Maine Statutes

Statute by categorysort descending Citation Summary
Maine Laws: Chapter 182 'Lands reserved for public uses.' 1883 Me. Laws 182

The act concerns the allocation of land for the public use within a township.

Maine: An Act against Sodomy and Bestiality. 1821 Me. Laws 5.

An Act concerning the punishment for Sodomy and Bestiality for Maine in 1821.

ME - Assistance Animal - Assistance Animal/Guide Dog Laws 17 M. R. S. A. § 1311 - 1316; 26 M. R. S. A. § 1420-A - 1420C; 7 M. R. S. A. § 3961-A; 5 M. R. S. A. § 4551 - 4555, 4582-A, 4592; 14 M. R. S. A. § 6030-G; 14 M. R. S. A. § 164-B

The following statutes comprise the state's relevant assistance animal and guide dog laws.

ME - Cat - Consolidated Cat Laws 7 M. R. S. A. § 3916 - 3919C; 1 M. R. S. A. § 217

These statutes comprise Maine's cat laws.  Among the provisions include rabies vaccination requirements, stray cat procedures, and the designation of the "state cat."

ME - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes 7 M. R. S. A. § 3971 - 4041; 17 M. R. S. A. § 1011 - 1046

These Maine statutes comprise the state's anti-cruelty and animal fighting provisions.  The first section of laws occurs under Title 7, Agriculture and Animals.  Under these laws, a person commits animal cruelty if he or she kills the animal of another person; kills an animal by an inhumane method; injures, overworks, tortures, torments, abandons or cruelly beats or intentionally mutilates an animal; gives drugs to an animal with an intent to harm the animal; gives poison or alcohol to an animal; or exposes a poison with intent that it be taken by an animal.  The neglect component of the statute provides that a person commits cruelty if he or she deprives an animal that the person owns or possesses of necessary sustenance, necessary medical attention, proper shelter, protection from the weather or humanely clean conditions.  These acts are then cross-referenced under the criminal provisions of Title 17, which describes the penalties under § 1031.  Animal fighting is a class D crime under this section.

ME - Cruelty, reporting - § 3477. Persons mandated to report suspected abuse, neglect or exploitation 22 M.R.S.A. § 3477

This Maine statute lists the mandated reporters in the state who must immediately report known or suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation, of an incapacitated or dependent adult. The statute also allows permissive reporting of animal cruelty, abuse, or neglect and allows animal control officers to make reports when necessary.

ME - Disaster - Chapter 307. State of Maine Animal Response Team. 7 M.R.S.A. § 1901 - 1902

The Commissioner of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources is directed to develop a State of Maine Animal Response Team to support a network that protects human and animal health through preparation, response and recovery for animal emergencies. The Team is to facilitate a response to a natural or man-made disaster and minimize the economic and environmental impacts of animal emergencies. The Treasurer of State is mandated to establish the State of Maine Animal Response Team Fund to pay costs incurred by the Team.

ME - Dog, Dangerous - Maine Dangerous Dog Laws 7 M. R. S. A. § 3951 - 3953; 7 M. R. S. A. § 3961 - 3964; 7 M. R. S. A. § 3907

This Maine statutory sections outlines the state's dangerous dog laws.  It first provides that any person may lawfully kill a dog if necessary to protect that person, another person or a domesticated animal during the course of a sudden, unprovoked assault.  A person who owns or keeps a dangerous dog commits a civil violation for which the court shall adjudge a fine of not less than $250 and not more than $1,000.  The dog may be ordered to be muzzled, or euthanized if it has killed, maimed or inflicted serious bodily injury upon a person or has a history of a prior assault.  Notably, if a dog whose owner refuses or neglects to comply with the order wounds any person by a sudden assault or wounds or kills any domestic animal, the owner shall pay the person injured treble damages and costs to be recovered by a civil action.  The statute sets out the specific procedure for declaring a dog dangerous and the statutory definition of dangerous is also provided by reference to a companion statute.

ME - Dogs - Consolidated Dog Laws 7 M.R.S.A.§ 3901 - 4163; 12 M.R.S.A. § 11111; 12 M.R.S.A. § 11228; 12 M.R.S.A. § 11302; 12 M.R.S.A. § 11951; 12 M.R.S.A. § 12051 - 12055; 12 M.R.S.A. § 12404; § 12707; 17-A M.R.S.A. § 752-B; 17 M.R.S.A. § 1044;

These Maine statutes comprise the state's dog laws.  Among the provisions include licensing requirements, laws that determine the disposition of loose or dangerous dogs, and a chapter on the sale of dogs.

