2017 Maryland Code
Criminal Law
Title 10 - Crimes Against Public Health, Conduct, and Sensibilities
Subtitle 6 - Crimes Relating to Animals
§ 10-619. Dangerous dog

  • (a) Definitions. --
    • (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) Exception. -- This section does not apply to a dog owned by and working for a governmental or law enforcement unit.
  • (c) Determination of potentially dangerous dog. -- 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) Prohibited. -- 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) Required notice. -- 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) Penalty. -- A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine not exceeding $ 2,500.
Disclaimer: These codes may not be the most recent version. Maryland may have more current or accurate information. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site or the information linked to on the state site. Please check official sources.