Full Statute Name:  West's Annotated Code of Maryland -Local Government - Division III. Counties [Titles 9-15] - Title 13. Other Powers of Counties--Regulatory - Subtitle 1. Regulation of Animals - Part II. Local Provisions

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Primary Citation:  MD Code, Local Government, § 13-117; MD Code, Local Government, § 13-118; MD Code, Local Government, § 13-121(Formerly cited MD CODE, Art. 24, § 11-511) Country of Origin:  United States Last Checked:  January, 2015
Summary: This Maryland statutory section only applies to Carroll County and Frederick County.  It provides that th e county commissioners, by ordinance, may provide for a comprehensive system for the regulation of domestic animals, including dogs, and wild animals held in captivity, within the county, including licensing and control.  Also included are provisions for the impoundment and disposal of unlicensed or dangerous dogs and provisions for the regulation of persons who own or keep any animal which disturbs the peace.
Statute Text: 

§ 13-117. Carroll County

Comprehensive system for regulation
(a)(1) The County Commissioners of Carroll County, by ordinance, may provide for a comprehensive system for the regulation of domestic animals and wild animals kept in captivity.

(2) The ordinances may provide for:

(i) the licensing and control of domestic animals and wild animals kept in captivity;

(ii) seizing and disposing of unlicensed or dangerous dogs;

(iii) the regulation of persons who own or keep any vicious animal or an animal that disturbs the peace of a neighborhood; and

(iv) reasonable penalties for a violation of an ordinance not exceeding imprisonment for 30 days or a fine of $500 or both.

(3) The county commissioners:

(i) may regulate animals that are hybrids of domestic and wild animals; but

(ii) may not regulate or control wild animals that are not owned or kept by individuals.
Dog licenses and dogs at large

(b)(1) The County Commissioners of Carroll County may pass rules, regulations, or resolutions to provide for:

(i) issuing dog licenses;

(ii) keeping records of all sales of licenses;

(iii) designating persons authorized to sell licenses; and

(iv) seizing and disposing of any dogs found running at large in the county.

(2) Before the county commissioners pass a rule, regulation, or resolution in accordance with this subsection, the proposed rule, regulation, or resolution shall be advertised in a newspaper of general circulation in the county once each week for 4 successive weeks, to provide any person an opportunity to be heard.

(3) The rules, regulations, or resolutions shall include standards and operate uniformly.

(4) Subject to paragraph (5) of this subsection, the county commissioners may delegate, by written contract, the enforcement of the rules, regulations, and resolutions.

(5)(i) The county commissioners shall reserve the right to cancel a written contract executed in accordance with paragraph (4) of this subsection.

(ii) A cancellation under this paragraph:

1. may be without notice or recourse, if the cancellation is for cause; or

2. requires notice at least 30 days before cancellation, if the cancellation is without cause.

Dog and kennel licenses
(c) The County Commissioners of Carroll County shall set the fees, terms, and forms for dog and kennel licenses in accordance with subsection (a) of this section.

Animal control officers
(d)(1) The County Commissioners of Carroll County may appoint animal control officers.

(2) An animal control officer appointed under this subsection:

(i) has all the powers of a peace officer;

(ii) may sell and issue dog licenses; and

(iii) may seize and dispose of stray, injured, or sick dogs in accordance with a rule, regulation, or resolution passed in accordance with subsection (b) of this section.

(3) The county commissioners may provide for the compensation of an animal control officer appointed under this subsection.

Animal shelters
(e)(1) The County Commissioners of Carroll County may contract with an animal welfare society, a humane society, or any other qualified person to:

(i) establish an animal shelter; or

(ii) seize, dispose of, or euthanize stray, injured, or sick dogs.

(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of § 13-105(d) of this subtitle, the county commissioners may use proceeds from dog license fees to:

(i) establish an animal shelter; and

(ii) collect and euthanize stray, injured, or sick dogs.

Designation of assistants to county tax collector
(f) The County Commissioners of Carroll County may designate persons to assist the county tax collector to collect license fees and issue licenses and tags under this subtitle.

Credits
Added by Acts 2013, c. 119, § 2, eff. Oct. 1, 2013.
Editors' Notes

LEGISLATIVE NOTES
Revisor's Note (Acts 2013, c. 119):

This section is new language derived without substantive change from former Art. 24, § 11-501(o), and, as they related to Carroll County, §§ 11-511 and 11-504(e)(1), (f), and the second sentence of (c).

In subsection (a)(1) of this section and throughout this subtitle, the former references to animals “within the county” are deleted as implicit.

