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

Article - Transportation
(a)   A person may not leave a cat or dog unattended in a standing or parked motor vehicle in a manner that endangers the health or safety of the cat or dog.
(b)   Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, a person may use reasonable force to remove from a motor vehicle a cat or dog left in the vehicle in violation of the provisions of subsection (a) of this section if the person is:
(1)   A law enforcement officer;
(2)   A public safety employee of the State or of a local governing body;
(3)   An animal control officer under the jurisdiction of the State or a local governing body;
(4)   An officer of a society or association, incorporated under the laws of this State for the prevention of cruelty to animals, authorized to make arrests under the provisions of § 10-609 of the Criminal Law Article; or
(5)   A volunteer or professional of a fire and rescue service.
(c)   A person may not use force of any kind to remove from a motor vehicle:
(1)   A dog used by the State or a local governing body for police work while the dog is on duty; or
(2)   A cat or dog in the custody of an animal control officer.
(d)   A person described in subsection (b) of this section may not be held liable for any damages directly resulting from actions taken under the provisions of subsection (b) of this section.