How To Report Animal Abuse Or Neglect

If you witness an animal fight in progress, please call the Police Department at 911.

Report any act of cruelty* or neglect* you witness to Baltimore City Animal Control, by dialing 311.

*Neglect/acts of cruelty include, but are not limited to, the following: collars so tight that it causes a neck wound; the chain is too short or heavy for the animal to move around unencumbered, open wounds, signs of multiple healed wounds; untreated skin conditions that have caused loss of hair, extreme thinness or emaciation (bones may be visible); an owner striking or otherwise physically abusing an animal; animal tied up alone outside for long periods of time without adequate food or water; animal outside in inclement weather without shelter; is the area littered with feces and garbage; animals caged with other animals in crowded areas and have no room to move around.

For your reference, a portion of the relevant animal Abuse Laws are located below.

Annotated Code Of Maryland 
Criminal Law Article
Subtitle 6. Crimes Relating To Animals

§ 10-601. Definitions.

(a) In general.- In this subtitle the following words have the meanings indicated.

(b) Animal.- "Animal" means a living creature except a human being.

(c) Cruelty.-

  1. "Cruelty" means the unnecessary or unjustifiable physical pain or suffering caused or allowed by an act, omission, or neglect.
  2.  "Cruelty" includes torture and torment.


§ 10-602. Legislative intent.
It is the intent of the General Assembly that each animal in the State be protected from intentional cruelty, including animals that are:

  1. privately owned;
  2. strays;
  3. domesticated;
  4. feral;
  5. farm animals;
  6. corporately or institutionally owned; or
  7. used in privately, locally, State, or federally funded scientific or medical activities.

 

§ 10-604. Abuse or neglect of animal.

(a) Prohibited.- A person may not:

  1. overdrive or overload an animal;
  2. deprive an animal of necessary sustenance;
  3. inflict unnecessary suffering or pain on an animal;
     
  4. cause, procure, or authorize an act prohibited under item (1), (2), or (3) of this subsection; or
  5. if the person has charge or custody of an animal, as owner or otherwise, unnecessarily fail to provide the animal with nutritious food in sufficient quantity, necessary veterinary care, proper drink, air, space, shelter, or protection from the weather.

(b) Penalty.-

  1. A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 90 days or a fine not exceeding $1,000 or both.
  2. As a condition of sentencing, the court may order a defendant convicted of violating this section to participate in and pay for psychological counseling.

 

§ 10-605. Attending dogfights or cockfights.

(a) Dogfighting.- A person may not knowingly attend a deliberately conducted dogfight as a spectator. 
(b) Cockfighting.- A person may not knowingly attend as a spectator a deliberately conducted event that uses a fowl, cock, or other bird to fight with another fowl, cock, or other bird.

(c) Penalty.-

  1. A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 1 year or a fine not exceeding $2,500 or both.
  2. As a condition of sentencing, the court may order a defendant convicted of violating this section to participate in and pay for psychological counseling.


§ 10-606. Aggravated cruelty to animals - In general.

(a) Prohibited.- A person may not:

  1.  intentionally mutilate, torture, cruelly beat, or cruelly kill an animal;
  2. cause, procure, or authorize an act prohibited under item (1) of this subsection; or
  3. except in the case of self-defense, intentionally inflict bodily harm, permanent disability, or death on an animal owned or used by a law enforcement unit.

(b) Penalty.-

  1.  A person who violates this section is guilty of the felony of aggravated cruelty to animals and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 3 years or a fine not exceeding $5,000 or both.
  2. As a condition of sentencing, the court may order a defendant convicted of violating this section to participate in and pay for psychological counseling.


§ 10-607. Aggravated cruelty to animals - Certain activities related to dogfights prohibited.

(a) Prohibited activities.- A person may not:

  1. use or allow a dog to be used in a dogfight;
  2. arrange or conduct a dogfight;
  3. possess, own, sell, transport, or train a dog with the intent to use the dog in a dogfight; or
  4. knowingly allow premises under the person's ownership, charge, or control to be used to conduct a dogfight.

(b) Penalty.-

  1.  A person who violates this section is guilty of the felony of aggravated cruelty to animals and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 3 years or a fine not exceeding $5,000 or both.
  2. As a condition of sentencing, the court may order a defendant convicted of violating this section to participate in and pay for psychological counseling.

 

§ 10-612. Abandoning domestic animal.

(a) Prohibited.- A person who owns, possesses, or has custody of a domestic animal may not drop or leave the animal on a road, in a public place, or on private property with the intent to abandon the animal.

(b) Penalty.- A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine not exceeding $100.

 

§ 10-618. Poisoning dog.

(a) Prohibited.- A person may not willfully and maliciously give poison or ground glass to a dog, or expose poison or ground glass, with the intent that a dog ingest it.

(b) Penalty.- A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine not exceeding $100 for each violation.

§ 10-623. Leaving dogs outside and unattended by use of restraints.

(a) Definitions.-

  1. In this section the following words have the meanings indicated.
  2. "Collar" means a device constructed of nylon, leather, or similar material specifically designed to be used around the neck of a dog.
  3. "Restraint" means a chain, rope, tether, leash, cable, or other device that attaches a dog to a stationary object or trolley system.

(b) Prohibited.- A person may not leave a dog outside and unattended by use of a restraint:

  1.  that unreasonably limits the movement of the dog;
  2. that uses a collar that: 
    (i) is made primarily of metal; or 
    (ii) is not at least as large as the circumference of the dog's neck plus 1 inch;
  3.  that restricts the access of the dog to suitable and sufficient clean water or appropriate shelter;
  4.  in unsafe or unsanitary conditions; or
  5. that causes injury to the dog.

(c) Penalties.- A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 90 days or a fine not exceeding $1,000 or both. 

Follow us