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Maricopa County Laws

The following is a summary of Maricopa County animal laws. To see the full text of each law, see Arizona Laws.

Confinement in Cars

Pets die every year in hot cars throughout the Southwest. The temperature inside your car can reach 130 - 160 degrees in just a few minutes, even on a mild day. Leaving pets inside a closed car, or even one with the windows rolled down, is dangerous, deadly, and illegal. So play it safe, do not leave your pet in the car. To report an animal inside a locked car, call the police (911).

Dog License

Maricopa County law requires that all dogs over three months wear a collar displaying a current license. In addition, it is a good idea to attach a separate tag that lists your name, address and phone number. For more information, see Dog Licenses.

Food and Water

The law requires that animals be provided with the basic needs of life, including food and water. All animals must receive food on a daily basis; and the food must be free from contamination and offered in a quality and quantity sufficient to maintain the animals good health. Animals must have access to clean, drinkable water. Water should always be provided in a container that can't be tipped over or spilled. Animals will not drink warm water, so be sure to place the container where it will not be heated by the sun during the day.


Maricopa County's leash law prohibits you from allowing your dog to run at large outside your property at any time. Your dog must be confined to your home or property, either inside the home or within an enclosed yard. When you take your dog outside of its confined area, it must be restrained on a leash that is no longer than six feet in length. Keeping your dog on a leash also makes good sense. Your dog will be safer and less likely to be hit by a car.

Medical Care

Maricopa County law requires that pet owners provide their animal with proper medical care. This means that if your pet is injured, sick, or infested with parasites, you are responsible for getting adequate veterinary attention. If you are unable to afford care, you are still required by law to prevent the animal from suffering. Look in your yellow pages for veterinarians and low-cost clinics.


The law requires that animals have easy access to natural or artificial shelter that protects them from extreme desert temperatures. The shelter must also have adequate ventilation and drainage, and be available throughout the year. When the weather is especially hot, it is critically important that animals have access to shade at all times during the day. Remember, as the sun moves across the sky, shady spots often become sunny spots. Be certain that your pet can get to shade at all times during the day.

The law also requires that animals be kept in a clean and healthful environment that is free from accumulated feces. Keeping the animal area clean reduces odors and insects, makes for a more pleasant home for your pet and reduces the possibility of neighbor complaint.

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Maricopa County Animal Care and Control
Phone: (602) 506-PETS(7387)
2500 S 27th Ave (Phoenix)  ||  2630 W Rio Salado Pkwy (Mesa)
Maricopa County || 301 W. Jefferson St. || Phoenix, AZ 85003 || 602-506-3011
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