This Maryland statute outlines what is a "Dangerous dog." As defined by statute, it is a dog that, without provocation, has killed or inflicted severe injury on a person, or it is a potentially dangerous dog that bites a person, when not on its owner's real property, kills or inflicts severe injury on a domestic animal, or attacks without provocation. An owner of a dangerous dog must keep the dog securely enclosed on his or her property or must muzzle and restrain the dog. A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine not exceeding $2,500.
(a)(1) In this section the following words have the meanings indicated.
(i) without provocation has killed or inflicted severe injury on a person; or
(ii) is determined by the appropriate unit of a county or municipal corporation under subsection (c) of this section to be a potentially dangerous dog and, after the determination is made:
1. bites a person;
2. when not on its owner's real property, kills or inflicts severe injury on a domestic animal; or
3. attacks without provocation.
(3)(i) "Owner's real property" means real property owned or leased by the owner of a dog.
(ii) "Owner's real property" does not include a public right-of-way or a common area of a condominium, apartment complex, or townhouse development.
(4) "Severe injury" means a physical injury that results in broken bones or disfiguring lacerations requiring multiple sutures or cosmetic surgery.
(b) This section does not apply to a dog owned by and working for a governmental or law enforcement unit.
Determination of potentially dangerous dog
(1) finds that the dog:
(i) has inflicted a bite on a person while on public or private real property;
(ii) when not on its owner's real property, has killed or inflicted severe injury on a domestic animal; or
(iii) has attacked without provocation; and
(2) notifies the dog owner in writing of the reasons for this determination.
(d) A dog owner may not:
(1) leave a dangerous dog unattended on the owner's real property unless the dog is:
(i) confined indoors;
(ii) in a securely enclosed and locked pen; or
(iii) in another structure designed to restrain the dog; or
(2) allow a dangerous dog to leave the owner's real property unless the dog is leashed and muzzled, or is otherwise securely restrained and muzzled.
(e) An owner of a dangerous dog or potentially dangerous dog who sells or gives the dog to another shall notify in writing:
(1) the authority that made the determination under subsection (c) of this section, of the name and address of the new owner of the dog; and
(2) the person taking possession of the dog, of the dangerous behavior or potentially dangerous behavior of the dog.
(f) A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine not exceeding $2,500.
Added by Acts 2002, c. 26, § 2, eff. Oct. 1, 2002.