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Dog Licensing Laws

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Who Let the Dogs Out?

I am continuously surprised by the number of people who do not realize that they are required to license their dogs in Arizona. They are even more surprised by the hefty fines associated with an offense/citation for not licensing their dog. Even if your pet is an "indoor dog" Pima County requires a rabies vaccination and licensing.

"Every dog three (3) months of age or older which is kept within the boundaries of cities, towns or unincorporated areas of Pima County for 30 days or longer is required to be vaccinated for rabies and licensed by Pima County. The rabies vaccination must be administered by a licensed veterinarian, and proof of the vaccination is required to purchase a license." (http://webcms.pima.gov/community/animal_care/licensing).

6.04.240 Citations and penalties.

A. The Animal Control Officer or any other law enforcement officer may cite violators of this Chapter using the uniform traffic citation form or any other form approved by the Chief of Police. The citation shall show the specific Section or Sections alleged to have been violated, a brief description of the violation, whether the citation is for a civil or criminal offense, and whether the violation is charged as a second, third or greater offense. If there is no designation of a second or greater offense, the citation shall be considered a first offense. For continuing violations, the dates or the number of days shall also be noted on the citation.

B. Civil Violation. When a violation of this Chapter is undesignated or designated a first offense by the Animal Control Officer, other enforcement officer or the Town Attorney, a person found to have been in violation of this Chapter shall be deemed to have committed a civil offense and shall be subject to a civil penalty of not less than Twenty-Five Dollars ($25.00) nor more than Two Hundred Fifty Dollars ($250), plus restitution for medical treatment or any other economic loss suffered by any person.

C. Criminal Violation. When a person convicted of a violation of this Chapter is a person who has been previously convicted of a violation of a provision of this Chapter within a period of twelve (12) months, or is a kennel operator, breeder or handler, with or without the required kennel or breeder's license, the person shall be deemed to have committed a Class 3 Misdemeanor, pursuant to Arizona Revised Statutes, Title 13, Chapters 6, 7 and 8, as amended, and shall be subject to a fine of not less than Seventy-Five Dollars ($75.00) nor more than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) for each violation or count, plus surcharges, fees and restitution for medical treatment or any other economic loss suffered by any person.

Vaccinations and licensing are one aspect of responsible dog ownership. And it is the law. Save yourself the time, cost and embarrassment of court hearings by licensing your dog.

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