About Statutes

This page accesses the Code of Maryland (Statutes) and the Maryland Municipal Charters and Resolutions as compiled and maintained by the Department of Legislative Services.

The Code is arranged by and organized into “Articles” (e.g. Transportation Article), which are further subdivided into “titles”, “subtitles”, “sections”, “subsections”, “paragraphs”, subparagraphs”, etc.

Note that the “official” compilation of the laws (Chapters) enacted at each session of the General Assembly is published by the State as the “Laws of Maryland”, commonly referred to as the “Session Laws”. The Session Laws for each session are compiled chronologically by chapter number and serve as the source law from which the statutes accessed here are derived.

While the “Laws of Maryland” (Session Laws) constitute the official laws of the State, this Code and the annotated versions noted below are accepted as “evidence” of the law in all State courts and by all public offices and officials (See § 10-201 of the Courts & Judicial Proceedings Article). However, in the event of a conflict between the Code and the Session Laws, the Session Laws prevail.

Note: Annotated versions of the Code, published by LexisNexis and West, are available in book and online formats. These Annotated Codes include references to case law, related citations, and explanatory notations.

The Municipal Charters are updated each year by incorporating all charter resolutions received by the Department through May 31 of that year. Individual Municipal Resolutions are published to the General Assembly website as they are received by the Department.

Statute Text

Article - Business Regulation
(a)   A retail pet store may offer a dog or cat for sale only if the dog or cat is obtained from:
(1)   an animal welfare organization;
(2)   an animal control unit;
(3)   the original breeder of the dog or cat if the breeder meets the requirements under subsection (b) of this section; or
(4)   a dealer that obtained the dog or cat from the original breeder if the dealer and original breeder meet the requirements under subsection (b) of this section.
(b)   A retail pet store shall ensure that a person under subsection (a)(3) or (4) of this section from which the retail pet store obtains a dog or cat, as of the day the retail pet store receives the dog or cat:
(1)   holds a current license under the Animal Welfare Act from the U.S. Department of Agriculture; and
(2)   has not received from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in accordance with an enforcement action of the laws and regulations under the federal Animal Welfare Act:
(i)   a citation on a final inspection report for a direct or critical violation within the 2–year period before the day the dog or cat is received by the retail pet store;
(ii)   citations on two or more consecutive final inspection reports for one or more repeat noncompliant items within the 2–year period before the day the dog or cat is received by the retail pet store;
(iii)   a citation on both of the two most recent final inspection reports for a no–access violation; or
(iv)   three or more citations on the most recent final inspection report for separate noncompliant items other than no–access violations.