If Your Dog Bites
You can be legally charged with and be held accountable for:
- An unvaccinated dog that has bitten is held in quarantine at MCACC or a Veterinarian’s office for 10 days at the owner’s expense. You also have to pay for a rabies vaccination and dog license, if you dog doesn’t have one.
- Possible damages suffered by the victim and potential fines (None of these to be determined by MCACC, but by the court).
- Reporting the incident to Maricopa County Animal Care and Control (602) 506-7387
All domestic animals that bite (dogs, cats, ferrets) must be quarantined for 10 days or humanely euthanized. Most domestic animals will be quarantined. The quarantine begins on the day the bite occurred. Quarantine means placing the animal in a facility that provides: absolute security; isolation; and observance twice a day by a qualified person.
Quarantine must be in one of the following facilities: approved veterinary clinic operated by a licensed veterinarian; one of MCACC’s shelters, or the owner’s home, if approved by MCACC.
Home quarantine is approved if:
The owner of the bite animal is required by state law to pay the cost of the quarantine.
- the animal was currently licensed and vaccinated against rabies at least 30 days prior to the date of the bite (also, if under four months of age).
- A rabies vaccination certificate signed by a licensed veterinarian is the only acceptable proof of vaccination.
- the animal was not a stray at the time of the bite.
- the owner’s home has an enclosure that will provide the required security and isolation.
- MCACC or a licensed veterinarian observes the animal at least on the first and last days of the quarantine period.
Your Legal Responsibilities
Know what the law is regarding dog ownership:
- All dogs over the age of three months are required by law to be vaccinated against rabies and have a current county tag. A.R.S. 11-1008 & 11-1010
- Maricopa County has a leash law that prohibits your dog from running at large. Your dog must be confined to your home or property, either inside the house or an enclosed yard. When you take your dog outside of its confined area, it must be on a leash, no longer than six feet. The only public place that allows your dog to be off-leash is in a dog park. A.R.S. 11-1012
- Your city or HOA could have additional laws. Be sure to check with them.