Arizona Revised Statute 13-2910 criminalizes torturing, seriously injuring, or killing an animal in a cruel way. It is also illegal to neglect to provide an animal with food, water, shelter, or necessary medical attention. It is against the law to interfere with or cause harm to working or service animals, including police dogs and horses. In order to be covered by the law, service animals must have gone through a specially designed training program, and be serving the person who needs them.
Also included in the law are hoarding situations that are unsanitary and unsafe, animal fighting, killing feral cats and dogs, leaving an animal in a hot car, abandoning an animal, and tripping horses.
Although it is a necessary step in preventing animal abuse in Arizona, this law does not consider all cruelty to animals a felony. Some cases constitute a misdemeanor, but this still entails hefty fines and jail time. Despite these distinctions, all animal cruelty is morally wrong, and now much of it is recognized as legally wrong.
You can help stop animal cruelty. If you suspect animal cruelty or neglect, please call your local Sheriff’s office or animal control. You can ask to remain anonymous. If you live in Maricopa County, call:
- City of Phoenix Crime Stop at 602-262-6151
- The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office at 602-876-1681
- The Arizona Humane Society at 602-997-7585, extension 2073, from 8am-6pm
If you live in Pinal County, call Pinal County Animal Care and Control at 520-509-3555 or 1-888-431-1311. Visit the website azhumane.org/report-animal-abuse/ for phone numbers for other cities.
Here is what to do if you see an animal or child in locked in a hot car. Thanks to Governor Doug Ducey, you are now allowed as a “good Samaritan” to break a window to rescue a pet or child. However, before you do, you must:
- Call the police or 911.
- In good faith, believe that the pet’s or child’s life is in danger.
- Stay with the pet or child until the police or EMS arrives.
You can recognize signs of animal cruelty by looking for:
- Sores, cuts, bleeding, or bruising on an animal
- Patches of missing fur
- Severe flea or tick infestation on the pet
- Limping, falling, or lack of weight-bearing on a part of the body
- Thin or emaciated body
- Someone hitting, beating, or threatening an animal
- Animals left in hot cars
- Animals repeatedly left, chained, or tied outside without food, water, or shelter
- Animals left outside in extreme weather
- Chains embedded in an animal’s neck
- Constant crying or whimpering
Call Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS or 480-948-6377 if you have any information about unsolved animal cruelty cases. You can be anonymous and may be eligible for a monetary reward.
Together, we can fight animal abuse and make Arizona a safer place for animals.
google search: “How do I report animal cruelty in Phoenix?”
Vanessa F. AZ CARE Rescue Intern (October. 2019)