Do You Have to Report a Dog Bite in Arizona?
Have you or a loved one been bitten by a dog? Did you or your family member need medical attention after the dog bite? After a dog attack, it is difficult to know what to do. The first question many victims and witnesses ask is: Do you have to report a dog bite in Arizona? The answer to that question is yes. Arizona dog bite law makes clear that dog owners, victims, and even witnesses are legally required to report a dog bite incident immediately following the attack.
In Arizona, the law requires anyone with “direct knowledge” of a dog attack, including witnesses, to report a dog bite promptly to a county enforcement agency such as the Animal Care and Control department.
Essentially, anyone who witnesses a dog bite, including dog owners, victims, and witnesses, must report the attack. You can call Animal Care and Control at (602) 506-PETS (7387) or file a report online.
Witnesses and Victims Have a Duty to Report
Do you have to report a dog bite in Arizona? Arizona state law requires dog owners, victims, and witnesses, have a duty to report if a dog bite occurs. The law directs individuals to file a report to a representative of their local Animal Care and Control department.
Witnesses or victims need to describe the dog , including its breed, size, and color. Reporting any features that can identify the canine is essential. A representative from Animal Care and Control will then visit the dog and owner to begin an investigation.
Arizona law holds all dog owners accountable for their dog when it attacks or bites. As such, dog owners, and their insurance companies, will be responsible for covering the costs of any damage that resulted from their dog’s attack.
A dog owner has only one defense in Arizona. The defense involves finding that the victim triggered the dog to bite him or her. Whether the dog owner was negligent or claims the dog has not previously been aggressive won’t help the owner avoid liability in these cases.
What Occurs After a Dog Bite Is Reported
After a dog bite is properly reported, the dog must be confined while a local official conducts an investigation. After an attack, Arizona law requires an unvaccinated canine to be quarantined for at least ten days. After that, certain conditions will allow the dog to be released back to the owner. The dog bite victim may also petition for a vicious dog determination.
Canine Quarantine Requirement
An unvaccinated dog or cat that bites someone will need to be quarantined for at least 10 days in a pound or a veterinary hospital (the owner must cover these costs). Ideally, the quarantine will begin on the same day as the dog bite. If that date is unknown, the clock starts on the first day the dog is confined.
Vaccinated dogs can also be confined in the owner’s home if the representative of Animal Care and Control allows it. At least one of the following factors must be true to release the canine back to the owner.
- The dog is licensed
- The dog has been spayed/neutered and has a microchip
- A veterinarian postpones surgery on the animal
- The bite occurred in the home of the owner and on a member of the household
- The owner covers all fees
Vicious Dog Determination
If someone, such as the victim or a witness, has “reasonable grounds” to believe a canine is vicious, he or she can file a petition with the court for an official vicious dog determination. If the court believes the dog is a threat to public safety, the court may have the dog impounded while the determination is being made.
If a dog is found to be vicious, there is a range of actions the court may pursue, including having the dog owner display a warning sign outside their home. The court may also impose more severe measures, including euthanization.
How Do You Report a Dog Bite in Phoenix?
Dog bites in Phoenix, Arizona, must be reported to the Maricopa County Animal Care and Control. To report a dog bite in Phoenix, Arizona, you can fill out a form online for the Animal Care and Control department. If you’ve been injured in a dog attack, contact an experienced Phoenix dog bite lawyer immediately.