In Arizona, do dogs have to be on a leash?

dog attacks mail carriers

Arizona law is pretty firm on what happens to a dog after a bite occurs, and it’s rarely good. Unlike some states which legally allow “one free bite,” and effectively give dogs/owners the benefit of the doubt once, Arizona authorities can take action immediately.

The process starts with alerting animal enforcement in the local county about a bite occurring and then placing the dog in quarantine for at least 10 days to monitor for rabies. Even if a dog is cleared after this time period and can return to the owner, a justice of the peace or city magistrate can declare the pet vicious and order it euthanized.  

Owners of vicious dogs may also have to pay fees related to their shelter and treatment. Those are just the municipal costs: someone injured by a dog also has the ability to sue for negligence, which can pay for medical costs such as hospital stays, plastic surgery, physical therapy, or mental health therapy.


Arizona Dog Leash Laws

This is a long way of saying that owners should take whatever safety precautions they can to keep their dogs from interacting with others, which could easily include biting. Dogs can bite out of fear, protectiveness or even general aggression. Sometimes, even rough play can draw blood, and the only legal defense for a bite is hard proof that a dog may have been provoked.

Precautions can include keeping dogs in an enclosed space in the front yard, side yard, backyard, or putting them on a leash when on a walk or in a public place. They also must be with their owner or someone designated as a custodian. Read more about Arizona’s leash law.


Maricopa County Dog Laws

According to the City of Phoenix, part of Maricopa County, public places can include parks, canals and streets. Leashes shouldn’t be longer than 6 feet. Dogs also must wear collars or harnesses with valid ID tags.

Maricopa leash law makes an exception for enclosed dog parks where dogs can run off-leash. However, there are still possibilities of a loose or poorly-leashed dog attacking another dog or a human.

Because Arizona has many state and national parks, like the Grand Canyon, leash laws also apply to public lands. Leashed dogs are also not allowed in park buildings, unless they’re designated service dogs.

Access rules may vary by individual park, but generally leashes are the rule vs. the exception.  A ranger, park staff, campground host can answer more questions, enforce rules or spot violations.


 Arizona Leash Laws Prevent Injuries and Other Costs

Arizona leash law includes escalating misdemeanor penalties for owners who fail to comply with leash laws, starting with a fine of no more than $250 for the first infraction, a fine of no more than $100 for the second violation within two years, and a fine of no more than $500 for a third violation. Violations after this, if the dog hasn’t been declared vicious, can lead to a fine of no more than $5,000 and jail time for up to five days.   


Contact Dog Bite Attorney Brad Johnson Injury Law Firm

Whether you’re an owner facing possible penalties for an unleashed dog, or have been harmed by a dog that wasn’t leashed or wasn’t leashed securely, it’s important to learn your legal options from a personal injury firm. Please contact Brad Johnson Injury for a consultation at our website.

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