In subsection (a)(2)(ii) of this section and throughout this subtitle, the references to “seizing” dogs are substituted for the former references to “impound[ing]” dogs for consistency with other similar provisions of this subtitle.

In subsection (a)(2)(iv) of this section and throughout this subtitle, the former references to imprisonment “in the county jail” are deleted as unnecessary in light of CS § 9-104 which states that “notwithstanding any other law, a judge may not sentence an individual to the jurisdiction of the Division [of Correction] for 12 months or less”.

Defined terms: “Person” § 1-101

“Tax collector” § 1-101

§ 13-118. Cecil County

Comprehensive system for regulation
(a)(1) The governing body of Cecil County, by ordinance or resolution, may provide for a comprehensive system for the regulation of domestic animals and wild animals kept in captivity.

(2) The resolution or ordinance may provide for:

(i) the licensing and control of domestic animals and wild animals kept in captivity;

(ii) the establishment of separate domestic animal control districts with separate resolutions or ordinances applicable within each district;

(iii) seizing and disposing of domestic animals found to be dangerous to persons or property;

(iv) the regulation of persons who own or keep any vicious animal or an animal that disturbs the peace of a neighborhood; and

(v) reasonable penalties for a violation of a local law enacted in accordance with this section not exceeding imprisonment for 30 days or a fine not exceeding $500 or both.

(3) The governing body:

(i) may regulate animals that are hybrids of domestic animals and wild animals; but

(ii) may not regulate or control wild animals that are not owned or kept by individuals.

Dog and kennel licenses
(b) The governing body of Cecil County shall set the fees, terms, and forms for dog and kennel licenses.

Dog tags
(c)(1) In Cecil County, the county tax collector shall issue a tag with each dog license to a person owning or keeping a dog when the person pays the license fee for the dog.

(2) The governing body of Cecil County shall prepare and supply tags to the county tax collector each year.

(3) The tags shall be:

(i) composed of metal;

(ii) imprinted with a serial number corresponding to the number on the license issued to the owner;

(iii) imprinted with the calendar year for which the tag is issued;

(iv) 1 inch or less in length; and

(v) equipped with a substantial metal fastener.

(4) The governing body shall change the general shape of the tags each year.

(5) Tags supplied to owners of kennels shall contain the word “kennel”.

(6) The county tax collector shall replace a lost tag on:

(i) application by the person to whom the original license was issued;

(ii) the production of the license; and

(iii) payment of a fee of 25 cents.

Dogs in heat
(d)(1) In Cecil County, the owner or custodian of a female dog that is in heat:

(i) may not knowingly allow the dog to run at large; and

(ii) shall confine the dog.

(2) A person who violates this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine not exceeding $25.

Disturbances of the peace; vicious dogs
(e)(1) In Cecil County, a person may not own or keep a domestic animal that disturbs the peace of a neighborhood or is vicious and bites any individual.

(2) The barking of hunting dogs in pursuit of game is not a disturbance of the peace for the purpose of this subsection.

(3) A person who violates paragraph (1) of this subsection or a court order issued under paragraph (4) of this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine not exceeding $500 for each offense.

(4)(i) The District Court in Cecil County shall issue a summons to the owner or keeper of a domestic animal to appear before the District Court if a sworn complaint is received from a person alleging that the domestic animal:

1. disturbs the peace of a neighborhood in the county; or

2. is vicious and has bitten an individual.

(ii) After a finding that the domestic animal disturbs the peace of a neighborhood or is vicious and has bitten an individual, the District Court may require the owner or keeper to surrender the domestic animal to be euthanized in the most humane manner possible or remove the domestic animal permanently from the neighborhood.

(iii) If the District Court requires the owner or keeper to surrender the domestic animal to be euthanized or removed in accordance with subparagraph (ii) of this paragraph, and the owner or keeper fails to comply, a police officer or an agent of the county shall seize the domestic animal and cause it to be euthanized in the most humane manner possible.

(iv) The District Court may order the domestic animal restrained or issue any other appropriate order.

Credits
Added by Acts 2013, c. 119, § 2, eff. Oct. 1, 2013.
Editors' Notes

LEGISLATIVE NOTES
Revisor's Note (Acts 2013, c. 119):

This section is new language derived without substantive change from former Art. 24, §§ 11-501(p), 11-504(l)(4) and (5), and, as they related to Cecil County, §§ 11-511, 11-512, and 11-503(a).

In subsection (a)(1) of this section, the former reference to a resolution or ordinance “enacted according to its usual procedure” is deleted as implicit.

