Arizona Dangerous Dog Laws

Arizona Dangerous Dog Laws

While Arizona is one of the most pet-friendly states in the country, they also have several strict animal regulations. Arizona dangerous dog laws are designed to ensure the safety of other people and your pet. If an owner fails to abide by these laws, it can result in large fines or even the loss of your pet.

Dog bite victims are well-protected under Arizona’s well-developed dog laws. A Phoenix dog bite attorney will be well-versed in Arizona dangerous dog laws, so contact them for clarification of your rights as the dog owner or dog bite victim.


Arizona Leash Laws and Dog-at-Large Laws

In Arizona, each county enforces regulations from its local Animal Care and Control Department.

These laws hold dog owners accountable for:

  • Leash law violations
  • Stray dogs
  • Lost and found pets
  • Dog licensing

Regarding leash law violations and dogs-at-large laws, Arizona strongly discourages people from allowing their dogs to roam freely without any sort of leash or harness restraining them.

Even if an owner claims their dog is well-trained, other members of the public are not aware of a dog’s training, and well-trained dogs can also become aggressive and/or attack people. Any time a dog is not constrained by a leash or enclosed, the dog is regarded as a dog-at-large.

Arizona statute § 11-1012 states that no dog is allowed to roam at large. This law specifically applies to female dogs during their breeding season, vicious dogs, dogs in a rabies quarantine area, dogs over the age of three months, or dogs in a public park or public school property.

In these cases, all dogs must wear a collar, leash, or harness which contains a valid license tag.


Liability for Dog Bites

In Arizona, dog bite laws are taken extremely seriously.

According to statute A.R.S. § 11-1025, a dog owner whose pet bites another individual (whether in a public or private vicinity) is responsible for any damages or injury endured by the person bitten—regardless of any previous history regarding the dog’s aggressiveness.

However, according to statute § 11-1027, if an owner provides proof that the attacked person(s) provoked the dog to attack, they may use this as a reasonable defense against liability for the injury.

For example, if a person made an attempt to hit or harm the dog, causing the animal to bite the individual, the dog owner may use this as reasonable proof of provocation to avoid liability.


Arizona Aggressive Dog Laws

Arizona dog laws define an “aggressive dog” as any dog that has bitten a person or domestic animal without provocation or that has a known history of attacking persons or domestic animals without provocation.” This means that any dog that has at one point bitten, attacked, or demonstrated aggressive behavior towards another person or animal, without provocation will likely be considered a dangerous dog.

Further, under § 13-1208, an individual who intentionally causes or instructs a dog to bite, inflict, or cause serious physical injury on them or another human being is guilty of a class 3 felony. The only exception is if the person provides an acceptable reason for using any form of physical force in self-defense.


Criminal Consequences in Dog Bite Cases

While the laws regarding who should be held accountable for a dog attack are relatively simple, the criminal charges stemming from a dog bite case are more complex.

The legal repercussions for an owner of a dog that has bitten an individual depend on whether the dog was previously considered aggressive.

For non-aggressive dogs whose owners fail to restrain their pet in a way that would otherwise prevent the animal from attacking or biting, the state defines the case as a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Comparatively, if a dog attacks or bites a person without provocation and the owner knows their dog’s existing aggression without provocation, the dog owner may be charged with a Class 1 felony.

Likewise, a person who purposely provokes a dog to bite or cause serious physical injury to an individual will be charged with a Class 3 felony.


Arizona Dog Bite Cases: 1-Year Statute of Limitations

Also referred to as the statute of limitations, the majority of offenses or crimes have “a time limit” to pursue legal action. Arizona revised statute 12-541 creates a one-year time limit, known as the statute of limitations, to pursue legal action after a dog attack. concerns the statute of limitation for dog bite cases.

Arizona revised statute 12-541 creates a one-year time limit, known as the statute of limitations, to pursue legal action after a dog attack. concerns the statute of limitation for dog bite cases. You will not be able to seek compensation for a dog bite if you wait more than one year to take legal action.


The Importance of Understanding Arizona Dog Laws

It is important to stay up to date with your state’s laws regarding dangerous or aggressive dogs. For more information, contact a Phoenix dog bite lawyer to discuss the specifics of your case.