It is against the law in Arizona to allow a dog to run at large in public places. Dogs running at large could pose risks such as dog bite injuries, as well as other incidents, such as dogs jumping on people. For this reason, Arizona has a statewide leash law all pet owners must obey. Our Phoenix personal injury lawyers go over Arizona’s leash laws in the following article.
Some municipalities, including the City of Phoenix and Maricopa County, have also passed leash laws to better protect citizens from animal attacks. All dog owners must learn and abide by applicable state and local leash laws.
What Is Arizona’s Leash Law?
Arizona’s leash law restricts if and when a pet owner may allow his or her dog to roam off-leash. The universal law aims to help citizens feel safer while walking around public areas, such as parks and fields. Arizona Revised Statute 11-1012 contains the state’s central leash law. It prohibits pet owners from allowing their dogs to run at large in public parks or on school properties. Running at large refers to being off-leash and otherwise not in the owner’s control. In these areas, pet owners must keep their dogs restrained on leashes or enclosed in cars or cages.
The law also states that no pet owner may allow a vicious dog or female dog in heat to run at large, even when not in a public park or school zone. A female in heat is one in her breeding or mating period. Also, no dog may be at large in a rabies quarantine area. If an owner does permit his or her pet off-leash and it is older than three months, the dog must have a collar or harness with a valid license tag attached. Dogs used to control livestock, used for hunting, trained race dogs or kennel club event dogs do not need collars with license tags as long as they have their vaccines and are licensed.
Municipal Leash Law in Phoenix
On top of pet owners needing to abide by Arizona’s statewide leash law, they also need to follow their city or county’s specific laws. The City of Phoenix, for example, has a law that forbids any dog from being at large anywhere. Even on private property, a pet owner must confine his or her dog within an enclosure or a leash not more than six feet long. When not on the pet owner’s property, the dog must be in control of the owner or custodian.
Phoenix’s leash law states that a dog is not at large if it has a leash, chain, rope or cord six feet or less in length that restrains and sufficiently controls the dog. A collar is not enough to fulfill the definition of under control. Exceptions exist for dogs used to control livestock, working dogs, racing dogs and dogs attending kennel club events. The Phoenix leash law does not apply at designated dog parks, which are lawful off-leash areas.
A dog is also not at large in a park in Phoenix if a trainer has the dog under control, the dog is participating in training and the dog has a certificate from the American Kennel Club or American Mixed Breed Obedience Registry. A dog is demonstrably under a trainer’s control if it does not charge, chase, harass or disturb other people, animals or wildlife.
Maricopa County Leash Laws
Maricopa County also cares about preventing dog attacks. It has a municipal law in place that states pet owners cannot allow their dogs to run at large outside their private properties at any time, except in designated off-leash dog parks. The leash law is for the protection of both pets and people. Citizens can report leash law violations if they see pet owners breaking the rules.
Keeping pets controlled on leashes prevents dogs from attacking people or other pets, as well as from wandering into the road or running away. If you or a loved one were a victim of a dog attack, speak with our Phoenix dog bite lawyer during a free consultation.