Maryland Statutes

Statute by categorysort descending Citation Summary
Maryland General Laws Supplement 1890-1898: Cruelty to Animals 1890 Md. Laws 142,198,340

The Maryland General Laws supplement covers the additions to the Cruelty of Animals statutes for Maryland from 1890-1898.  The amendments cover court procedure  to implementation of specific laws for certain animals.

MD - Animal Shelters - Subtitle 17. Animal Shelters MD Code, Agriculture, § 2-1701 - 1707 This chapter effective October 1, 2016 states that the intent is to enhance animal shelter services by promoting humane animal sheltering policies and strengthening community safety. Before January 1, 2017, an animal shelter shall establish a written veterinary care protocol for dogs and cats that is consistent with guidelines set forth in the most recent Association of Shelter Veterinarians' Guidelines for Standards of Care in Animal Shelters. That same date, an animal shelter must post on the animal shelter's Web site or in a conspicuous location within the animal shelter's facility a written protocol for reclaiming animals from the animal shelter that includes the minimum holding period for stray animals, the hours of operation, the fees for reclaiming an animal, and the documentation/identification required for reclaiming. Violation of this subtitle results in a civil penalty of $500.
MD - Assistance Animal - Assistance Animal/Guide Dog Laws MD Code, Local Government, § 13-104; MD Code, Human Services, § 7-701 - 709; MD Code, Transportation, § 21-511

The following statutes comprise Maryland's relevant assistance animal/guide dog laws.

MD - Bite - Maryland Dangerous Dog Laws MD Code, Criminal Law, § 10-619

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.

MD - Cat - Title 13. Emblems; Commemorative Days; Manual. MD Code, State Government, § 13-317 - Repealed by Acts 2014, c. 94, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 2014

(Repealed). The calico cat is the Maryland state cat.

MD - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes MD Code, Criminal Law, § 10-601 - 623; MD Code, Criminal Law, § 3-322

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 MD Code, Health-General, § 18-217 - 222

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 - Dogs - Consolidated Dog Laws MD Code, Local Government, § 13-101 - 134; MD Code, Transportation, § 21-1004.1; MD Code, Natural Resources, § 10-413, 416, 701, 703, and 807; MD Code, Public Safety, § 2-313; MD Code, Health - General, § 18-312 - 321; MD Code, General Provisions, § 7-304

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. MD Code, Family Law, § 4-501, 504.1

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. MD Code, Criminal Law, § 6-208

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 MD Code, Natural Resources, § 10-2A-01 - 09

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. MD Code, Agriculture §§ 3-901 - 903

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. MD Code, Criminal Law, § 10-621

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 Md. Code Ann., Health-Gen. § 21-304.2 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.
MD - Fur - Title 10. Wildlife. MD Code, Natural Resources, § 10-408.1

This Maryland law restricts some forms of trapping. Specifically, it provides that a person, while trapping or attempting to trap animals, may not place, set, maintain, or operate any snares, body-gripping, or leghold traps within 150 yards of a permanent human residence. However, the restriction does not apply to body-gripping traps with a jaw spread of less than 6 inches that are placed, maintained, and operated completely submerged in water or snare-type traps used to catch rats or mice.

MD - Habitat - Subtitle 7. State Chesapeake Bay and Endangered Species Fund MD Code, Natural Resources, § 1-705

Maryland law specifically allocates funds for the habitat protection, conservation, and propagation of endangered and threatened species. This fund has a provision that designates this fund for the monitoring, surveying, and protection of bald eagle nest sites in addition to other wildlife.

MD - Humane Slaughter - Maryland Wholesome Meat Act MD Code, Agriculture, § 4-101 - 131

This section comprises Maryland's "Wholesome Meat Act."  Included are laws related to licensing of slaughtering establishments, labeling of meat, and the state's humane slaughter provisions.  The humane slaughter provisions state that it is the policy of the State to prevent inhumane methods of livestock slaughter at an official establishment.  Humane methods include those by which livestock are rendered insensible to pain, by a single blow or gunshot, or by an electrical, chemical, or other rapid and effective means, before being shackled, hoisted, thrown, cast, or cut.  Ritual slaughter defined by statute is also considered humane if done in compliance with the act.  Use of a manually operated hammer, sledge, or poleax during a slaughtering operation is considered inhumane.  Note that "livestock" here explicitly excludes poultry or other fowl.  A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine not exceeding $100 for each violation.

MD - Hunting - Subtitle 9. Captive Wildlife. MD Code, Natural Resources, § 10-901 - 911

This Maryland statute states that it is in the state's public interest to preserve native species by strictly regulating the possession, importation, exportation, breeding, raising, protection, rehabilitation, hunting, killing, trapping, capture, purchase, or sale of certain wildlife which pose a possibility of harm to native wildlife.

MD - Hunting - Title 10. Wildlife. MD Code, Natural Resources, § 10-422

This law reflects Maryland's hunter harassment provision. While on private land that is owned by another person or in a hunting area on land managed by the Department, a person may not intentionally interfere with the lawful taking of wildlife or harass, drive, or disturb any game animal intentionally for the purpose of disrupting a lawful hunt. A Natural Resources officer or other police officer who has probable cause to believe that a person has violated the section may order the person to leave the area or arrest that person if he or she refuses to leave.

MD - Hunting, Internet - § 10-426. Hunting with guns or devices via Internet connection prohibited MD Code, Natural Resources, § 10-426

This statute prohibits hunting via the Internet with the state of Maryland. Violation of the statute could result in a misdemeanor conviction, a fine not exceeding $10,000, imprisonment, and hunting license revocation.

