The Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection reminds all residents that picking up after their pets is not just a matter of public health and safety, it’s also the law. And with more residents working from home and able to enjoy the outdoors walking their pets, there has been an increase in pet waste left on the ground in the past year.
Did you know a typical 40-pound dog produces 274 pounds of waste per year? Pet waste is dangerous to your health. It’s more than just a nuisance—it is considered raw sewage and can contain harmful bacteria and parasites. When it’s tracked into your home, it can make you, your family and even your pets sick.
Pet waste also pollutes our waterways. Every time it rains, thousands of pounds of pet waste left on the ground flow into storm drains that empty into Montgomery County streams. These streams contribute to drinking water and empty into the Chesapeake Bay. Every pet owner plays a part in keeping our water clean. Pet owners who do not properly dispose of pet waste may be subject to fines for each offense.
Pick up after your pet!
Responsible pet owners pick up after their pets, both at home and on public land. Carry bags and pick up pet waste whether on walks, in your yard, or in the park. Dispose of pet waste in a trash can. Do not place the bag in a storm drain or leave it on the ground.
In Montgomery Village, many local associations have installed pet waste stations along popular walking routes. The stations contain waste bags and a receptacle to put it in. If they are full, owners should carry waste with them and dispose of properly at home.
For more information, call 311 or visit http://montgomerycountymd.gov/PetWaste.
There are a number of other animal control laws on the books in Montgomery County, including “At Large” (leash laws), “Unwanted Contact” and “Dangerous Animals” – see below for a quick summary.
At Large: Any dog is at large if it is outside the owner’s premises and not leashed, unless it is a service dog, is in a dog exercise area designated by the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission, or is participating in an approved activity.
Any other animal (i.e. unaltered cat, livestock animal) is at large if it is outside the owner’s premises and not leashed or immediately responsive to verbal or non-verbal direction.
The common area of a homeowner’s association, condominium or cooperative is not the owner’s premises.
Unwanted Contact: The pet owner must prevent unwelcome or unsolicited threatening physical contact or close proximity to a person or a domestic animal that occurs outside the owner’s property that may cause alarm in a reasonable person, such as biting, chasing, tracking, inhibiting movement, or jumping.
Dangerous Animals: An animal is deemed to be potentially dangerous if it has inflicted a bite on a person either on public or private real property or has killed or inflicted severe injury to a domestic animal when not on the owner’s property or has attacked without provocation. An animal which has been declared to be potentially dangerous and subsequently engages in one of these behaviors again will then be deemed to be dangerous.
A person may not possess any wild animal or any animal that has been declared to be dangerous.
An animal is deemed to be dangerous if it has without provocation killed or inflicted severe injury on a person; if it poses a physical threat to humans because of specific training or demonstrated behavior; or if its bite is poisonous.
Animals which have been deemed to be dangerous must be kept confined in a secure enclosure to prevent direct contact with humans or other animals, and must be leashed and muzzled, and under the control of a person at least 18 years old who is physically able to restrain the animal any time it is removed from the owner’s property.
For more information or a summary of all Animal Control Laws in the county, visit www.montgomerycountymd.gov/animalservices/oas/laws.html.