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Maryland
Anti-Cruelty Statutes

CODE OF MARYLAND
CODE OF 1957
ARTICLE 27. CRIMES AND PUNISHMENTS.
I CRIMES AND PUNISHMENTS
Cruelty to Animals

§ 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) cause, procure, or authorize an act prohibited under item (1) or item (2) of this subsection; or

  • (4) if the person has charge or custody of an animal, as owner or otherwise:

(i) inflict unnecessary suffering or pain on the animal; or

(ii) 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.


§ 10-606. 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.

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