Join Us As a Voice for Animals

The Arizona Humane Society is a member of the Humane Legislative Coalition of Arizona (HLCA), an alliance of the state’s leading, active, humane organizations and advocates who share the common goals of protecting animals from abuse, neglect and cruelty, and ensuring that those who harm animals are held accountable.

This year, AHS and the HLCA are leading efforts to better protect animals in our state, and you can track our state and local initiatives below.

We thank you for joining us as the voice for animals.

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.

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STATE INITIATIVES

SB1141 ANIMAL ABUSER REGISTRATION; REGISTRY

Creates an animal abuse registry. The Humane Legislative Coalition of Arizona is strongly supporting SB1141. Read the full bill here.


HB2242 ANIMAL CRUELTY; DOMESTIC ANIMALS; CLASSIFICATION

Makes it a class 5 felony to intentionally or knowingly subject a domestic animal to cruel mistreatment.  (To torture, inflict unnecessary serious physical injury or kill the animal in a manner than causes protracted suffering.) Intentionally or knowingly kill a domestic animal without either legal privilege or consent of the domestic animal’s owner or handler. Read the full bill. Download the fact sheet to learn more.


HB2404 INITIATIVES; CIRCULATORS; SIGNATURE COLLECTION; CONTESTS

Makes it easier for state legislators to impede the ballot measure process and overturn citizens initiatives like banning cockfighting. The Humane Legislative Coalition of Arizona is strongly opposing HB2404. Read the full bill.


HB2494 CIVIL LIABILITY; MINORS; VEHICLES

A person who uses reasonable force to remove a child or domestic animal from a locked motor vehicle is not liable for damages in a civil action if they comply with three key conditions. The Humane Legislative Coalition of Arizona is strongly supporting HB2494. Read the full bill. Download the fact sheet to learn more.


HB2523 TAX CHECK OFF; SPAY AND NEUTER

Creates a tax check-off box that allows the taxpayer to designate an amount of the taxpayer’s refund as a voluntary contribution to Spaying and Neutering of Animals Fund (SNAF). Allows individuals to donate an additional amount in lieu of, or in addition to the designated portion of the tax refund by enclosing a check with the tax return. Designates DOR to transfer the money to SNAF. Makes changes to the membership of the committee that administers SNAF. Requires the SNAF to pay for the initial admin cost to implement this section. The Humane Legislative Coalition of Arizona is strongly supporting HB2523. Read the full bill. Download the fact sheet to learn more.



LOCAL INITIATIVES

CITY OF PHOENIX TETHERING ORDINANCE

The Phoenix City Council has unanimously passed a forward-thinking ordinance that makes it a crime to tether an animal on less than 10 feet, in harsh weather conditions or with a collar that’s too tight, giving the Arizona Humane Society an important additional tool to address the most common call to its animal-abuse hotline.

Why is this a big deal? Neglect starts somewhere. And it’s long before ribs are showing. Long before collars are embedded into skin. Long before the sun scorches an animal’s skin. Neglect most often starts with the simple act of tethering an animal outside in Arizona — and the City of Phoenix is working to end the epidemic of animal neglect where it starts.

“Every year, we field thousands of calls from concerned neighbors about a dog that’s tied up, outside, in distress,” said Dr. Steve Hansen, CEO of the Arizona Humane Society. “This ordinance allows us to contact the owners, correct the situation and work with law enforcement to cite those that don’t improve the conditions of their pets. It’s a tremendous opportunity for us to stop neglect where it starts.”

The ordinance was crafted by Councilwoman Thelda Williams, a longtime animal-welfare advocacy with input from the Arizona Humane Society and other animal-welfare organizations.

Williams said, “I’m thrilled to support the tremendous efforts of Arizona Humane Society, their Animal Emergency Medical Technicians and our Phoenix police officers by giving them every available resource to end animal neglect.”

With this ordinance’s passage, AHS is now planning to embark on a citywide education program that explains the new law and discourages inhumane and illegal tethering and collaring.


