Harford County Animal Control
45 S. Main Street
Bel Air, Maryland 21014
Harford County Animal Control Hours
Call: (410) 638-3505
HOURS: Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Office Open
Weekends and Holidays, Office Closed
Animal Control Officers are on duty
AFTER HOUR/HOLIDAYS: EMERGENCY ONLY – (for stray dogs or cats involved in a
bite or injury call Harford County Sheriff Office)
Loose dogs, information on and enforcement of animal control laws of Harford County, barking nuisance complaints, dog and cat traps, humane investigations, vicious dogs, K-9 and feline rabies suspects, apprehension of bite stray dogs and cats.
Proper provisions on shelter & tethered animals
HARFORD COUNTY CODE, ARTICLE 4, SECTION 64-24
"CARE OF SHELTERED DOGS AND CATS"
ANY DOG OR CAT WHICH IS KEPT OUTSIDE OR IN AN UNHEATED ENCLOSURE SHALL BE PROVIDED WITH:
(A). A moisture-proof structure, made of a durable building material with no metal interior surface, be suitable in size to accommodate the dog or cat and to allow for the retention of body heat, shall include a solid floor raised at least (4) four inches off the ground, shall have an entrance covered by a suitable covering or be designed in such a way as to prevent the elements from blowing directly into the shelter.
(B). A sufficient quantity of bedding material suitable to provide insulation and protection against cold and dampness and to promote the retention of body heat.
(C). A sufficient supply of food and potable water for daily consumption.
(D). The provisions of subsection (B) shall be suspended during the months of May through September.
HARFORD COUNTY CODE, ARTICLE 4, SECTION 64-25 "TETHERED ANIMALS"
Any chain, rope or other restraining line used to tether any animal shall be of sufficient length to permit the animal to exercise and shall, in no event, be less than 15 feet in length with a swivel at both ends.
PROPER SHELTER DEFINITIONS
WEATHERPROOF: The shelter must be of solid construction with no cracks or openings other than the entrance. (Rainproof openings for ventilation are acceptable in hot weather). It should be made of wood construction with no metal interior surfaces.
ELEVATED: The floor must be of solid construction and should be elevated off the ground at least (4) four inches.
PROTECTED ENTRANCE: The door must be covered with a flexible flap in cold, windy or rainy weather. A shelter constructed with two doors and an L shaped entrance is recommended. The entryway provides a protected inner door.
BEDDING: Bedding must be DRY. Straw, leaves, shredded paper and cedar chips make good bedding material. Rugs, cloth and blankets are not recommended as they hold wetness and will freeze.
SIZE: The shelter should be large enough to allow the animal to stand, turn and lie down comfortable, and small enough to allow the animal to warm the interior with its body heat. The door(s) should be just large enough to allow the animal to enter easily.
A shelter meeting these standards and placed where it will be adequately shaded in summer months will provide "Protection from the Weather" as required by law.
If you have any questions concerning shelter construction or requirements, please contact this office.
Dogs at large
"No owner of any dog shall permit it to be at large". Any dog will be deemed to be "at large" when it is upon the property of a person other than the owner or within the traveled portion of any public road and not leashed or under the control of the owner and obedient to the owner’s command.
Control of dog waste & other nuisance
"No owner of a dog shall allow it to soil, defile, defecate upon or commit any other nuisance upon any public property or upon private property. The owner must take immediate steps to eliminate any such nuisance, including feces caused by the dog, in an appropriate and sanitary manner".
Leaving dogs outside and unattended by use of restraints
10-623. Leaving dogs outside and unattended by use of restraints
(1) In this section the following words have the meanings indicated
(2) "Collar" means a device constructed of nylon, leather, or similar material specifically designed to be used around the neck of a dog
(3) "Restraint" means a chain, rope, tether, leash, cable, or other device that attaches a dog to a stationary object or trolley system.
