Pet Rules and Animal Control Provisions

River Oaks is a pet-friendly community that relies on pet owners to comply with the River Oaks By-Laws and Anne Arundel County Animal Control provisions for safety and sanitation, especially regarding the "leash law" and animal excreta.


According to the By-Laws, pets must be accompanied outdoors by an adult and carried or leashed at all times (unless inside a fenced yard). Anne Arundel County Animal Control laws make it unlawful for an animal to roam freely off the property of its owner; it should always be under the control of its owner through use of a leash or chain. Dogs that have been off a leash have been involved in injurious incidents and cats that have been allowed to roam have caused property damage. These events are nuisances at best and dangerous at worst. 


Pet owners are also responsible for the prompt removal of any waste deposited by their pet on any property other than their own Limited Common Element.  Our philosophy is that the difference between "pets" and "pest" is the person holding the leash. If you clean up after your four-footed friend, it's a pet. If you don't, then you and your pet are pests. We have some residents who are failing to pick up their pet's excreta in the General Common Element and we insist that you respect your neighbors and our environment. Since we are having a problem with some one or few who are leaving their pet's excreta on our sidewalks, lawns, and common areas, the Board may levy a fine to encourage sanitary behavior.


Here is a list of our dog waste station locations - please use them!

  1. Millhaven Court Island
  2. Millhaven drive opposite Millhaven Ct at the sediment pond
  3. Millhaven Dr near path into the Open Area and Tot Lot
  4. Millhaven and Tilden at the Tot Lot
  5. Behind 2110 Millhaven Dr in the GCE overlooking The Landings’ sediment pond
  6. Braxton and Millhaven at the Braxton Park
  7. Braxton and Cromarty at the Braxton Park
  8. End of Braxton in the GCE between 284 and 285

 Thank you for managing your pets and being a responsible pet owner.

Dog Barking & Noise Complaints

Between 7:00 am and 11:00 pm, Animal Control will handle complaints about barking dogs.  Between 11:00 pm and 7:00 am, the police will respond because it goes into their general category of excessive noise at night.  The dog needs to bark for 5 minutes straight to qualify.

Animal Control Complaint Guidelines

Affidavit-Animal Complaint
Affidavit-Complaint-Animal Control.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 31.0 KB

1. Call Anne Arundel County Animal Control Dispatch at 1-410-222-8900, X3018, if you see any leash violation or other incident, including noise complaints.

2. Fill out the above affidavit and be precise about dates, times, location, and describe exactly what happened. No embellishment or hearsay, please.

These reports are critical to Animal Control so that they can take action. You have one year after an incident to file a complaint.


3.  Please supply identifying information regarding offending pet owners by telephoning Mirga Dulys, Victory Management, at 1-443-249-0172 or emailing Mirga Dulys.

Links to Anne Arundel County Website Pages

River Oaks By-Laws and Anne Arundel County Provisions

River Oaks By-Laws


By-Laws, Article X, Use Restrictions, Section 3 - Prohibited Uses and Nuisances


(m) The maintenance, keeping, breeding, boarding and/or raising of animals, livestock, or poultry of any kind, regardless of number, shall be and is hereby prohibited within any Unit or upon any Common Elements, except that this shall not prohibit the keeping of a maximum of two (2) orderly house pets provided that they are not maintained for commercial purposes or for breeding. Pets shall not be permitted upon the Common Elements except in those areas designated by the Board of Directors, if any. All pets shall be accompanied by an adult and are to be carried or leashed. Any member who keeps or maintains any pet upon any portion of the Property shall be deemed to have indemnified and agreed to hold the Association, and each of its members free and harmless from any loss, claim or liability of any kind or character whatever arising by reason of keeping or maintaining such pet within the Property. The Board of Directors shall have the right to order any person whose pet is a nuisance, to remove such pet from the Property.


Anne Arundel County Provisions - Selected Excerpts


Article 12, Title 4, Subtitle 9-904 Animal Disturbance Prohibited 

It is unlawful for a person who owns, keeps, or has possession of an animal to permit the animal to disturb the quiet of a person or neighborhood.


Article 12, Title 4, Subtitle 9-909 Removal of Animal Excreta  

The owner of any animal shall be responsible for the removal of any excreta deposited by his or her animal on public walks, recreation areas, or private property other than his own.


Article 12, Title 4, Subtitle 10-1001 Penalty  

Anyone violating Title 4, Subtitles of Article 12 may be subject to a fine not less than $50.00 and up to $500.00.

Information From Animal Control Officer Serena Beckner (April, 2009)

The Animal Control Officer handles everything listed on the Animal Control website including education and safety.  The Animal Control Office is closed Sun and Mon. They are open from Tue - Sat, 10 AM - 3 PM. The rabies clinic is open from 12 noon -3 PM, with the third Thursday being “microchip day.”  IF CAT OR DOG IS OVER 4 MOS. OLD, THEY MUST BE LICENSED; IF NOT LICENSED, CAN BE CITED AT DOOR TO THE CLINIC.  Dogs and cats do receive a lifetime tag, but Animal Control stresses the importance of the microchip. 


