University of Vermont AAHS

Maryland Livestock Laws


5. Enumeration
The following enumerated express powers are granted to and conferred upon any county or counties which hereafter form a charter under the provisions of Article XI-A of the Constitution, that is to say: (L) Livestock To regulate the conditions under which dogs, cows, sheep, pigs, cattle and livestock of any and every kind may be at large, or may pass over the streets, roads, alleys, lanes, bridges, highways and public places. (M) Fish and Game To pass local fish and game laws. (N) Fences To regulate the making and keeping secure of fences and provide for the procedure to enforce the rights of the parties, and a lien for repairs, made by an owner not in default.

Subtitle 6. Stray Domestic Animals.

3-601 Scope of subtitle.
This subtitle does not apply in Caroline County, Dorchester County, Garrett County, Montgomery County, or Prince George's County.

3-602 "Enclosure" defined.
In this subtitle, "enclosure" means a common-law enclosure and not an actual enclosure.


3-603 Impounding; damages.
(a) Impounding of strays authorized. -- The owner or occupant of an enclosure who finds a stray horse, sheep, hog, cow, or other domestic animal trespassing on the enclosure may impound the animal if the owner of the animal is known.

(b) Valuation of damages. -- If the stray animal has caused damage, the individual who impounded the animal may have the damage valued under oath by two disinterested residents of the county.

(c) Notice. -- After the damage is valued, the individual who impounded the animal shall notify the owner of the animal of the impoundment and the amount of the damage.

(d) Sale. -- (1) After giving notice, the individual who impounded the animal may sell the animal at public auction to the highest bidder for cash unless the damage and a reasonable compensation for feeding the animal while impounded are paid or tendered.
(2) The notice shall describe the animal and state the time and place of sale.
(3) This notice shall be sent to the owner and be posted at least 10 days before the auction at three or more public places in the neighborhood. The day of impounding and the day of sale are not counted as part of the notice period.

(e) Proceeds. -- (1) The individual who impounded the animal may deduct from the proceeds of the sale the amount of the damage and a reasonable compensation for keeping the animal while impounded.
(2) On demand, the individual who impounded the animal shall pay over the residue of the sale proceeds to the owner of the animal.

Reviewed by AAHS in December 2001.

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