(b) Prohibited.- A person may not leave a dog outside and unattended by use of a restraint
(1) that unreasonably limits the movement of the dog
(2) that uses a collar that:
(i) is made primarily of metal; or
(ii) is not at least as large as the circumference of the dog’s neck plus 1 inch
(3) that restricts the access of the dog to suitable and sufficient clean water or appropriate shelter
(4) in unsafe or unsanitary conditions; or
(5) that causes injury to the dog
(c) Penalties.- 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.
Leaving your pet in a parked car can be a deadly mistake
Harford County Law, Article 4, Section 64-20, "Animals in Vehicles" No person shall leave any animal unattended in a motor vehicle when the temperature outside exceeds 80° Fahrenheit except an Animal Control Officer, Contractual Agent of Animal Control, or a state or local police K- 9 Officer who is especially equipped with a vehicle that is used for animal transport. Any Animal Control Officer, Law Enforcement Officer or Agent of the Humane Society of Harford County, Inc., who determines that an animal has been left in a motor vehicle in violation of this article shall have the right to take such reasonable steps to free the animal from the vehicle as he deems necessary to protect the animal from serious injury or death.
On a warm day, the temperature in your car can reach 160° in a matter of minutes, even with the windows partially open.
Your pet doesn't perspire the way you do. A dog's tongue is its cooling system… That’s why it pants!! With only hot air to breathe, your pet can quickly suffer brain damage or die from heatstroke.
WHEN IT IS HOT LEAVE YOUR PET AT HOME!!!!
Is your dog legal?
Don’t get caught in the doghouse - Get your dog licensed!
A RABIES VACCINATION TAG IS NOT THE SAME AS A HARFORD COUNTY DOG LICENSE
MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
- Which dogs are required to have a Harford County Dog License?
- ALL dogs over the age of 6 months.
- Does my dog have to have a CURRENT Rabies Vaccination Certificate in order to obtain a dog license?
- YES, and you must send a copy of the Rabies Certificate with your license application.
- Is there a fine for not having my dog licensed?
- YES, $30 notice of violation for each occurrence. Fines increase on additional violations.
- How long is a dog license good for?
- Dog licenses are valid for one year commencing on the day of issuance or will be valid for the length of the rabies vaccination expiration date.
If you have any further questions, please contact our office at: 410-638-3505.
THANK YOU for your cooperation, Harford County Animal Control Officers
Refer to the Health Department
Harford County Health Department
Phone Number: (443) 643-0300
Hours: Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Unclean animal pens, information on rabies, anti-rabies annual clinics, report animal bites, neighborhood rat problems, information on animal bites.
Public nuisance animals
SECTION 64-12: It is unlawful for any person to keep or maintain any animal in such a manner as to cause or permit the animal to be a public nuisance. An animal constitutes a public nuisance if it (1) damages the property of anyone other than its owner; (2) makes an excessive harsh noise so as to disturb the peace, quiet or comfort of the neighborhood; or (3) is vicious or dangerous. Upon the sworn complaint of any person before the District Court of Maryland for Harford County alleging that an animal constitutes a public nuisance in any neighborhood in any area of the County, a summons shall be issued to the owner or keeper of such animal to appear in District Court. Upon proof that the animal constitutes a public nuisance, the owner shall abate the nuisance within the time specified by the court and in no event more than 30 days after appearing before the Court. Should the owner fail to abate the nuisance, the owner or keeper shall be required to surrender the offending animal to The Harford County Humane Society or any other non-profit shelter or rescue organization, unless he/she removes the animal permanently from the neighborhood. If the owner or keeper is required to surrender the animal and he/she fails to do so, it is the duty of the Sheriff or other appropriate law enforcement authority of the County and Animal Control Warden to seize the animal. For the purposes of this section, the definition of "Animal" shall include, but not restricted to dogs, cats, reptiles, and fowl. This definition should not include livestock (as defined in §267-4 of the Harford County Code, as amended) on agriculturally assessed property.
