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Animal Laws


The Laws pertaining to animals can be found in the Criminal Law Section, Title 10. Crimes Against Public Health, Conduct, and Sensibilities, Under Subtitle 6. Crimes Relating to Animals Sections 10-601 through 10-623.
Below is a summary of some of the laws pertaining to Animals in Anne Arundel County.  For an all inclusive listing of the Anne Arundel County Code or MD State Code please use the links on the right.

 Article 12, Title 4, Subtitle 4-402 Public Safety Threat

An animal poses a public safety threat if the animal:

  • Inflicts severe injury to a person
  • Bites a person
  • Kills or inflicts severe injury to a domestic animal

Based on MD State Code 10-619 Dangerous dog.

When not on its owner's real property, has killed or inflicted severe  injury on a domestic animal

Attacks a person without provocation, chases or approaches a person in an attitude of attack.

  • Engages in encouraged dog fighting activity or shows evidence of having been engaged in encouraged dog fighting activity

Article 12, Title 4, Subtitle 6-601 Rabies Vaccination

Anyone who owns or harbors a cat or dog 4 months of age or older must have the animal vaccinated for rabies and be able to provide proof of vaccination.

Article 12, Title 4, Subtitle 7-702 Licensing

The owner of any dog or cat 6 months of age or older must obtain a license for the animal.

Article 12, Title 4, Subtitle 8-801 Dog Outdoors

For each dog confined or tied outdoors, an owner shall provide:

  • A shelter to protect the dog from the wind, snow, rain, cold, and sunlight
  • Food daily that is adequate to maintain a healthy weight of the animal 
  • Water at all times 

Article 12, Title 4, Subtitle 9-903 Public Nuisance

The owner of an animal may not permit the animal to be a public nuisance or to cause a public nuisance condition. Public nuisance includes the following acts by an animal:

  • Molesting pedestrians
  • Chasing vehicles
  • Damaging property of someone other than the owner of the animal

Article 12, Title 4, Subtitle 9-904 Animal Disturbance Prohibited

It is unlawful for a person who owns, keeps, or has possession of an animal to permit the animal to disturb the quiet of a person or neighborhood.

Article 12, Title 4, Subtitle 9-905 Running at Large

"At-Large" means off the property of an animal's owner and not leashed and under the control of a responsible person.

Article 12, Title 4, Subtitle 9-909 Removal of Animal Excreta

The owner of any animal shall be responsible for the removal of any excreta deposited by his or her animal on public walks, recreation areas, or private property other than his own.

Article 12, Title 4, Subtitle 10-1001 Penalty

Anyone violating Title 4, Subtitle s of Article 12 may be subject to a fine not less than $50.00 and up to $500.00.

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