Animal Welfare 101

Knowing what actions you can take and what is legally allowed when it comes to pets in need can be confusing. Here are some tips to keep pets safe.

Arizona Laws:

My neighbor’s dogs are chained up outside all day long. Is that okay?

According to state law (ARS 13-2910), people are required to provide their pets with adequate food, water, shelter and medical treatment. Pets who are chained or tethered will often get entangled, cutting off access to these basic needs. Some Arizona cities do have tethering ordinances, including:

  • Phoenix prohibits the tethering of pets in extreme weather conditions (below 32 degrees or above 100 degrees) and also prohibits restraints shorter than 10 feet in length.
  • Glendale prohibits tethering for the purpose of animal confinement, regardless of weather conditions.
  • Tempe prohibits tethering when the temperature is below 45 degrees and above 85 degrees, and pets must be supervised by somebody physically at the property.
Know the Dangers of Tethering
  • Consider the length of the tether and any obstacles that might get in the way of mobility or tangle up your pet.
  • Collars should be fitted properly.
  • Does your pet have access to shelter and water?
  • Is the water bowl secured so your pet can not tip it over?
  • Metal heats up! Use a plastic bowl.
  • Be sure to check in – don’t leave your pet unsupervised for long periods of time.

*During excessive heat warnings, bring pets indoors.

Can I break a car window if I see a pet inside?

We encourage people to never leave their pets unattended in a vehicle. Arizona’s Good Samaritan law allows people to take action should they see a child or pet in a hot car.

Simply follow these steps: Call 911, determine if the vehicle is locked, if unlocked, open the door, if locked, break the window and remain with the pets until help arrives. AHS is teaming with the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office on their “Don’t Leave Me Behind” campaign to help spread this important message in our community.

Some common questions that we get at AHS:

There are dozens of outdoor cats in my neighborhood. Can someone come pick them up?

Unlike dogs, there are no leash laws for cats in Arizona. It is estimated that there are more than 200,000 outdoor cats in Maricopa County. Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is the best approach for controlling outdoor cat populations. Learn more at

Who do I call for a stray dog running at large?

AHS’ Emergency Animal Medical Technicians™ respond to calls for sick, injured and abused pets whereas Maricopa County Animal Care and Control responds to calls involving stray pets
running at large, dog bites, barking complaints and dog licensing.

How do I know if a boarding facility is legitimate?

When researching where to board your pets, be sure to ask friends and family for recommendations, search online reviews and then visit the facility and ask for a tour. If they are unwilling to show you the facility, that could be a red flag. In addition, ask what their protocols are should your pet become sick or injured while in their care.