In subsection (a)(2)(ii) of this section, the reference to “separate” resolution or ordinance is added for clarity.

In subsection (a)(2)(v) of this section, the reference to a resolution or ordinance “enacted in accordance with this section” is substituted for the former reference to a resolution or ordinance “applicable to domestic animals” for clarity and consistency.

In subsection (e) of this section, the former reference to disturbing the “quiet” of a neighborhood is deleted as included in the reference to disturbing the “peace” of a neighborhood.

In subsection (e)(1) and (4)(i)1 and (ii) of this section, the former references to a neighborhood “in an inhabited area” are deleted as implicit.

In subsection (e)(1) and (4)(i)2 and (ii) of this section, the references to an “individual” are substituted for the former references to “a person” to reflect that only an individual could be bitten by a dog.

In subsection (e)(2) of this section, the former reference to “public” peace is deleted as surplusage.

In subsection (e)(3) of this section, the reference to “[a] person who violates” certain provisions is substituted for the former reference to “[a]ny owner failing to comply with” certain provisions for clarity and consistency with other similar provisions of the Code.

In subsection (e)(4)(i) of this section, the reference to persons “alleging” certain information is added for consistency and clarity.

In subsection (e)(4)(ii) of this section, the reference to the authority of the “District Court” to require an owner to take certain actions is added for clarity.

Also in subsection (e)(4)(ii) of this section, the authority of the court to take certain actions “[a]fter a finding” is substituted for the former authority of the court to take certain actions “[u]pon proof” for clarity.

Also in subsection (e)(4)(ii) of this section, the former reference to the “offending” animal is deleted as implicit.

In subsection (e)(4)(iii) of this section, the reference to removing an animal “in accordance with subparagraph (ii) of this paragraph” is substituted for the former reference to removing an animal “as aforesaid” for clarity.

Also in subsection (e)(4)(iii) of this section, the former reference to an owner or keeper who “refuses or” fails to comply is deleted as redundant.

Also in subsection (e)(4)(iii) of this section, the former reference to “any duly empowered” agent is deleted as surplusage.

Also in subsection (e)(4)(iii) of this section, the former reference to seizing an animal “on behalf” of the county is deleted as implicit.

Also in subsection (e)(4)(iii) of this section, the former reference to an animal “wherever it may be found” is deleted as implicit.

The Local Government Article Review Committee notes, for consideration by the General Assembly, that there is a potential constitutional problem in subsection (e) of this section as it relates to the District Court. The Constitution requires that the jurisdiction of the District Court be uniform throughout the State. (Art. IV, § 41A of the Maryland Constitution). As this provision would be applicable to Cecil County only (and an identical provision revised in § 13-123 of this subtitle would be applicable only in Harford County), there is an issue as to whether this provision is constitutional. The Attorney General's Office has suggested that one way to achieve the intent of this provision in a constitutional manner would be to amend § 4-401 of the Courts Article to specifically grant the District Court (statewide) jurisdiction over the enforcement of local animal control laws. Each county could then adopt procedures such as those in Cecil and Harford counties relating to the authority of the District Court.

Defined terms: “Governing body” § 1-101

“Person” § 1-101

“Tax collector” § 1-101

§ 13-121. Frederick County

Comprehensive system for regulation
(a)(1) The governing body of Frederick County, by ordinance, may provide for a comprehensive system for the regulation of domestic animals and wild animals kept in captivity.

(2) The ordinance may provide for:

(i) the licensing and control of domestic animals and wild animals kept in captivity;

(ii) seizing and disposing of unlicensed or dangerous dogs;

(iii) the regulation of persons who own or keep any vicious animal or an animal that disturbs the peace of a neighborhood; and

(iv) reasonable penalties for a violation of an ordinance not exceeding imprisonment for 30 days or a fine of $500 or both.

(3) The governing body:

(i) may regulate animals that are hybrids of domestic and wild animals; but

(ii) may not regulate or control wild animals that are not owned or kept by individuals.

Dog licenses and dogs at large

(b)(1) The governing body of Frederick County may provide for:

(i) issuing dog licenses;

(ii) keeping records of all sales of licenses;

(iii) designating persons authorized to sell licenses; and

(iv) seizing and disposing of any dogs found running at large in the county.

(2) Before the governing body passes an ordinance in accordance with this subsection, the proposed ordinance shall be advertised in a newspaper of general circulation in the county once each week for 4 successive weeks, to provide any person an opportunity to be heard.

(3) The ordinance shall include standards and operate uniformly.

