Arizona Dog Bite Law
Arizona has unique statutes that make the owner of a dog that bites strictly liable for the damage that the dog causes. Additionally, a dog owner or responsible party may be negligent if they allow their dog to bite because they had knowledge of the danger or allow a dog to run at large. These are some of the applicable Arizona Statutes:
Arizona Revised Statutes Section 11-1001. Definitions
In section 13-1208 and in this article, unless the context otherwise requires:
1. "Animal" means any animal of a species that is susceptible to rabies, except man.
2. "At large" means being neither confined by an enclosure nor physically restrained by a leash.
3. "County board of health" means the duly constituted board of health of each county.
4. "County enforcement agent" means that person in each county who is responsible for the enforcement of this article and the rules adopted under this article.
5. "County pound" means any establishment authorized by the county board of supervisors for the confinement, maintenance, safekeeping and control of dogs and other animals that come into the custody of the county enforcement agent in the performance of his official duties.
6. "Department" means the department of health services.
7. "Impound" means the act of taking or receiving into custody by the county enforcement agent any dog or other animal for the purpose of confinement in a county pound in accordance with the provisions of this article.
8. "Kennel" means an enclosed, controlled area, inaccessible to other animals, in which a person keeps, harbors or maintains five or more dogs under controlled conditions.
9. "Livestock" means neat animals, horses, sheep, goats, swine, mules and asses.
10. "Owner" means any person keeping an animal other than livestock for more than six consecutive days.
11. "Rabies quarantine area" means any area in which a state of emergency has been declared to exist due to the occurrence of rabies in animals in or adjacent to this area.
12. "Stray dog" means any dog three months of age or older running at large that is not wearing a valid license tag.
13. "Vaccination" means the administration of an anti-rabies vaccine to animals by a veterinarian.
14. "Veterinarian", unless otherwise indicated, means any veterinarian licensed to practice in this state or any veterinarian employed in this state by a governmental agency.
15. "Veterinary hospital" means any establishment operated by a veterinarian licensed to practice in this state that provides clinical facilities and houses animals or birds for dental, medical or surgical treatment. A veterinary hospital may have adjacent to it or in conjunction with it or as an integral part of it pens, stalls, cages or kennels for quarantine, observation or boarding.
16. "Vicious animal" means any animal of the order carnivora that has a propensity to attack, to cause injury to or to otherwise endanger the safety of human beings without provocation, or that has been so declared after a hearing before a justice of the peace or a city magistrate.
Arizona Revised Statutes Section 11-1020. Dogs; liability
Injury to any person or damage to any property by a dog while at large shall be the full responsibility of the dog owner or person or persons responsible for the dog when such damages were inflicted.
Arizona Revised Statutes Section 11-1025. Liability for dog bites
A. The owner of a dog which bites a person when the person is in or on a public place or lawfully in or on a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, is liable for damages suffered by the person bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner's knowledge of its viciousness.
B. Nothing in this section or in section 11-1020 shall permit the bringing of an action for damages against any governmental agency using a dog in military or police work if the bite occurred while the dog was defending itself from a harassing or provoking act, or assisting an employee of the agency in any of the following:
1. In the apprehension or holding of a suspect where the employee has a reasonable suspicion of the suspect's involvement in criminal activity.
2. In the investigation of a crime or possible crime.
3. In the execution of a warrant.
4. In the defense of a peace officer or another person.
C. Subsection B of this section shall not apply in any case where the victim of the bite was not a party to, nor a participant in, nor suspected to be a party to or a participant in, the act that prompted the use of the dog in the military or police work.
D. Subsection B of this section shall apply only where a governmental agency using a dog in military or police work has adopted a written policy on the necessary and appropriate use of a dog for the police or military work enumerated in subsection B of this section.
Call (602) 495-0053 or contact us online to find out how we can help you regarding your dog bite case.
We are available in our Phoenix office between 8:30 am and 5 pm, Monday through Friday for a free consulation. Appointments are available at other times, in your home, hospital or office upon request.
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At the Ciulla Law Firm, PLLC in Phoenix, Arizona, we represent clients throughout the Valley in Phoenix, Mesa, Glendale, Tempe, Scottsdale, Peoria, Tucson, Chandler and Gilbert in Maricopa County, Pinal County, Gila County, Pima County and Yavapai County.