Maricopa County Animal Laws


Every county in the United States has its own laws about animals. Maricopa County animal laws are no different. They regulate things such as rabies vaccines and leash laws. Maricopa County animal laws pertain to licenses. All dogs that live in the county for 30 or more consecutive days, who are three months of age or older, must be licensed. If the license fee is not paid then a late fee shall be incurred. The license fee is to be paid to the County Treasurer or their authorized representative. A dog tag with the county name and a registration number will be provided to the dog which must be worn at all times. If the tag is lost, it must be replaced and a fee will be charged.

Dog Kennels

The laws also pertain to kennels. A permit must be obtained by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, unless each individual dog is licensed. The permit fee is $75 yearly. Dogs residing under a kennel do not need to be licensed. Dogs leaving must be, unless they are being moved to another kennel. A $25 fee will be incurred if the permit is not renewed. If, after a written notice, a person does not renew their license within 30 days, that is a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Maricopa County Animal Laws


Maricopa County animal laws govern the rabies vaccination. Before licensing, a dog must be vaccinated for rabies. No dog will be licensed without the vaccination. Dogs vaccinated in other states may still be licensed in Maricopa County as long as all of the provisions are met. Dogs  must be enclosed in the owner’s property or secured in some way so that they cannot escape.

When off property, they must be on an up to six-foot leash. Any dog that is not present on the owner’s property should wear a harness or a collar with a license attached. Dogs used for livestock control, exhibition at kennel clubs, hunting, involved in races permitted by the Racing Commission in Arizona, or being transported from these events do not need to wear a harness or a collar as long as they are controlled, licensed, and vaccinated. If a dog is off leash on a public property of any kind then the owner is in violation of the county ordinance.

Dogs at Large

A county enforcement agent has the right to capture a dog at large. They may enter a private property in pursuit of a dog at large. They may give the owner of the dog at large a citation. Any dog at large that is a danger and cannot be captured safely may have to be taken using extreme measures.

Stray Animals

The laws also pertain to the city pound. Stray dogs will be impounded. Any stray dogs and cats that are impounded will be given proper care. They will be kept for a minimum of 72 hours unless claimed by their owner. After this hold, anyone may purchase the animal as long as they pay all of the fees. If the animal isn’t claimed, the pound takes possession of the animal. Sick or injured animals may be euthanized to prevent suffering or the spread of disease.

Animal Bites

The law also handles animal bites and the quarantine of pets. If the dog or cat is unlicensed or unvaccinated and bites a person, it will be quarantined at the pound for seven days. It may also be quarantined at a vet’s office if the owner pays the expenses. An animal that is licensed and vaccinated may be quarantined at the owner’s house. Any animal that’s not a dog or cat that bites a human will be quarantined at the pound for 14 days. Or, if the owner pays the expenses, it can be quarantined at a vet’s office. If the animal is a caged rodent, it may be quarantined at the owner’s home. A wild animal that bites a human may be killed and sent away for diagnostic purposes.


Euthanasia is typically avoided at all costs, because the goal of the pound and the court is not to kill animals but to keep the community safe. If they believe they can do so by quarantining the animal and helping the animal with training and proper care, they will do. Any animal that’s under the care of a county pound will be treated humanely and given proper care. Dogs or cats that are euthanized will only be done so with T-61 euthanasia solution, nitrogen gas, or sodium pentobarbital.

Maricopa County has these animal bite laws for a reason. It’s to protect the public from animals. If a wild animal bites a human, it may be killed. If a pet bites a human, a quarantine time is outlined in these laws in order to check for rabies status. Licensing laws and rabies laws are also outlined to keep track of the animals which people own. It’s to ensure that people keep their pets up to date on their rabies vaccinations. Rabies is a serious and deadly disease which can be spread to humans.

The other laws in this outline are to keep tabs on the things people run, such as kennels and pounds. Kennel permits and pound outlines keep pets safe. If pets are safe, then their owners are kept safe as well just like leash laws keep people from having to watch out for dog bites or animal fights. All of these laws are designed with the safety of humans in mind. They are also created with the safety and care of pets in mind, such as the euthanasia law and the treatment of animals in a pound. Laws are there to protect everyone, so Maricopa County is doing its job by enforcing them.

Need Help With an Animal Attack?

JacksonWhite has helped dozens of Arizona dog bite victims recover damages received from their injuries. We understand how difficult and traumatizing these situations can be and want to give you peace-of-mind knowing you have experience on your side. While we have our clients best interests in mind, we will also keep the dog owner in mind. We understand this is traumatizing for them as well and want to make sure that an incident like this will never happen again.

Call our Personal Injury team at (480) 467-4392 to discuss your case today.

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