Maryland statutes make the owners of dogs and other potentially dangerous animals liable for injuries that are caused by their pets. Under the law, “owner” is interpreted broadly, including anyone who keeps or harbors a dog, and also covers anyone who knowingly allows a dog to remain on a property that they occupy– owners can legally include landlords or the actual owners of a property in many cases as well as the actual “owner” of the dog. In Maryland, owners of certain breeds of dogs are held to a strict liability principle for injuries that are caused by their dogs; a dog owner can not claim that they did not know that their dog was dangerous as a defense to liability if they own certain breeds of dogs. This knowledge is considered to be irrelevant by the courts, and it is assumed that certain dogs have the potential to be dangerous. In addition to State laws, local counties and cities have their ordinances that govern a dog owner’s liability for injuries caused by their pets; Cook County’s dog ownership ordinances can be found here.