(4) Subject to paragraph (5) of this subsection, the governing body may delegate, by written contract, the enforcement of the ordinance.

(5)(i) The governing body shall reserve the right to cancel a written contract executed in accordance with paragraph (4) of this subsection.

(ii) A cancellation under this paragraph:

1. may be without notice or recourse, if the cancellation is for cause; or

2. requires notice at least 30 days before cancellation, if the cancellation is without cause.

Regulation of cats
(c) The powers granted to the governing body of Frederick County to regulate dogs are also granted for the regulation of cats.

Dog and kennel licenses
(d)(1) In Frederick County, on or before July 1 of each year, a person owning or keeping a dog shall apply to the county tax collector for a license for the dog if the dog is at least 6 months old.

(2) At the time of application, the applicant shall pay the fee for a dog or kennel license set by the county.

(3) Except as provided in § 13-108 of this subtitle, the licenses and fees required under this section are the only licenses and fees required for owning or keeping a dog.

(4) The county shall prepare and supply the form for a license issued under this subsection.

(5) A dog license shall contain the date of issuance, a serial number, and a description of the dog licensed.

(6) A license expires on July 1 of the year after issuance.

Dog tags
(e)(1) In Frederick County, the county tax collector shall issue a tag with each dog license to a person owning or keeping a dog when the person pays the license fee for the dog.

(2) The county shall prepare and supply tags to the county tax collector each year.

(3) The tags shall be:

(i) composed of metal;

(ii) imprinted with a serial number corresponding to the number on the license issued to the owner under subsection (d) of this section;

(iii) imprinted with the calendar year for which the tag is issued;

(iv) 1 inch or less in length; and

(v) equipped with a substantial metal fastener.

(4) The county shall change the general shape of the tags each year.

(5) Tags supplied to owners of kennels shall contain the word “kennel”.

(6) The person owning or keeping a dog shall attach the tag to a substantial collar and keep the collar and tag on the dog for which the license was issued at all times, except when the dog is:

(i) confined in a kennel; or

(ii) hunting under the charge of an attendant.

(7) The county tax collector shall replace a lost tag on:

(i) application by the person to whom the original license was issued;

(ii) the production of the license; and

(iii) payment of a fee of 25 cents.

Animal shelters
(f)(1) Frederick County may contract with an animal welfare society, a humane society, or any other qualified person to:

(i) establish an animal shelter; and

(ii) seize, dispose of, and euthanize stray, injured, or sick dogs.

(2) Notwithstanding § 13-105(d) of this subtitle, the county may use proceeds from dog license fees to:

(i) establish an animal shelter; and

(ii) collect and euthanize stray, injured, or sick dogs.

Dogs in heat
(g)(1) In Frederick County, the owner or custodian of a female dog that is in heat:

(i) may not knowingly allow the dog to run at large; and

(ii) shall confine the dog.

(2) A person who violates this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine not exceeding $25.

Credits
Added by Acts 2013, c. 119, § 2, eff. Oct. 1, 2013. Amended by Acts 2014, c. 645, § 1, eff. Dec. 1, 2014.

Editors' Notes

LEGISLATIVE NOTES
Revisor's Note (Acts 2013, c. 119):

This section is new language derived without substantive change from former Art. 24, §§ 11-501(k), 11-504(e)(2), and, as they related to Frederick County, §§ 11-511, 11-512, 11-501(a), 11-503(a), and 11-504(e)(1).

Defined terms: “Person” § 1-101

“Tax collector” § 1-101

 

MD CODE, Art. 24, § 11-511 Repealed by Acts 2013, c. 119, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 2013

Former Text


(a) This section only applies to Carroll County, Cecil County, and Frederick County.

(b) In addition to and not in substitution for any powers granted under this article, the county commissioners, by ordinance, may provide for a comprehensive system for the regulation of domestic animals, including dogs, and wild animals held in captivity, within the county, including licensing and control.

(c) These regulations may include:

(1) Provisions for the impoundment and disposal of unlicensed or dangerous dogs;

(2) Provisions for the regulation of persons who own or keep any animal which disturbs the peace and quiet of a neighborhood, or which is vicious; and

(3) Reasonable penalties for violations of any of the provisions of the regulations, not to exceed imprisonment in the county jail for 30 days or a fine of $500, or both.

(d) The county commissioners:

(1) May regulate animals that are hybrids of domestic or wild animals; but

(2) May not regulate or control wild animals that are not owned or kept by individuals.

Amended by Acts 2010, c. 601, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 2010.

 

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