Animal Welfare Legislation

a dog nursing 8 young puppies

Join Us. Be a Voice for Animals.

We fight for Arizona’s pets! We believe to create real change, it’s not enough to simply educate people on how to humanely care for pets. We also work with state and local legislators to write tougher laws against cruelty and neglect. Ensuring there are strong penalties for those who harm animals provides our investigators the tools they need to make Arizona a safer place for pets.

If you’d like to receive more information regarding AHS’ animal advocacy efforts, sign up now to receive our advocacy alerts. You can also learn how you can help support animal welfare initiatives by downloading our e-Advocacy Guide.

We thank you for joining us as the voice for animals.  Stay tuned for what legislation we’re fighting for in 2022.

Our Impact

  • It’s now a Class 1 misdemeanor to be involved with animal fighting paraphernalia thanks to a new law.
  • A law was passed that provides landlords the ability to help retrieve pets from an apartment in the event the tenant dies.
  • Animal abusers will now face stronger penalties in the worst cases of abuse – the ones where abusers intentionally and knowingly inflict cruel mistreatment. Animal cruelty charges were increased from a Class 6 to Class 5 felony, meaning these cases can no longer be dropped to a misdemeanor and also include the possibility of jail time and supervised probation/treatment.
  • Law stiffened so protections for animals now include protections against harassment of working animals (for example, police dogs left in a vehicle).
  • Law enacted allowing Good Samaritans to rescue a child or pet from a hot car without risk of civil liability.
  • Tax check-off box created, allowing for a voluntary contribution to Spay/Neuter Fund – in 2019, this fundraised more than $180,000.
  • City of Glendale animal cruelty ordinance enacted to include a ban on tethering, ventilation requirements, adequate space for exercise and more.
  • Greyhound racing banned in Arizona
  • Breed-based laws banned in Arizona
  • Salt River Wild Horses protected
  • City of Phoenix adopts tethering and hoarding ordinances
  • SB 1053 mandates spay/neuter for all shelter pets
  • Pet-friendly license plate created

New animal cruelty laws designate certain cases of felony offenses and harsher penalties for abusers


Cockfighting outlawed in Arizona


Shoka’s Law (Puppy Lemon Law) passed making pet store owners responsible for sale they know were born with defects or are ill


Abuse laws extended to stray animals


Dog Fighting Law makes dog-fighting illegal in Arizona


City of Phoenix ordinance that prohibits leaving dogs in cars on hot days