PHOENIX ANIMAL HOARDING ORDINANCE

The City of Phoenix recently passed a new ordinance that imposes stiffer penalties for people convicted of hoarding animals.

Individuals will now face a Class 1 misdemeanor if they are convicted of owning, possessing, keeping, harboring, or maintaining 10 or more animals under circumstances “injurious” to the health or welfare of any animal or person. “Injurious” can include:

  • Unsanitary conditions
  • Overcrowded or other inhumane conditions
  • Failure to provide appropriate medical care, water suitable for drinking or food appropriate for the species

In addition to the Class 1 misdemeanor, individuals convicted of hoarding will be ordered to receive a mental-health evaluation and must pay restitution for the cost of care for the animals. The court may also order periodic property inspections and prohibit the individual from owning animals in the future.

Over the last few months alone, AHS’ animal cruelty investigators have responded to several hoarding cases and taken in over 100 animals, including a recent case in which 67 animals were removed from one home.

“Animal hoarding is a serious problem that we sadly see all too often,” said AHS President and CEO, Dr. Steven Hansen. “Many of these cases are truly heartbreaking, and we thank the City of Phoenix and Councilwoman Williams for helping us take a major step forward in protecting animals in our community.”


CITY OF GLENDALE ANIMAL CRUELTY ORDINANCE

The City of Glendale, in Close Partnership with the Arizona Humane Society, has Updated its Animal Cruelty Ordinance.

Provisions include a ban on tethering, ventilation requirements, adequate space for exercise, and more. Glendale’s animal cruelty ordinance now mirrors the state statute that requires food, water, shelter and medical care.

“The City of Glendale’s animal cruelty ordinance is a huge win for Glendale’s pets,” said AHS’ Field Operations Manager, Chris West. “It mirrors the Arizona statute, and it brings us one step closer to ensuring the pets of Glendale are happy and healthy. We are especially grateful for the anti-tethering and ventilation aspects of the ordinance.”

Key Provisions:

  • Tethering: With the exception of temporary tethering of horses, the use of tie-outs such as chains, leashes, wires, cables, ropes or similar restraining devices for the purpose of animal confinement is hereby prohibited, no matter the weather conditions. Previously, the City of Phoenix was the only city in the Valley to prohibit tethering under certain parameters.
  • Ventilation: The animal must have access to adequate ventilation and be protected from temperature extremes at all times. In this connection, it is unlawful for any person to keep any animal in a vehicle or other enclosed space in which the temperature is either so high or so low, or the ventilation is so inadequate, as to endanger the animal’s life or health.
  • Exercise space: The animal must be given adequate exercise space within an enclosure that shall be constructed of material, and in a manner, to minimize the risk of injury to the animal, and shall encompass sufficient usable space to keep the animal in good condition.

Penalties to the above and more are considered Class 1 misdemeanors. A violation of any provision of this section is punishable by a fine of up to $2,500, six months in jail, three years’ probation or any combination thereof.

“We are pleased that our city council has enacted an ordinance that enhances our capability to protect animals in our city against cruelty and abuse. We are also grateful that the ordinance gives us additional abilities to require humane treatment of animals. We will continue to work in coordination with AHS in a conservative effort to serve our citizens and effectively enforce animal cruelty and neglect laws,” said Glendale Chief of Police, Rick St. John.

“AHS works closely with the City of Glendale on suspected cases of animal cruelty, abuse and neglect and was pleased to partner with the City to provide model legislation for incorporation into the new ordinance, which advances standards of care for Glendale pets,” said Dr. Steven Hansen, AHS’ President and CEO. “We commend the City of Glendale in becoming the first in Maricopa County to enact ventilation requirements, which provides AHS’ Field Operations Team with an additional tool to tackle large-scale hoarding cases.”

The Arizona Humane Society partners closely with the City of Glendale and other cities within the Valley on suspected cases of animal cruelty, abuse, and neglect. Last year, AHS’ Field Operation Team responded to more than 11,000 animal rescues and investigations.