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

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Article - Criminal Law
§10–604.  
(a)   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:
(i)   nutritious food in sufficient quantity;
(ii)   necessary veterinary care;
(iii)   proper drink;
(iv)   proper air;
(v)   proper space;
(vi)   proper shelter; or
(vii)   proper protection from the weather.
(b)    (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.
(3)   As a condition of probation, the court may prohibit a defendant from owning, possessing, or residing with an animal.