Maryland Criminal Law Section 10-619

Article - Criminal Law

§ 10-619.

      (a)      (1)      In this section the following words have the meanings indicated.

            (2)      "Dangerous dog" means a dog that:

                  (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.

      (c)      An appropriate unit of a county or municipal corporation may determine that a dog is potentially dangerous if the unit:

            (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.