ME - Domestic Violence- Title 19-A. Domestic Relations. 19-A M.R.S.A. §§ 4006, 4007

This Maine law concerning personal protection orders in cases of abuse was amended in March of 2006 to include companion animals in protection orders.  The new language specifies that a court may enter an order directing the care, custody or control of any animal owned, possessed, leased, kept or held by either party or a minor child residing in the household. In 2013, the statute was amended to allow the court to enter an order directing the defendant to refrain from injuring or threatening to injure any animal owned, possessed, leased, kept or held by either party or a minor child residing in the household.

ME - Endangered Species - Chapter 925. Fish and Wildlife Management and Research. 12 M.R.S.A. § 12808 This Maine law concerns the improper taking or interference with endangered and threatened species. Taking is defined as the intentional or negligent act or omission that results in the death of an endangered or threatened species, such as hunting, possession, selling, or deliberately feeding subject species. A warning must be issued for the first violation and the second violation constitutes a Class E crime.
ME - Endangered Species - Subchapter 3. Endangered Species; Management and Research. 12 M. R. S. A. § 12801 - 12810

These Maine statutes set forth the legislative intent to protect vulnerable species and list the relevant species.  By statute, a person is guilty of "misuse of an endangered or threatened species" if he or she imports into the State, hunts, takes or possesses, or deliberately baits, feeds, or harasses a listed species.  A warning is issued for the first infraction while the second infraction constitutes a Class E crime. 

ME - Equine Liability - Chapter 743. Equine Activities 7 M. R. S. A. § 4101 - 4104-A

This act stipulates that an equine sponsor, equine professional, or any other person engaged in an equine activity, is immune from liability for the death or injury of a participant, as well as property damage, which resulted from the inherent risks of equine activities.   However, there are exceptions to this rule:   A person will be held liable for injuries of an equine activity participant if he or she displays a willful and wanton or intentional disregard for the safety of the participant and if he or she fails to make reasonable and prudent efforts in ensuring the safety of the participant.   In addition, a person will also be held liable for the injury of an equine activity participant if he or she is injured on the land or at a facility due to a dangerous latent condition of which was known to the equine sponsor, professional or other person.

ME - Exotic Pets - Chapter 723. Facility Licenses. 7 M. R. S. A. § 3931-B (§ 3931-B. Repealed. Laws 2011, c. 100, § 13, eff. May 19, 2011)

REPEALED: This Maine statute outlines the requirements that apply to wolf hybrid kennels. A person who operates a wolf hybrid kennel must register with the department. The offspring of a wolf hybrid must be permanently identified prior to transferring ownership or care of the animal. Failure to comply with the provisions of this section results in a civil violation with a forfeiture not to exceed $1,000. (For other exotic pet laws in Maine, see Chapter 730-A. Breeding, Sale and Transportation of Small Mammals).

ME - Exotic Pets - Subchapter 15. Wildlife Importation and Possession, Permits and Requirements, 12 M. R. S. A. § 12151 - 12161

These Maine statutes prohibit keeping wildlife in captivity, importing, breeding or releasing wildlife into the wild, with exceptions for a person holding a license. Taking reptiles, amphibians, and certain nonmarine invertebrates from the wild is also prohibited without a license. Provisions for the disposition of wolf hybrids are included. Penalties for violations incur fines that range from $100 to $500. Three or more such violations are considered to be a Class E criminal offense.

ME - Ferret - Chapter 730-A. Breeding, Sale and Transportation of Small Mammals 7 M. R. S. A. § 3970-A to 3970-B

This chapter concerns the sale and importation of juvenile ferrets.

ME - Fish and Wildlife Management Research - Chapter 925. Fish and Wildlife Management and Research 12 M. R. S. A. § 12701 to 12708

The following statutes give the Maine Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife the authority to make regulations for hunting, fishing, trapping or other public use of any wildlife management area or wildlife sanctuary. These statutes also provide civil and criminal penalties for violating the rules regulating state-owned wildlife management areas, state game farms, and scientific permits, while also detailing prohibited activity in wildlife sanctuaries.  Additionally, these statutes also reveal the wildlife management areas and wildlife sanctuaries that are under the commissioner’s authority.

ME - Food Service - § 3966. Animals in food stores. 17 M.R.S.A. § 3966

In Maine, it is unlawful for any persons to bring an animal into a store where food is sold for human consumption or into a restaurant where food is prepared and served. This statute does not apply to a person who requires a service animal.

ME - Horsemeat - § 2163. Sale of horsemeat 22 M.R.S.A. § 2163

This Maine statute provides that no person shall transport, receive for transportation, sell or offer for sale or distribution any equine meat or food products thereof unless said equine meat is plainly and conspicuously labeled, marked, branded and tagged “horsemeat” or “horsemeat products” unless such equine meat is conspicuously branded and labeled and a notice containing the words “horsemeat and horsemeat products sold here” is conspicuously displayed in said place of business. Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate any of the provisions of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than $100 for the first offense and by a fine of not more than $200 for each subsequent offense, and the District and Superior Courts shall have concurrent jurisdiction of the offense.

