What is maine's Law on Dogs: Leash law, dangerous/NUISANCE dogs, dog waste
According to 7 MRS §3911, “it is unlawful for any dog, licensed or unlicensed, to be at large, except when used for hunting.” 7 MRS §3907 defines “at large” to be “off the premises of the owner and not under the control of any person whose personal presence and attention would reasonably control the conduct of the animal.” Local ordinances might require dogs to be leashed.
Definitions of “dangerous dog” and "nuisance dog" can be found at 7 MRS §3907(12-D) and (20-A) (see PL 2017, c. 404, §§2 and 3). 7 MRS §3952-A provides the procedure for reporting a dangerous or nuisance dog as well as penalties and remedies related to keeping such a dog. 7 MRS §3954 prohibits training or encouraging a dog to be aggressive toward or attack another person or domesticated animal unless the dog is directly involved with a protection dog training program recognized by the Department of Public Safety, Bureau of State Police (effective September 19, 2019, this provision is repealed). Local ordinances might also apply.
Effective September 19, 2019, 7 MRS §3955 governs the actions of an owner or keeper of a dog that assaults another person, including securing aid for the injured person and reporting the incident to law enforcement. Violation of this statute is a Class D crime, which is punishable by up to 364 days incarceration and a $2,000 fine.
The Law Library has identified no Maine statutes that address picking up dog waste; however, there might be local ordinances regarding this.
In general, 7 MRS §3950 empowers municipalities, “to adopt or retain more stringent ordinances, laws or regulations dealing with the subject matter”; however, ordinances may not be breed-specific specific (i.e. a town cannot pass a law directed solely against pit bulls). Ordinances are often available on a municipality’s website or by calling the town office. For an example of municipal ordinances regarding dogs, see the City of Portland’s Chapter 5, Article II.
7/10/2019 A-Z List