Maryland does not have a Dog Bite Statute.
Under Maryland's common law, a dog owner is liable for injuries caused by his or her dog when the owner fails to exercise reasonable care, fails to control the animal, or fails to prevent the harm caused by the animal. The owner's knowledge of the dog's propensities is relevant in determining the degree of control a reasonable person would have taken under the circumstances. Even if the owner is unaware of the dog's mischievous propensity, the owner can still be found negligent if he failed to exercise reasonable care in controlling the animal or preventing the harm.
Under Maryland law, a "dangerous dog" is:
This section does not apply to a dog owned by and working for a governmental or law enforcement unit.
A "potentially dangerous dog" is:
Owners of a potentially dangerous dog must be notified of designation and reasons for it.
It is illegal for a dangerous dog owner to leave the dog unattended on the owner's property, unless it is either confined indoors or is securely enclosed outdoors in a locked pen or other structure designed to restrain the dog. It is also illegal to allow a dangerous dog to leave the owner's property unless the dog is securely restrained and muzzled.
A person who violates the statute is guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to a fine of up to $2,500. Counties, such as Hartford, may institute designations for vicious dogs and impose additional penalties for violations.
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