Trapping Nuisance Animals - now Anne Arundel County Department of Natural Resources requires a permit to trap anything BUT a groundhog. The permit is free, can be obtained over the phone, and is good for 30 days. Animal Control will bait the trap for you. If you happen to trap an animal on a Friday, you will need to bring it in yourself. Otherwise, Animal Control will pick up Tues - Friday before 4 pm.   Number for Nuisance Wildlife to get the permit is 1-877-463-6497.


Opossum Sighting (June 2009):  Please be mindful that opossums can make their way into your fenced yard. A neighbor reported this month that his small dog came nose-to-nose one night with an opossum inside their fenced back yard.  Folks do let their cats out to roam unleashed (a no-no anyway), but the opossum got into the fenced yard where people assume that their pets and kids are safe from all creatures.  Our newsletter editor, Peggy Donald aka "Opossum Peg" did some Internet research and provided the following information:


The opossum (different from the "possum" which is only found in Australia) isn't something to play with, even though its response might be to play dead in response to the threat your playing could imply.  If threatened, it could harm a small pet or child.  Although possible, it's very unlikely that it carries rabies because its body temperature is too low to be a likely host to the rabies virus. 

These animals have prehensile tails (helpful when they climb) and marsupial pouches (where around eight baby opossums might be), making them an interesting wildlife species to watch...from a non-threatening distance.  They are usually nocturnal but will forage during the daytime if they are hungry. 


If one is in a yard, it is probably attracted by fruit dropped from a tree, by pet food left outside, or by garbage. Taking care of these attractions should take care of the visitor.  If it continues to haunt one particular yard, a call to Animal Control is the possible next step. If they don't handle opossums, a private pest removal service should be called. But be sure that the service will relocate the animal, not kill it. These novel creatures date back 70 million years, which is quite a feat for such an unattractive animal!


With that being said, the Board believes that any time a neighbor, human or pet, comes face to face with wildlife inside a fenced in yard or in the open common areas, that person should alert Animal Control even if it is simply an advisory. Animal Control is trying to keep tabs on the interface between the wildlife and the established communities. In addition, from a safety standpoint, people should be reminded that it's usually a bad idea for amateurs to try to deal with wild critters on our own - that's a good way for people, domesticated pets and property to be harmed.


Snakes:  Snake Away can be purchased locally if you know you have a snake or even treat your property around the foundation before you see a snake. This product is biodegradable and is placed around the fence line. Treat monthly. Animal Control will not respond to a call unless a snake is inside a dwelling. We do have copperheads in this county and they are poisonous. They like woodpiles.   


Bats:  Between July and Sept, "Bat Season". It is very important to contact Animal Control immediately, 24-hours a day. After hours from 10pm-8am, call 911. During regular business days, call 410-222-8900 and follow prompts, but press "10" right away, and then 3018 for Dispatch. Do NOT let the bat out of the room or house so it can be tested for rabies. If the bat is outside, Animal Control generally won't test them. Raccoons have a higher rate of rabies.   ORV - Oral Rabies Vaccine program spreads a substance on the ground that the animals ingest. Animal Control will complete an Exposure Form. If results are positive, all local ER's carry rabies virus vaccine. Bat exposures are hard to detect because it doesn't take much to get infected, i.e., saliva from the bat. Shot program which is very expensive and paid for by the individual and their insurance company. To "bat proof" your house, contact a pest control company that specifically deals with bats. Go around eaves, shutters, loose siding, soffits, roof stacks, and fireplaces. Install attic screens. Bats love the heat.


Aggressive dogs:  Children are the #1 victim - 1200-1300 per year. Starting to see a rise in animal on animal attacks. Animal Control investigates every single dog attack and animal bite. If you have an aggressive dog, REPORT IT immediately. If you're ever out and a dog approaches you in an attack manner, that's aggressive. Difference between "Public Nuisance" and "Public Safety" affidavit. ONE violation per affidavit. Be very descriptive about how you FELT. No officers sent for barking complaints.  Therefore use the affidavit process. First, a "barking" letter is sent about how to curb barking.   Individuals can carry "Halt" which is pepper mace. This deters an animal if sprayed in the face. Walking sticks are good. Same advice is given to the postal carriers. Most aggressive dog in the county is the Chesapeake Bay Retriever. Stats are available by top 10 breeds. Animal Control runs a lot of analysis of bite patterns and breeds.   


Animal Excreta - heavy fines if an affidavit is filed.   


Snapper Turtles – it is breeding season in April and they will crawl into the flower beds.  Can reach the size of a basketball.  Very dangerous. 


QUESTION: If a dog gets cited once, how many chances? 

ANSWER: Animal Control only has the authority to take an animal if someone has died. $250 fine for a violation of an order. After 4 affidavits of violation, a dog can be impounded. Types of order:  for a bite, "dangerous" means multiple sutures needed. Conditions imposed are restrictions.  "Potentially dangerous" is another kind of order, with a less costly license.

QUESTION: What about the disposition of the dog incident in the community when both parties were at fault - no one was cited? 

ANSWER: Both parties were at fault but the officer didn't see the violation, so she couldn't cite the owner. But there is a file for future reference. Each owner could have filed against each other. But we can call anytime for leash violations, and Animal Control will talk to the owner, but it needs to be done in a timely manner.

QUESTION: What is the length of time that can transpire after an incident to report it?

   ANSWER: Person can report anything anytime, if only that a file will be created