Effective-June 3, 2013
Wildlife nuisance hotline
Call: 1-(877) 463-6497 (Toll Free)
Squirrels or bats in the attic, wild ducks in swimming pools, raccoons in residential garbage bins or other man/wildlife conflicts – (help to identify the type of animal or fowl and determine the most effective method of control), injured wildlife, wildlife trap information for nuisance wildlife.
Frequently Asked Questions
HOW OLD DOES A DOG HAVE TO BE BEFORE IT OBTAINS A HARFORD COUNTY DOG LICENSE? WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS AND COSTS?
For Dog License Information contact the Harford County Department of Inspections, Licenses & Permits
WHAT IS THE HARFORD COUNTY LEASH LAW FOR DOGS?
A dog is considered to be at large when it is upon the property of a person other than the owner or within the traveled portion of any public road and not leashed or under the control of the owner and obedient to the owner's command.
CAN A FEMALE DOG THAT IS "IN HEAT" OR "IN SEASON" BE KEPT OUTSIDE?
Female dogs that are in heat are not permitted out of doors, either loose or on a leash. Female dogs that are in heat must be confined in a closed building equipped with adequate flooring (cement or tight wood manner that it will not be in contact with another dog except for intentional breeding purposes.
WHAT DOES A CITIZEN DO IF THEY HAVE A PROBLEM WITH A DOG AFTER HOURS?
Animal Control is on 24-hour emergency duty. Any stray dog or cat involved in a bite or injury or vicious dog situation would be considered an emergency. Please call the Harford County Sheriff’s Office at (410) 838-6600 and the Animal Control Officer on duty will be contacted. Any other problems regarding animals will have to be directed to our office during normal working hours.
WHAT ARE THE DUTIES OF ANIMAL CONTROL?
- Provide information on and enforcement of the Animal Control Law.
- Handle complaints of loose dogs, make courtesy visits regarding nuisance barking dogs, investigate inhumane treatment of animals.
- Offer traps for stray dogs and stray cats.
- Apprehend bite stray dogs and cats.
- Conduct pet shop inspections.
WHERE ARE ANIMALS TAKEN AFTER ANIMAL CONTROL PICKS THEM UP
All animals are transported to The Humane Society of Harford County located at 2208 Connolly Road, Fallston, Maryland. Any information pertaining to the Humane Society’s hours, policies or holding time for animals is available by contacting them directly at (410) 836-1090.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ANIMAL CONTROL AND THE HUMANE SOCIETY?
The Humane Society is a non-profit organization established to promote humane treatment of homeless, stray and abandoned animals by providing shelter, care, adoption and community education. They are also the holding facility for any animals that Animal Control pick-up. Harford County Animal Control enforces animal control laws, investigates complaints related to loose dogs, investigates animal cruelty and apprehends loose dogs which are then transported to the Humane Society.
WHAT DOES A PERSON DO IF THEY ARE BITTEN OR SCRATCHED?
PLEASE NOTE… ALL ANIMAL BITES MUST BE REPORTED.
…BY A PET DOG OR CAT
- Obtain the pet owner’s name, address, telephone number. Find out if the animal has a current rabies vaccination.
- Immediately wash the wound with lots of soap and running water.
- Get medical attention. Go to your family doctor or the nearest emergency room.
- Report the incident to the Harford County Sheriff’s Office at (410) 838-6600 and/or the Harford County Health Department at (410) 877-2300.
…BY A STRAY DOG OR CAT
- Report incident to Harford County Animal Control at (410) 638-3505 or after hours to Harford County Sheriff’s Office at (410) 838-6600.
- Remember the description of the animal (color, size, collar, tags, etc.) and which way the animal ran after you were bitten.
- Immediately wash the wound with soap and running water and seek medical treatment by your family doctor or go to the nearest emergency room.
Who to call?
Harford County Animal Control
Humane Society of Harford County, Inc.
Harford County Health Department
Harford County Sheriff Office
Department of Licenses and Permits (Dog Licenses)
Department of Natural Resources
Wildlife Nuisance Hotline
1-(877) 463-6497 (Toll Free)
Harford Emergency Veterinarian Center
Harford County Highways