Guideline No. 02 – Animal Control

Howard County law requires owners to pick up after their pets and dispose of waste material in a sanitary manner or face legal penalties. This applies to dogs AND cats, ON and OFF one’s property, which includes all open space and public lands. Howard County animal control laws state, “A domesticated animal is ‘at large’ when it is not on a leash and under the control of a responsible person.” All dogs in Howard County are required to be licensed. No wild, exotic, or “game” type animals shall be maintained on any residential lot. Complete copies of the animal control laws, and violation forms are available at the Village Office, or call Howard County Animal Control at (410) 313-2780. Citizens having animal problems may use these remedies:

  • Personally bring the problem to the attention of the animal owner.
  • Restrain the animal if found on your property and contact Animal Control for pick-up at (410) 313-2780.
  • Write or call Animal Control about the problem requesting action; and
  • File a Violation Affidavit. This is a formal, notarized statement describing the problem (dates, times, etc.) to be sent to:

Animal Control Division
3430 Court House Drive
Ellicott City, Maryland 21043

  • As a last resort, citizens can take the offense directly to the Commissioner of the Howard County District Court by having a summons issued to the pet owner.

Guideline No. 04 – Apiaries

Apiaries will not be allowed in townhomes or condominium communities. An Exterior Alteration Application must be submitted for all apiaries requested for single family homes and will only be allowed on a case-by-case basis. Apiaries will not be allowed as an in-home business.

Exterior Alteration Application Requirements

The application must include:

  • Diagrammed plot plan labeled with the location of the apiary.
    Note: Applications without a diagrammed plot plan will not be accepted.
  • Description of and number of hives.
  • Landscaping plan for screening and flight path prevention.
  • Description of barriers.
  • Flight path information.
  • Registration of hives.

Your Exterior Alteration Application for an apiary will most likely be approved if you meet the following conditions:

  1. The hives are registered with the State of Maryland.
  2. Hives are located no closer than 300 feet to any house or building used as a dwelling other than a house or building owned by the applicant.
  3. Apiary does not endanger public health or safety or create unreasonable interference with the use of others’ property.
  4. Adequate flight dispersing barriers are constructed and maintained that do not serve as a nuisance to nearby residences or Open Space areas that are for the enjoyment of the public.
  5. Apiary is not closer than one hundred (100) feet from public walking paths.

NOTE: In the State of Maryland beehives must be registered. The apiary plan will clearly denote provisions for the containment and maintenance of the bees in a manner that they will not endanger other residents or the public or create an unreasonable interference with the use of others’ property.

Guideline No. 15 – Dog Houses and Dog Runs

An Exterior Alteration Application must be submitted for all dog houses and dog runs. This includes all dog runs and any temporary or permanent structure for housing a dog or other animal otherwise allowed by Howard County and the River Hill Covenants.

Exterior Alteration Application Requirements

The application must include:

  • Diagrammed plot plan detailing the location of the proposed doghouse and/or dog run. Note: Applications without a diagrammed plot plan will not be accepted.
  • Elevation drawings showing the pitch of the roof on the doghouse.
  • The dimensions, materials, and color of the doghouse.
  • Details of proposed screening, if applicable.
  • Manufacturer’s drawing or photograph, if available.


Your application will most likely be approved if the following conditions are met:

  1. The roofing material and color of the doghouse roof are the same as the roof of the owner’s house.
  2. The sides of the doghouse match the color of the owner’s house.
  3. The size of the doghouse does not exceed 4 feet in any direction (height, length, width).
  4. The doghouse will be located within 20 feet of the rear of the house, but not closer to any property line than one half the distances from the house to the property line.
  5. The doghouse is located within the site lines of the house.
  6. The doghouse is adequately screened from view of adjacent properties.
  7. Does not include a dog run.

NOTE: Maintenance of structures and surrounding areas is of prime importance! Waste must be removed daily. The impact of the doghouse on neighboring properties will be considered. Dog runs will be considered on a case-by-case basis.