designed and constructed in a manner that at all times protects the health and well-being of the horse being transported." Of importance is the provision that limits the vehicle used to transport the horses to one level (e.g., no double-deck trailers are allowed). Violation of the law incurs a civil penalty in the amount of $500 per horse for the first offense and $1,000 for each subsequent offense.

MD - Exotic pets - Subtitle 6. Crimes Relating to Animals.


Under this Maryland law, a person may not import into the State, offer for sale, trade, barter, possess, breed, or exchange the following species of animals: foxes, skunks, raccoons, bears, caimans, alligators, crocodiles, wild cats, wolves, nonhuman primates, and venomous snakes. Animal sanctuaries, AWA licensed facilities, those holding valid permits from the Department of Natural Resources, and veterinarians are exempted. This section does not prohibit a person who had lawful possession of an animal listed above on or before May 31, 2006, from continuing to possess that animal if the person provided written notification to the local animal control authority on or before August 1, 2006. Violation results in a fine and seizure of the animal(s).

MD - Food Service - § 21-304.2. Restaurant patrons with dogs This Maryland statute deals with the eligibility of restaurants for dog admission. Under the statute, a restaurant with an outdoor dining area may allow a patron’s dog to accompany the patron in the outdoor dining area. The statute requires that the owner of the restaurant notify the local health department of the owner’s intention to allow dogs in the outdoor dining area at least 30 days prior to any dogs being allowed in the outdoor dining area. Additionally, the owner may limit the amount of space available for dogs, the size and type of dog allowed in the outdoor dining area, and may reject and patron with a dog at his or her discretion.

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