Summary of Selected County
Animal Control Laws
further information, or to report an animal bite or a violation of animal
control laws, call the Animal Services Division at 240-773-5960 or
For after-hours emergencies, call 240-773-5900.
dog is at large if it is outside the owner's premises and not leashed,
unless it is a service dog, is in a dog exercise area designated by the
Maryland National Capital park and Planning Commission, or is
participating in an approved activity.
Any other animal (i.e., cat or livestock animal) is at large if it is
outside the owner’s premises and not leashed or immediately responsive to
verbal or non-verbal direction.
common area of a homeowner’s association, condominium or cooperative is
not the owner’s premises.
Penalty for Violation: $100 for first offense, $500 for each
The pet owner must prevent unwelcome or unsolicited threatening physical
contact or close proximity to a person or a domestic animal that occurs
outside the owner’s property that may cause alarm in a reasonable person,
such as biting, chasing, tracking, inhibiting movement, or jumping.
Penalty for Violation: $500
Public Disposal of Animals
An owner must
not sell trade or give a domestic animal to another person at a place
open to the public, except a business licensed to sell animals under
Penalty for Violation: $500
weather and wind chill can be hard on your pets. Remember to take
care of your pets during winter weather by providing adequate shelter
against the cold. For proper shelter guidelines and information call
Cruelty to Animals
(Montgomery County Code, Sec. 5-201)
person who (1) overdrives, overloads, deprives of necessary sustenance,
tortures, torments, or cruelly beats; or (2) causes, procures, or
authorizes such acts; or (3) having the charge or custody of an animal,
either as owner or otherwise, inflicts unnecessary suffering or pain upon
the animal, or unnecessarily fails to provide the animal with nutritious
feed in sufficient quantity, necessary veterinary care, proper drink,
air, space shelter or protection from the weather; or (4) uses or permits
to be used any bird, fowl, or cock for the purposes of fighting with any
other animal, which is commonly knows as
cockfighting is guilty of cruelty.
Any person who (1) intentionally mutilates or cruelly kills an animal, or
causes, procures, or authorizes the cruel killing or intentional
mutilation of an animal; or (2) uses or permits a dog to be used in or
arranges or conducts a dogfight is guilty of cruelty.
Customary and normal veterinary and agricultural husbandry practices
including but not limited to dehorning, castration, docking tails and
limit feeding, are not covered by the provisions of this section. In the
case of activities in which physical pain may be unavoidably caused to
animals, such as food processing, pest elimination, animal training, and
hunting, cruelty shall mean a failure to employ the most humane method
The Division recommends that all dogs be kept inside as household pets,
but owners who choose to keep their dogs outside must meet certain
standards of care.
Penalty for Violation: $500 fine. Criminal charges may also be
filed, which carry a penalty of up to $1,000 fine, up to 3 Years
in jail, or both.