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Animal Laws and Policies

Baltimore County Animal Services
13800 Manor Road
Baldwin, Maryland 21013

Phone: 410-887-PAWS (7297)
Fax: 410-817-4257
TTY users call via Maryland Relay

Citations for Violation of Animal Laws

Individuals may submit an affidavit of complaint describing what they believe to be a violation of the County’s animal laws to the Baltimore County Animal Services Division. The affidavit must be notarized. After the notarized affidavit is submitted, the Animal Services Division will determine whether a citation is warranted. 

If a citation has been issued, the cited party may:

  • pay the fine within five days.
  • request an appeal hearing in writing within five days. Both parties will be scheduled to appear and testify before the Animal Hearing Board. In order for the Board to uphold the charges in the citation and levy a fine, the complainant must appear.

Instructions are printed on the citations.

Affidavits of complaint are public information, therefore, anyone may review any complaint filed. If you are notified by the Animal Services Division that a complaint was filed against you, you may obtain the name and address of the complainant (if available) by written request.

The 2003 Baltimore County Code contain the laws (PDF) regarding Animal Services.

Lost  Pets

County law requires that persons who find or otherwise come into possession of a stray animal must turn the animal over to the Animal Services Division within 24 hours. The Baltimore County Animal Shelter is the only shelter in Baltimore County that is authorized by law to hold lost animals for their owners, therefore, persons have only one shelter to call or visit to find their pets. 

When animals come into the shelter as a lost pet, the following occurs:

  • The animal is scanned for a microchip.
  • The animal is vaccinated.
  • Shelter staff review lost animal reports to determine if there is a match.
  • Websites such as Craigslist and Facebook are reviewed several times each day for a possible match.

Animal owners may email in a photo of their lost pet to the shelter or call. However, the single best way to determine if your animal is at the Baltimore County Animal Shelter is to visit the shelter.

After four business days, including Saturdays, any pet not claimed by its owner may be adopted. Healthy, adoptable pets are held as long as there is adequate space and resources to keep them. For more information, contact the Animal Services Division by calling 410-887- PAWS (7297).

Revised July 15, 2014

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