In Arizona there is no general prohibition against dogs-at-large. This is at the State or County level. A.R.S. § 11-1012 says, “…dogs shall not be permitted at large in certain areas”… such as at public parks, schools, and in rabies quarantine areas.

Ownership responsibilities at the State level for dogs in Arizona

The State does have a strict liability statute. This states, dog owners are responsible for damage to property and injury to persons caused while their dog is off-leash. (A.R.S. § 11-1020)

Know the laws for dogs in Arizona if you’re a current dog owner or thinking of becoming a dog owner.

Ownership responsibilities at the City level for dogs in Phoenix, Arizona

At the city level, there is a broad prohibition against dogs-at-large. The City of Phoenix, for example, states dogs must be confined to their owners’ property or on a six-foot leash (or less).

Dog bites in Arizona

When it comes to dog bites, Arizona is a strict liability state. Under A.R.S. § 11-1025, a dog owner is liable for injuries caused by their dog, even if the dog has no known propensity for viciousness. The liability applies to anyone in a public place or lawfully in a private place. In other words, liability does not extend to intruders to the home.

Dog bite law defense

The only defense is that the dog was provoked. Provocation is a factual issue determined by a jury or arbitrator. It could include an intruder into the home or a person (even a child) harassing the dog.

A person who allows their dog to injure property or hurt somebody may be sued. This includes

  • failure to exercise reasonable care (negligence)
  • violation of city leash laws (negligence per se)
  • or other statutory causes of action for dog bites or dog-at-large (strict liability).

Damages for dog bite cases may include economic expenses. These could be medical bills, veterinary bills for a pet, and pain and suffering for injuries to a human.

Though many view their pets as family, the law has not caught up in that regard.

In the eyes of the law, pets are property. The pets’ pain and suffering from injuries caused by an off-leash dog or the owner’s emotional distress from witnessing their pets’ injury are not recoverable in Arizona.

Need legal help with a dog bite legal matter?

Our firm handles dog bite cases from the perspective that people are responsible for ensuring their pet does not injure others.

We pursue these cases to compensate people who have suffered injuries to themselves or their pets because of the negligence and wrongful conduct of irresponsible dog owners.

Through this litigation, we hope to improve dog ownership in our state so that dogs have a loving and responsible home.

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