Maryland’s laws on pets are in flux. The Maryland Board of Animal Control is currently working with the Department of Natural Resources to update their current regulations.

This Video Should Help:


While most pets are legal in Maryland, there are some exceptions. It is important to research the law before bringing an animal into your home, as you may be subject to penalties if you are found in violation.

Some of the animals that are illegal to own as pets in Maryland include venomous snakes, certain reptiles, and wild animals. Owning a pet sloth is also against the law. There are restrictions on owning certain animals that are considered dangerous, such as pit bulls.

It is important to note that it is not always illegal to own a dangerous animal in Maryland. However, the owner must take responsibility for the animal and ensure that it does not pose a threat to public safety. If an animal does cause injury, the owner may be held liable and could face criminal charges.

History of pet laws in Maryland

Maryland’s pet laws have a long and complicated history. In general, these laws are designed to protect the public from dangerous or potentially dangerous animals. But, as is often the case with laws, there are exceptions to every rule.

The first recorded instance of a law regulating pet ownership in Maryland dates back to 1692, when the General Assembly passed a law prohibiting the keeping of certain “wild and savage beasts.” This law was later amended to include dogs, and in 1715, the Assembly passed a law requiring all dog owners to register their pets with the county clerk.

Over the next hundred years, several more laws were enacted regulating pet ownership in Maryland. In 1809, a law was passed prohibiting the importation of any animal “not usually domesticated among us.” This law was intended to prevent the spread of diseases like rabies. And in 1814, another law was passed requiring dog owners to pay an annual tax of two shillings for each dog they owned.

In 1835, the Assembly enacted a law that made it illegal to keep any animal that was “fierce or dangerous to human beings.” This law was amended several times over the years, but it remained in effect until 2015, when it was finally repealed.

Today, there are still some restrictions on pet ownership in Maryland. For example, it is illegal to own a sloth or any other member of the family Bradypus. It is also against the law to keep any animal that is considered “dangerous” by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR). But, for the most part, Maryland residents are free to own whatever kind of pet they choose.

Why are some pets illegal in Maryland?

Some pets are illegal in Maryland because they pose a safety risk to humans or to other animals. For example, owning a pit bull is prohibited in the state of Maryland because these dogs have been known to cause serious injury or even death to people and other animals. Other pets, such as sloths, are illegal in Maryland because it is difficult to provide them with the care they need in captivity.

What pets are currently illegal in Maryland?

Currently, there are laws in place regarding the ownership of certain animals in the state of Maryland. These laws are designed to protect the public from potential harm that these animals may pose. Below is a list of pets that are currently illegal to own in Maryland.

1. Sloths – due to their slow movements, sloths are often seen as easy prey for predators. As a result, they are not allowed to be kept as pets in Maryland.

2. Any animal that is considered “dangerous” – this includes animals such as lions, tigers, bears, etc. that have the potential to cause serious injury or even death to humans.

3. Animals that are known to carry diseases – such as monkeys and certain reptiles – are also illegal to own as pets in Maryland. This is to prevent the spread of these diseases to humans.

How do these laws affect pet owners in Maryland?

Maryland is one of the few states with laws regulating which kinds of animals can be kept as pets. These laws are designed to protect both the pets and the people, and to prevent injury or harm to either.

Some of the more common pets that are illegal in Maryland include bears, wolves, venomous snakes, primates, and certain large reptiles. There are also restrictions on keeping dangerous dogs, such as pit bulls, as well as certain wild animals.

While these laws may seem strict, they are in place for a reason. Wild animals can be unpredictable and dangerous, even if they have been raised in captivity. If you are considering getting a pet that is not allowed in Maryland, you may want to reconsider. Not only could you be putting yourself at risk, but you could also be breaking the law.

Are there any exceptions to these laws?

There are a few exceptions to these laws. If you have a disability, you may be allowed to keep an emotional support animal, even if it is on the list of banned pets. You will need to provide documentation from a mental health professional certifying that the animal is necessary for your mental health. Service animals are also exempt from these laws.

What are the penalties for owning an illegal pet in Maryland?

In Maryland, it is illegal to own certain kinds of pets. If you are caught with an illegal pet, you may be subject to a fine, and the animal may be confiscated and euthanized.

The following animals are illegal to own in Maryland:

-Dogs that have been declared dangerous by a court

-Pit bulls







What are the consequences of breeding illegal pets in Maryland?

The state of Maryland prohibits the breeding of certain kinds of animals. These include dangerous or potentially dangerous animals, as well as those that are deemed to be a public nuisance.

If you are caught breeding illegal pets in Maryland, you may be subject to a misdemeanor charge. This could result in a fine of up to $1,000 and/or up to 90 days in jail. In addition, the animal may be confiscated and you could be required to pay for its care.

Additionally, if someone is injured by an illegal pet that you have bred, you could be held liable for their injuries. This could result in a civil lawsuit against you.

Are there any efforts to change these laws?

In Maryland, it is illegal to own certain animals as pets. These include apes, bears, crocodiles, hyenas, lions, tigers, poisonous snakes, and sloths. There are no laws prohibiting the ownership of other exotic animals.

Some people believe that these laws should be changed, as they can prevent people from owning pets that they are attached to. Others believe that these laws are important for public safety, as some of these animals can be dangerous if they are not properly cared for.

What do you think? Should Maryland change its laws about which pets people are allowed to own?


In Maryland, it is illegal to own certain pets. These laws are designed to protect the public from harm and to ensure that animals are treated humanely. If you are considering adding a new pet to your family, be sure to check the laws in your state or local municipality to see if there are any restrictions on the type of animal you can legally own.

About the Author

Jamie Dawson

-I like pets more than their owners! #petlover.

View All Articles