How Many Dogs Can You Have in Maine

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While Maine doesn’t have a statewide limit on the number of dogs you can own, specific cities may have their own restrictions and leash laws. 
As every dog owner knows, you can never have too many dogs. The state of Maine seems to agree, as there is no statewide limit on the number of dogs you can own. There are, however, plenty of leash laws and local ordinances that dog owners have to follow, with individual municipalities having their own restrictions for dog ownership. 
Jerry, the super app for homeowners insurance, has all the info you need about dog ownership in Maine. In this article, we’ll cover the number of dogs you can own, Breed Specific Legislation (BSL), and penalties for breaking leash and dangerous dog laws. 
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Does Maine have laws limiting how many dogs you can own?

While there’s no statewide law around how many dogs you can have in Maine, specific municipalities may have their own restrictions on dog ownership. 
For example, the city of South Portland requires 3 or fewer dogs in private residences. In Brewer, no more than 4 dogs are allowed, and in Waterville, the maximum number of dogs allowed is 3
Your city may have specific restrictions on owning multiple dogs, so check with local ordinances about dog ownership before you adopt that fourth, fifth, or sixth canine companion. 

Are there any dog breeds outlawed in Maine?

Nope! Maine has some of the most progressive dog ownership laws in the country. Typically, states will allow specific municipalities to set their own laws around breeds, commonly banning pit bulls, rottweilers, and sometimes German shepherds. State statute §3950 actively restricts local municipalities from passing Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) banning or restricting certain breeds. 
However, the state does have laws around defining a “dangerous dog”. A dangerous dog is any dog or wolf hybrid that has caused injury or death to a person who is not the dog’s owner.
If the injured person in question was acting in a reasonable and non-aggressive manner when they were attacked, the attacking dog is subject to dangerous dog laws in the state of Maine. This could mean the dog is required to be contained on private property or muzzled when in public. 

What are the leash laws in Maine?

According to statute §3911, Maine requires all dogs to be leashed or under the control of their owner while out in public, except when used for hunting or visiting designated dog parks. Individual municipalities may have their own leash laws, though, so check your local ordinances to get specifics on your area. 
Leash laws are meant to keep residents safe and unperturbed by noise and public nuisances. Breaking these laws can lead to hefty fines and restrictions on ownership of “dangerous dogs”. 

Penalties for breaking dog laws in Maine

As with any violation of the law, penalties for breaking dog laws in Maine depend on the severity of the situation. 
If a dog attacks and injures another person, the owner is required to stay on the scene until they have:
  • Secured medical attention for the injured person
  • Contacted law enforcement to report the attack
  • Exchanged contact information with the injured person and with law enforcement
If the owner fails to follow these steps before leaving the scene of the attack, they can be incarcerated for up to 364 days and made to pay a $2,000 fine. 
Once the dog is deemed dangerous, the owner is required to pay a $1,000 fine and attend hearings concerning the dog. The judge may order the dog to be muzzled, contained indoors, or even euthanized if the offense is bad enough. 
If a dog at large causes damage to personal property, the owner is liable for all expenses caused by damage. 

Where to find affordable insurance in Maine

Dog ownership can be a heavy responsibility, just like your insurance. That’s why it’s Jerry’s mission to make insurance as easy and affordable as possible!
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