Arizona Increases Penalties for Dog Attacks

Arizona Increases Penalties for Dog Attacks

What are the Penalties for Dog Attacks?

In September 2009, a Phoenix couple was walking its miniature poodle Fabian when a neighbor’s unleashed pit-bull attacked.

Minutes following the vicious attack, the couple rushed Fabian to the emergency animal hospital, where he ultimately passed away.

When the couple discovered that they were unable to hold the pit-bull’s owner accountable under Arizona civil or criminal law, they began pushing a bill that would hold negligent dog owners accountable.


Prior Dog Attack Penalties

When Richard and Sally Andrade lost their miniature poodle, they immediately contacted the police. At that point, the couple learned that Arizona law treated cats and dogs as simple property, so there were no laws addressing dog-on-dog attacks.

For this reason, the pit-bull’s owner merely received a leash law violation.

After learning more about dog-on-dog attacks in the Phoenix area, the couple began campaigning to change Arizona law.

This journey led to introduction of a new bill increasing liability for negligent Arizona dog owners.


Legislative History

The founders of Fabian’s Law, Richard and Sally Andrade, testified before the Government Committee at the Arizona House of Representatives on February 15, 2011.

Following this testimony, the Government Committee voted to continue the bill through the legislative process.

On April 19, 2011, Arizona legislatures voted in favor of the bill, which sent it to Governor Jane Brewer.

On April 25, 2011, Governor Jane Brewer signed the bill into law.


New Penalties

According to Fabian’s Law, an owner may receive a misdemeanor if his or her dog is classified as aggressive and attacks a person or other domestic animal.

The owner may also receive a misdemeanor violation if his or her aggressive dog escapes the backyard or leash.

This significantly increases penalties to negligent dog owners, as previous Arizona law did not penalize owners for these sorts of attacks.

Thrush Law Group represents people who have been injured because of the negligent acts of others.

We have assembled a team of skilled Tucson trail lawyers who focus on providing quality representation to injured clients.


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