A Few Animal Laws We Should Know

animal lawsWe all have questions that come up for our pets or someone else. I have collected some resources to help address the more common ones. 

Leash Laws 

State and local governments have leash laws. Michigan State has an animal legal and historical center webpage that refers to each state and laws governing leash laws: https://www.animallaw.info/topic/table-state-dog-leash-laws. 

In Arizona, there are state statutes regulating animal control as well as county and city laws. Check with your local authority about all the applicable laws that may apply. For example, in Pima County, some exceptions allow dogs or “canine-wild animal hybrids to be at large” when training or at kennel club events approved by “the county animal care Center.”  Dogs or canine-wild animal hybrids also may be at large (without a leash) 

  • while being used or trained for legal hunting or control of livestock or  
  • while assisting a peace officer engaged in law enforcement duties.  

Guide dogs may be at large while assisting blind, deaf, or physically handicapped persons, so long as such dogs are under direct and effective voice control of such individuals to ensure that they do not violate any other provisions of law.  

Parks, Public Lands 

Trails on Bureau of Land Management lands generally don’t require your dog to be on a leash, but the local policy of a specific trail may, so it is best to call the local BLM office and ask about their policy for specific trails.  

Many national parks allow dogs, and the National Park Service has a website you can search specifically to find parks that allow dogs. Generally, dogs must be on a leash no longer than 6 feet. Here is the link to the page to search for parks that allow dogs: https://www.nps.gov/subjects/pets/visit.htm. 

Most state parks in Arizona allow pets. There is a general limit of two pets. Except for service animals, a person cannot take pets to developed beaches or other environmentally or ecologically sensitive areas. For more information on service animal policy in state parks, https://arizona-content.usedirect.com/storage/gallery/pdf/service_animal_website.pdf  

Cruelty and Neglect 

Generally, your local county or state laws will prohibit the cruelty and neglect of animals.  

In Pima County, the administrative code for animal control is found under Chapter 6 and can be found online at https://codelibrary.amlegal.com/codes/pimacounty/latest/pimacounty_az/0-0-0-1614. 

We hope you found this information helpful. If you have a particular concern, some legal professionals focus on animal law. To find one, you should contact your local or state attorney bar association to determine if an animal rights/law attorney is focused on this area of the law. I found this list of attorneys under the Arizona State Bar: https://www.azbar.org/media/duxfjlq3/animal-law-council-2022-2023-website-upload.pdf 

Dog Poo 

Everyone wants to know about this law 😉. You appreciate dealing with their waste if you have a furry family member. If you own a furry pet, you’ve got to deal with its poop. We must pick up dog waste for many reasons, and it is not only an eyesore but hazardous to our environment. 

Dog waste can infect waterways and harm aquatic life. It is placed by the Environmental Protection Agency in the same category as pesticides and toxic chemicals. 

In Pima County, animal waste complaints are made to the County’s Animal Care Center and can be done online here: https://www.pima.gov/2566/Animal-Waste-Complaints.   

In Pima County, the administrative code for animal control for the above topics is found under Chapter 6 and can be found online at https://codelibrary.amlegal.com/codes/pimacounty/latest/pimacounty_az/0-0-0-1614. 

The information provided does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; all information is for general informational purposes only. This information may not constitute the most up-to-date information. The links provided are only for the reader’s convenience; A. Ferraris Law, PLLC, and its members do not endorse the contents of the third-party references.  

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