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Maryland

West's Annotated Code of Maryland. Criminal Law. Title 10. Crimes Against Public Health, Conduct, and Sensibilities. Subtitle 6. Crimes Relating to Animals. 10-619. Dangerous dog.

Statute Details
Printable Version
Citation: MD CRIM LAW 10-619

Citation: MD Code, Criminal Law, 10-619


Last Checked by Web Center Staff: 01/2014

Summary:   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.


Statute in Full:

Definitions

(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.

Exception

(b) This section does not apply to a dog owned by and working for a governmental or law enforcement unit.

Determination of potentially dangerous dog

(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.

Prohibited

(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.

Required notice

(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.

Penalty

(f) A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine not exceeding $2,500.

CREDIT(S)

Added by Acts 2002, c. 26, § 2, eff. Oct. 1, 2002.

 



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