Animal Cruelty in Arizona

Recently, a man in Arizona was charged with animal cruelty for leaving a collar intended for an 8 lbs. dog on a 35 lbs. dog.  The collar caused a neck injury as it cut into the dog’s neck.  The owner claimed that the dog wouldn’t come to him when called so he couldn’t remove the collar.

What Constitutes as Animal Cruelty in Arizona?

In Arizona, there are numerous statutory definitions of cruelty to animals including intentionally, knowingly or recklessly subjecting any animal under the person’s custody or control to cruel neglect or abandonment.  Cruel neglect is defined as failing to provide an animal with necessary food, water or shelter.  Abandonment is not specifically defined by the statute and would likely be given it’s common definition.

Charges for Animal Cruelty

Animal cruelty is most often charged as a misdemeanor but in some more serious cases can also be charged as a felony.  If  you have been charged with animal cruelty, seek the advice of a qualified criminal defense attorney.

Schedule your free criminal defense consultation with Arizona criminal defense attorney Jeremy Geigle.

2 Responses to “Animal Cruelty in Arizona”

  1. Please – is this something you can help me with? A civil lawsuit for “killing” my companion…

    My domestic cat “JuJu” was killed by the Town of Clifton, AZ in the early morning hours on August 15, 2013. He was four years and 5 days old. He was caught in a trap set by Animal Control. I saw Animal Control drive by approximately 8:00am, and I went to the Animal Shelter within two hours of that time. I asked if my cat had been taken there and “Allen” told me no cat had been dropped off. I called two more times and was told no cat had been dropped off. My neighbor saw Animal Control pick up my cat as I stated earlier, approximately 8:00am. The name of the animal control officer is “Dee” Castaneda. Approximately 2:00pm I called the Town of Clifton and asked for the Town Manager, John Schempf to please call me about my issue with my cat. He returned my call and said he would find out what he could and call me back. Approximately 2:30pm he called and asked for a description of my cat. I gave him a very thorough description and he told me the cat had been put down! He said that “Dee” had to get assistance from “Allen” to remove my cat “JuJu” from the trap and put it in a cage, and they made the decision to kill “JuJu” because he was too wild… I told John Schempf that “JuJu” had been with me since the time he was born. Everyday he had human interaction. He would roll on his back and want to be petted, he liked to sit in my lap, he was a one-person cat but by no means was he feral or wild. Why Animal Control killed him within a couple hours of his capture in a trap is hard to understand. I would think that any animal caught in a trap would show some kind of aggression. Aren’t they trained to handle animals that are caught in traps in a decent way and take them to the shelter so the pet owners could come by and pick them up? My cat, companion, little boy, was killed within a few hours of his capture and that is dead wrong! He should have been transported to the shelter and I could have picked him up! I am a senior and disabled. My companion of the last four years helped me through lots of pain in my life. Now he is dead – killed by Animal Control – Town of Clifton, AZ, because of their inability to bring him to the Shelter. Please – PETA – help me with this. The Town of Clifton contact info is: John Schempf, Town Manager, 510 N. Coronado Blvd., Clifton, AZ 85533, Tel. No. (928) 865-4146. Animal Control Officer is “Dee” Castaneda. I am heartbroken!!!

    Jacques Bergmans
    PO Box 283
    Clifton, AZ 85533
    Tel. (928) 865-1155
    Cell (928) 235-7378

    • Dear Mr. Bergmans,

      I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Your story is truly heartbreaking and extremely unfortunate. I deeply regret that we do not have an attorney that can assist you with this case. Your best bet may be contacting the legal aid office closest to you. You can find all AZ locations here: I believe you will be seeking to file a “property damage claim.”

      Best of luck and our deepest sympathies,
      JacksonWhite Client Services

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