Animal Bites

City Code - Biting Animals
Section 6-4-1. Biting Animals
(a) Reporting: Whenever an animal bites any person, the incident shall be reported to the animal control officer immediately by any person having direct knowledge.

(b) Quarantine: Impoundment. Any unvaccinated dog or cat that bites any person shall be quarantined and impounded or, at the request of and at the expense of the owner, placed in a veterinary hospital for a period of not less than 10 days. An unvaccinated dog or cat that bites any person shall be confined and quarantined for a period of not less than 10 days.

Any domestic animal, other than a dog, cat, a caged or pet rodent or rabbit, that bites any person shall be confined and quarantined for a period of not less than fourteen 14 days. Livestock shall be confined and quarantined for the 14-day period in a manner regulated by the Arizona Department of Agriculture. Caged or pet rodents or rabbits shall not be quarantined or laboratory tested.

The owner of any animal that has bitten a person may voluntarily deliver the animal to the animal control officer at the pound; otherwise, there shall be an assessment against the owner if the animal control officer must pick up the animal. If the animal is impounded in the pound for observation as a result of a bite incident, there shall be an assessment as established by the City Council. The owner shall at a minimum pay all quarantine and veterinarian fees.

(c) Diseased animals: If a dog or any other animal shows clear clinical signs of rabies or other dangerous, contagious and infectious disease, or if the owner consents to its destruction, it shall be the duty of the animal control officer to destroy such animal in as humane a manner as is reasonably possible.

If at the end of the quarantine or impoundment, the animal is free from such diseases, the animal shall be released. If an animal held for biting a person dies from an apparent disease during the period of quarantine or impoundment, its head will be sent to the State Department of Health for an examination.

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(d) Epidemic: Whenever the prevalence of hydrophobia renders such action necessary to protect the public health and safety, the mayor may issue a proclamation ordering every person owning or keeping a dog to confine it securely on his premises unless it is muzzled so that it cannot bite. No person shall violate such proclamation and any unmuzzled dog running at large during the time fixed on the proclamation may be killed by the animal control officer or police without notice to the owner.

(e) Liability: 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.

(f) Police dog: Police dogs are exempt from this chapter and article and the city is not liable for any damages to persons or property as allowed by state law.

(Ord. No. 143, § 2, 6-24-81; Ord. No. 2004-20, §§ 1-2, 9-21-04)

State law reference–Biting animals, A.R.S. § 11-1014(A); liability, A.R.S. § 11-1025(A); police dogs, A.R.S. § 11-1025(B).