MD - Licenses - Article 24. Political Subdivisions--Miscellaneous Provisions. MD Code, Local Government, § 13-115 This law, enacted in 2013, replaces a former section that dealt with the running at large of dogs. The new section concerns Calvert County and establishes guidelines for the issuance of dog and kennel licenses and dog tags. The "Animal Matters Hearing Board" was also created under this law. The Board's duty is to "resolve disputes and controversies arising under animal control ordinances adopted under subsection (c) of this section." The law also makes a dog running at large in Calvert County without a properly attached licensed a "nuisance," subject to seizure, detention, and euthanasia. A holding period for seized dogs (72 hours) is also established under the new law.
MD - Liens - § 16-401. Lien for care or custody Md. Code Ann., Com. Law § 16-401

Under Maryland law, any person who owns or operates a livery stable or other establishment who gives care or custody to livestock will have a lien on the livestock for any reasonable charge relating to: board and custody, training, veterinarian and blacksmith service, and other maintenance expenses. If the lien is not paid within 30 days after payment is due, the owner of the livery stable is entitled to sell the livestock.

MD - Ordinances - Article 24. Political Subdivisions--Miscellaneous Provisions. MD Code, Local Government, § 13-117; MD Code, Local Government, § 13-118; MD Code, Local Government, § 13-121 These Maryland statutory sections apply to Carroll, Cecil, and Frederick Counties.  The laws provide that 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.  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.
MD - Ordinances - § 236A. Washington County; animal control ordinance MD Code, Local Government, § 13-122; MD Code, Local Government, § 13-132 These two laws enacted in 2013 concern animal control laws for Garret and Washington counties.
MD - Pet Injuries, Damages - § 11-110. Damages for injuries or death caused to pets MD Code, Courts and Judicial Proceedings, § 11-110

This Maryland statute provides that the measure of damages for tortious injury or death to a pet is the market value of the pet before the injury, or the cost of veterinary care that does not exceed $7,500.

MD - Pet Sales - Pet Purchaser Protection MD Code, Business Regulation, § 19–701 to 19–707 This statute regulates retail pet stores that sell dogs. According to this statute, a purchaser is allowed remedies if, within two weeks after the purchase of a dog from a pet store, a veterinarian certifies that a dog suffers from or has died from a disease or illness that existed at the time of purchase. The purchaser may also be entitled to remedies if, within three months after the purchase of a dog from a pet store, a veterinarian certifies that the dog possesses or has died from a congenital or hereditary disease the adversely affects the dog's health, requires hospitalization or a non-elective surgical procedure. This statute also discusses a retail pet store's obligations to the purchaser, the limitations to obtaining these remedies, and provides the seller with an opportunity to contest the consumer's demand for remedies.
MD - Pet Trust - §Title 14. Trusts. MD Code, Estates and Trusts, § 14.5-407 Maryland enacted its original "pet trust" law in 2009. The law was then repealed and reenacted in 2015 under a different section. Under the law, a trust may be created to provide for the care of an animal alive during the lifetime of the settlor. The trust terminates when the last animal subject to the trust dies. The property of the trust may only be used for the intended purpose of the trust (e.g., taking care of the animal).
MD - Service animal - § 9-957. Maryland Veterans Service Animal Program MD Code, State Government, § 9-957 This 2017 law establishes the Maryland Veterans Service Animal Program. A purpose of the Program is to refer eligible veterans who inquire about participation in the Program to one or more nonprofit training entities. The Department shall select at least one qualified nonprofit training entity to implement a training protocol that will teach each Program participant methodologies, strategies, and techniques for partnering with service dogs or support dogs. This entity will also help select and facilitate training of service or support dogs. The Maryland Veterans Service Animal Program Fund is also established to fund the Program.
MD - Spay/neuter - § 2-1602. Spay/Neuter Fund MD Code, Agriculture, § 2-1602 This Maryland law establishes a spay/neuter fund to finance local governments and animal welfare organizations for programs to facilitate the spay and neutering of dogs and cats in the state. In addition, as of 2014, each county and organization that receives funding shall quarterly report: (1) the number of cats and dogs taken in; (2) the number of cats and dogs disposed of, broken down by method of disposal, including euthanasia; and (3) any other relevant data the Department requires.
MD - Swap Meets - § 19-105. Sales or other transfers of dogs or cats at public places MD Code, Business Regulation, § 19-105 This 2016 law states that a person may not offer for sale, sell, offer to transfer, transfer, barter, trade, or auction a dog or cat at any public place, including a street, parking lot, carnival, swap meet, or fair, among others. The act does not apply to an animal welfare organization or animal control unit displaying dogs or cats for adoption or a prearranged sale of a dog by a dog breeder if not a recurring event. Violation results in a $500 civil penalty for a first violation, a $1,000 civil penalty for a second violation, and a civil penalty for a $1,500 for a third or subsequent violation.
MD - Vehicle - § 20-106. Duty of driver upon striking domestic animal with vehicle MD Code, Transportation, § 20-106 Under this Maryland statute, if a motor vehicle strikes and injures a domestic animal, the driver of the motor vehicle immediately shall notify the appropriate State or local police of the accident. Once notified, the police shall notify the local organization or governmental agency designated by the appropriate local government to give the injured animals medical care.
MD - Vehicles, unattended animals - § 21-1101. Unattended vehicle requirements MD Code, Transportation, § 21-1101 This Maryland law relates to unattended vehicles (i.e., a person must not leave a running motor vehicle unattended). When a cat or dog is left in the unattended vehicle of an on-duty law enforcement officer or an animal control officer, the provisions of that subsection do not apply to the law enforcement officer or the animal control officer.
MD - Veterinary - State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners. MD Code, Agriculture, § 2-301 - 316

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.