ME - Humane Slaughter - Subchapter IV. Slaughter. 22 M. R. S. A. § 2521 to 2521-C

The Maine humane slaughter provisions begin with a statement of policy that a method of slaughtering or handling in connection with slaughtering does not comply with the public policy of the State unless it is humane.  A humane method is defined as one which renders animals insensible to pain by a single blow or gunshot or an electrical, chemical or other means that is rapid and effective before they are shackled, hoisted, thrown, cast or cut.  Additionally, slaughtering and handling in accordance with the ritual requirements of a religious faith that prescribes a method of slaughter whereby the animal suffers loss of consciousness by anemia of the brain is allowed.  The section applies only to "livestock" and does not list a penalty for noncompliance (although the associated regulations may define both).

ME - Hunting - § 11215. Use of motorized vehicle to kill, injure, or molest wild animals or wild birds 12 M. R. S. A. § 11215 This Maine statute states that a person may not intentionally kill, injure or molest a wild animal or wild bird with a Motor vehicle, Motorboat, or Aircraft. A person who violates the statute commits a Class E crime.
ME - Hunting - Title 12. Conservation. 12 M. R. S. A. § 10654

This law reflects Maine's hunter harassment provision. The law splits the conduct into two possible offenses. First, a person may not intentionally or knowingly interfere with the lawful hunting, fishing or trapping of a wild animal, wild bird or fish. Second, a person may not intentionally or knowingly disturb or attempt to disturb a wild animal, wild bird or fish with the intent to interfere with the hunting, fishing or trapping of a wild animal, wild bird or fish. A person who violates either section commits a civil violation for which a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $500 may be adjudged.

ME - Hunting, Internet - § 12101. License to operate commercial shooting area 12 M. R. S. A. § 12101 (note: 12 M.R.S.A. § 12103 Repealed by laws 2017, c. 205, § 12, eff. Nov. 1, 2017)

Subsection 1-C prohibits hunting via the Internet and the operation of Internet hunting services located within the state of Maine. A person who violates this section commits a Class E crime.

ME - Impound -Chapter 719. Uncontrolled Dogs. 7 M. R. S. A. § 3912

This Maine statute provides that an animal control officer shall seize, impound, or restrain a loose dog.  If ownership is unknown, the dog may be delivered to the local animal shelter where it can be treated as a stray.  If ownership is known, the officer must either deliver it to the owner or take it to an animal shelter.

ME - Initiatives - Question 1, An Act To Prohibit the Use of Dogs, Bait or Traps When Hunting Bears Except under Certain Circumstances Question 1 (2014) Question 1 is a citizen initiated referendum that will be appearing on the November 4, 2014 ballot. The referendum seeks to prohibit the use of dogs to hunt or pursue bear, the use of bait to hunt or attract bear, and the setting of a trap to hunt or capture bear. There are certain exceptions for scientific and research purposes and for public safety.
ME - Initiatives - Question 2 (bear hunting) Question 2 (2004) This Maine citizen initiated was defeated in the November 2004 election (only 47% voted "yes"). The question posed to voters asked voters, "Do you want to make it a crime to hunt bears with bait, traps or dogs, except to protect property, public safety or for research?" Per the Maine Bureau of Corporations, Elections, and Commissions summary, the initiated bill was to prohibit the use of bait to hunt or attract bear, the use of a dog to hunt or pursue bear and the use or setting of a trap to hunt or capture bear except under certain circumstances (such as by state or federal employees to kill or capture depredating bears or by commercial timber operators).
ME - Lien, care - § 3352. Pasturage, food and shelter 10 M.R.S.A. § 3352

This Maine law provides that a person who pastures, feeds, or shelters animals by contract or consent of the owner has a lien for the amount due. The lien may be enforced in the same manner as liens on goods in possession.

ME - Lost Property - Chapter 21. Lost Goods and Stray Beasts. 33 M. R. S. A. § 1051 - 1060

This section comprises Maine's Lost Goods and Stray Beasts Act.

ME - Pet Trusts - Chapter 4. Creation, Validity, Modification and Termination of Trust. 18-B M. R. S. A. § 408

This statute represents Maine's pet trust law.  The provides that a trust may be created to provide for the care of an animal alive during the settlor's lifetime. The trust terminates upon the death of the animal or, if the trust was created to provide for the care of more than one animal alive during the settlor's lifetime, upon the death of the last surviving animal.  The comment following the text of the statute clarifies what types of animal-related activities qualify as non-charitable versus charitable trusts.

ME - Veterinary - Title 32. Professions and Occupations. 32 M. R. S. A. § 4851 - 4878

These are the state's veterinary practice laws.  Among the provisions include licensing requirements, laws concerning the state veterinary board, veterinary records laws, and the laws governing disciplinary actions for impaired or incompetent practitioners.